Gloria Childress Townsend
268 Julian Science and Mathematics Center
Women in Science
The Women in Science group at DePauw University was established in the spring of 1992 to create a supportive environment in which female science students can achieve their full potential. We meet on the first Thursday of each month at 11:30am.
Academic year 2012-13 found Women in Science following a new format where each science department took charge of a lunch event.
September: Computer Science. Opportunities in Computer Science presentation by students paired with planning our traditional mentoring program for new first-year science majors.
October: Biology. Erin Wissing ('07 DePauw and Science Research Fellows) spoke about her work with muscular dystrophy and the role of p38alpha in the progression of the disease in the skeletal muscle.
November: Kinesiology. Associate Professor Marie Pickerill presented "What I Wish I Knew, When I Was Your Age."
December: Mathematics. Assistant Professors Suman Balasubramanian, Naima Shifa and Zhixin Wu gave a delightful talk, "Lives of International Students & Faculty in the US".
In February, our women discussed their summer 2011 research, as we prepared proposals for 2012 summer research. Kyle Smitley '07 spoke at our March lunch. Kyle founded Barley & Birch and gives over half of her profits to organizations that she feels connected with.
We continued our mentoring program, matching first-year women with sophomore, junior and senior mentors in their chosen majors – for support and advice. Pictured here are Danielle Boyd (right) who participated in the mentoring program last year too and her current protégé, J'Nai Macklin. Danielle's last mentee became a mentor this year, so Danielle's influence will continue to serve students, after her 2011 graduation. One does not have to belong to an organized program to mentor. Reach out to young women in your classes!
We collaborated with the Women's Studies Program for a first-ever joint luncheon to hear Amanda Lotz, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Lotz talked about her last book, Redesigning Women: Television after the Network Era, and research for her next book.
Nadine Shillingford gave a formal talk entitled, ”The Management of QoS in Wireless Mesh Networks". Dr. Shillingford is an assistant professor at our neighbor school, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department. She also spoke with the Women in Science lunch group about balancing work and family.
Dr. Ellen Maycock, a mathematician and the Associate Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society, presented "Mathematics as Creative Art." The Wome in Science Program, the Department of Mathematics, the Writing Program, the Science Research Fellows Program and the Public Occasions Committee sponsored Dr. Maycock's talk.
Dr. Caroline Kulesza, a biochemist, presented "Cytomegalovirus Pathogenesis: A Role for Non-Coding RNAs During Infection." The Women in Science Program, the Public Occasions Committee and the Hickman Fund sponsored Dr. Kulesza's talk.
Margaret "Maggie" Baber
Environmental Geosciences Major
When I was five I was obsessed with maps. Every day after school, I used to memorize geographic features on a huge world map wallpapered to a wall of my father’s office. I used to tell people I wanted to be a cartographer when I grew up. As a geosciences major, I now work with geologic maps frequently.
My first-year at DePauw, I traveled with the geosciences department to West Virginia for a geologic mapping field trip. It amazed me how I could understand current earth processes by examining rocks and mapping out the area’s geologic history. Everything habitat we see today ---oceans, mountains, deserts--- is recorded in rocks that show specific geologic processes and environments. Geology is fascinating because it explains how time, life sciences, physical sciences are closely connected.
I have always been passionate about environmental issues. Right now the world is paying more attention to rectifying negative human impacts on the earth. I study geology because it is crucial that people understand earth processes, and how they affect our planet’s characteristics. This summer, I will conduct research at the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. I'd like to continue my climate research after college.
As a young child, my mom gave me a young scientist microscope set. I looked at everything under that little lens. I was fascinated by the intricate web of particles that existed beyond everyday items such as water and even paper.
I still love science because it allows me better understand the things I see. I choose Biology because I have found that intricacies within body systems appeal to me more than other areas of science. I can sit through an entire lecture that explains one complex process. In the meantime my body is performing this process along with millions of others tasks without me ever thinking about it. In those moments I am truly grateful that I am not responsible for managing my body's functions.
In neuroscience, I can apply science to address thought processes and assess behaviors. It is one other way to explore the complex beings that we are.... I hope someday to apply my interests and helping and interacting with people. I would like to be some kind of physician but I will keep an open mind at this point.
Computer Science Major
My freshman year of high school, I took a conceptual physics class where we had to make up a sport to play on the moon that would utilize the moon's lesser gravitational pull. My partner and I transferred extreme skateboarding to the moon and made up a few new rules to facilitate this. This was one of the most engaging experiences of my education, being able to put concepts to a "realistic" and creative use, and I strangely overly-enjoyed calculating all of the projectiles involved. Later on in high school, I was able to participate in an invention process where our team got a grant to actually create a water treatment and transportation device.
When I got to college, I thought I was going to study actuarial science, but I soon discovered a love for the creative aspects of computer science and its ties into media technology. The community I found in the computer science department has been phenomenally supportive and has been part of my encouragement to do multiple research and internship experiences. My most motivating experience through this journey was when I was off-campus in Paris.
Now, I'm moving away from DePauw to work in software testing. I like the idea of being able to work on real products that are going to affect the way other people view technology and being able to use my own creative problem solving skills to make sure the users are getting the kind of experience they expect. I have no idea where my career will lead me through the years, but computer science and the skills I have honed through it will always be a benefit.