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What: Women in Science Day

When: Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at 10 a.m.

Where: Cecilian Hall, Administration Building, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa.

Who: 63 young women who are juniors from regional high schools; Kristen Butela, Ph.D., keynote presenter; parents of students; teachers of students; Seton Hill University faculty and staff.

Background: Kristen Butela, Ph.D., assistant professor, biology, joined the Seton Hill faculty in Fall 2011. She teaches microbiology, medical microbiology and genetics and continues her research with Seton Hill students. Butela earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a certificate in women’s studies from Seton Hill University. She received her training as a microbiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Program. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Physiological Basis of Predation Escape in Salmonella.” Butela has served as a volunteer instructor for the Phagehunting Program at the University of Pittsburgh and a curriculum designer for Science Mission 101, a program designed by the University of Pittsburgh in cooperation with WQED. She is a member of the Seton Hill University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Women in Science Day recognizes young women who are juniors from regional high schools who have been nominated by their teachers as students who excel in mathematics, biology, and/or chemistry. The student nominees, their parents, and the nominating teachers are invited to the event.

The first Women in Science Day was initiated in 1989 by Sister Margaret Burns, S.C., former physics and mathematics faculty member at Seton Hill. This event was developed in response to a goal set forth at a Neylan Conference, a gathering of educators from Catholic universities, founded by female religious congregations. The goal of the Conference was to encourage teachers to design a program, at their own university, which would affirm and encourage young women in their study of mathematics and science.