Women of Color: ImpACTing STEM’s Past, Present, and Future

Tuesday Morning Keynote

Tuesday, June 13
8:00pm - 9:15pm - Westminster III & IV

The impact and influence of women of color in STEM is profound. Their history in STEM, however, is not well known or well documented. For centuries, women of color have made innovative and transformative contributions to engineering, the life sciences, and yes, even to space exploration; yet their stories and their contributions often go unacknowledged. The bestselling book and movie, Hidden Figures, has drawn national and global attention to this important fact. Indisputably, the history of STEM is filled with people, companies, and technologies that have literally changed the world. Women of color were there, are there, and will continue to be there.

We have invited a phenomenal group of women in STEM from Academia, Industry, Government, and Non-Profit to engage in an open conversation about the participation of Women of Color in STEM. They will go beyond the numbers and highlight the successes, barriers, and challenges women of color continue to face. Finally, they will extend a call to ACTion. Join us—you don’t want to miss this important conversation.

Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, Ph.D.

Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse is the President and founder of HISPA, Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to proactively encouraging students’ success by recruiting, supporting and coordinating Latino professionals’ participation in educational programs in the communities where they live and work. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her support of Latino youth including the a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” given by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2015). Dr. Díaz-Claisse’s professional background includes a 10-year career with AT&T Labs as an Operations Research Analyst supporting network capacity planning initiatives by providing expertise in data analysis, optimization and forecasting. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico; a Masters in Engineering in Operations Research from Cornell University, a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Arizona State University.


Patty Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Patty Lopez is a Senior Platform Applications Engineer at Intel Corporation, working with customers to deliver Xeon server chip solutions that power high end data centers and mission critical applications. Prior to joining Intel in 2008, she spent 19 years as an Imaging Scientist for Hewlett Packard, creating and transferring technology in imaging products. She has released over fifty products and holds seven imaging patents. She earned her BS (with honors), MS, and PhD in Computer Science from New Mexico State University (NMSU). Her research interests include CS education, E-textiles, and wearable computing. Her volunteer efforts are focused on building the STEM pipeline for K-16 and beyond, and creating an inclusive organizational culture in the workplace.


Lindsey Malcom-Piquieux, Ph.D.
University of Southern California

Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux is the Associate Director for Research and Policy at the Center for Urban Education in the USC Rossier School of Education. She also holds a part-time faculty appointment in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. Dr. Malcom-Piqueux’s primary interest centers on postsecondary access and success for minoritized women and men in STEM fields. Her research includes the educational experiences and outcomes of students of color at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, predominantly Black institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Tribal Colleges. Dr. Malcom-Piqueux received her Ph.D. in Urban Education with an emphasis on Higher Education from the University of Southern California, and her M.S. and S.B. in Planetary Science from Caltech and MIT, respectively.


Shirly Montero Quesada, Ph.D.
University of Colorado at Boulder

Dr. Montero Quesada is a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Previously a Forensic Chemist and Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, she followed her interest in human learning and decision-making processes and is now working towards her doctorate in computer science. She has an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Costa Rica, a master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Florida International University.


Renetta Tull, Ph.D.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Renetta Tull is Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Director for the 12-institution University System of Maryland’s (USM) PROMISE AGEP. She serves the USM as Special Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Director of Graduate & Professional Pipeline Development. An international speaker on global diversity in STEM, Tull has led discussions in India, Taiwan, Korea, Dubai, Italy, and Australia. She also co-led Puerto Rico’s ADVANCE Hispanic Women in STEM project, and the Women in STEM forum for the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) and the Organization of American States. Tull earned the BSEE from Howard University, and the MSEE and Ph.D. in Speech Science from Northwestern University. She has had traditional and engineering research center faculty roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center at Carnegie Mellon/University of Pittsburgh


DiOnetta Jones Crayton
Massachusetts Institute of Technology ~ Panel Facilitator

DiOnetta Jones Crayton serves as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Office of Minority Education Director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her role has worked to promote the retention and success of students from all backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented minority groups. She has acquired positions with several educational and technical organizations across the nation and holds affiliations with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dean Crayton received her MA in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. In July, 2016, Dean Crayton began a second two-year term on WEPAN's Board of Directors.