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Lisa Jo Frech, science faculty, participated in a March 2014 panel discussion on the underrepresentation of women in the STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and math.
Excerpt from an article by Samantha Swindler on OregonLive.com, March 16, 2014.
TV's nerd stereotypes and the increased pressures for women in the sciences were among the topics discussed by a panel at Pacific University on March 16, 2014.
The four women answered questions from Washington County high school female students who were being recognized for their achievements in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The panel and a reception were organized by Pacific University's Center for Gender Equity and the Hillsboro/Forest Grove branch of the American Association of University Women.
Women are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields.
The fear of fitting in made panelist Esbeida Ramos, a sophomore student at Pacific University, think hard about studying math.
"I didn't see myself pursing a math degree in college because of the type of person that I envisioned," Ramos said. Ultimately, though, Ramos said there was no good reason for more girls not to be interested in math.
"There's absolutely nothing holding you back from being able to do and being able to pursue whatever you want to, regardless of what gender it's dominated by," she said.
Lisa Jo Frech, adjunct professor of environmental studies and an environmental consultant and wilderness guide, told the girls that when trying to find your passion in life, "a no is as good as a yes." Don't worry about discovering that a certain field isn't for you, she said. You'll learn a lot about yourself in the process. She spent two years in "blue collar" fields before realizing she wanted to pursue a college degree.
"If the drive is there, if the passion is there, all else eventually falls into place," she said.
Lisa Jo Frech is a faculty member in the Department of Science & Mathematics. She is a consultant for natural resource agencies and environmental nonprofits,
specializing in board and organizational development, executive coaching, communications
and strategic planning.