PROGRESS ON ALL FRONTS: The Midwest Regional SACNAS Conference at UChicago


How you can get involved:


Judge a poster

At a Glance:

Date: Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Location: 5640 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637

Mission: Create and grow a regional support network for students and professionals of marginalized identities in STEM by providing a space for networking, professional development and discussion.


All events will take place at the Eckhardt Research Center (ERC), 5640 S. Ellis Ave.

Saturday, April 28th:

7:45 am – 9:00 am: Check-In and Continental Breakfast (Lobby and Auditorium)

9:00 am – 9:15 am: Opening Introduction (Auditorium)

9:30 am – 10:30 am: Workshop/Panel Block #1

  • RM 201 – Funding and Fellowships
    • Presented by UChicagoGrad
  • RM 301 – Data Science for Non-Data-Scientists
    • Presented by Camille Avestruz
  • RM 401 – Tips and Tricks for Graduate School
    • Presented by UIC SACNAS

10:45 am – 2:15 pm: Recruitment Expo (Lobby)

Stop by and learn more about graduate programs from various institutions across the Midwest!

10:45 am – 11:45 am: Student Poster Session (Lobby)

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Nord

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm: Student Research Talks

  • RM 301 –
    • Science and the Human Condition
      • Elisa Pabon
      • Emily Caudill and Izzy Foreman-Ortiz
      • María Enid Santiago-Rodríquez
      • Margarita Ramirez
  • RM 401 
    • Science with Global Impacts
      • Keon Jones
      • Stephanie Del Rosario
      • Jacob Manlucu
      • Qixuan Hou
  • RM 501 
    • Frontiers of Basic Science
      • Claudio Gonzáles
      • Haiyang Zhu
      • Arianne Rodriguez
      • Christopher Craddock

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Workshop/Panel Block #2

  • RM 301 – Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
    • Presented by Dr. Adia Gooden
  • RM 401 – “This is What a Scientist Looks Like” Round Table Discussion
  • RM 501 – “This is What a Scientist Looks Like” Round Table Discussion

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm: Workshop/Panel Block #3

  • RM 301 – Microaggression in the Lab
    • Presented by Dr. Charee Mosby-Holloway
  • RM 401 – How to Think About an Impossible Problem 
    • Panel Discussion with Dr. Phoebe Rice, Dr. Stephen Meridith, and Dr. Stephanie Palmer
  • RM 501 – Group Discussion: Experience Sharing and Growing Together

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Dinner

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Regina Dixon-Reeves

If you have any questions or would like more information please feel free to email us at ucsacnas(at)gmail(dot)com.

Special Events:

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Brian Nord
  • Dr. Regina Dixon-Reeves

Workshops :

  • Funding and Fellowships, UChicagoGrad
  • Data Science for Non-Data-Scientists, Camille Avestruz
  • Tips and Tricks for Graduate School, UIC SACNAS
  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome, Dr. Adia Gooden
  • Microaggression in the Lab, Dr. Charee Mosby-Holloway

Panels and Discussions:

  • “This is What a Scientist Looks Like” Round Table Discussion
  • Group Discussion: Experience Sharing and Growing Together
  • How to Think About an Impossible Problem: Dr. Phoebe Rice, Dr. Stephen Meridith, and Dr. Stephanie Palmer

Our Goals:

  1. Provide professional development tools specifically tuned to the concerns of URMs, Women, Diverse abilities, LGBT students and so forth to help students transition into the next phase of their careers.
  2. Provide a venue to discuss and learn about the experiences of these marginalized identities in science technology engineering and math from undergraduate to terminal professional positions in and outside of academia.
  3. Create a collaborative and empathetic community that psychologically supports students continuing their STEM careers.

Conference Abstract:

The University of Chicago’s Midwest Regional SACNAS Conference will bring together diverse midwestern STEM professionals from every discipline and every level of education. The conference’s focus on amplifying diverse perspectives and empowering students will provide an infrastructure to support diversity and inclusion. Panels, workshops, and presentations will provide career development opportunities and skill building forums. We will host discussions about our respective journeys and how we have overcome obstacles like discrimination. By engaging in robust conversation about marginalized identities, the culture of STEM and strategies for excellence, we will create a climate of acceptance and hope. Maintaining an open, respectful and supportive space throughout will foster a climate of inclusivity. Through dialogue between a broad and diverse audience, attendees will have the opportunity to develop personally and professionally and learn how to better support the people who comprise their community.

Through this conference we are actively creating a strong network of underrepresented groups in science by engaging our surrounding communities in universities spanning the midwest. We promote collaboration and networking to strengthen our diversity and inclusion community in the Midwest. These connections could lead to new diversity and inclusion initiatives as attendees inspired and informed about the problems we face as a regional community. Likewise, we will create a new mechanism of intellectual exchange with our sister institutions. Using the University of Chicago’s power and influence to support underrepresented groups in STEM this regional SACNAS conference will set a new standard for excellence for academic diversity and inclusion work across institutions.

Also check out our Facebook event to stay up to date on Midwest Regional SACNAS Conference news.