The Midwest Regional SACNAS Conference: Identity and Inclusion in STEM, Empowering Across Boundaries

How you can get involved:


Judge a poster

At a Glance:

Date: Saturday, April 6th, 2019

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 6th:

Saturday, April 6th:

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

9:00 am – 9:10 am: Opening Introduction (Auditorium)

9:20 am – 10:20 am: Workshop/Panel Block #1

  • Room  201 – Crafting Compelling Academic Applications
  • Room 219 – I Can Get a Job Doing THAT?
  • Room 247 – The Ability within the Disability

10:00 am – 12:30 pm: Recruitment Expo (Lobby)

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

10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Student Poster Session (Lobby)

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Lunch (161)

Dr. Maria Palamar

1:30 pm -2:30 pm: Keynote Speaker: Dr. Maria Palamar, Co-Founder of Resolve Conservation (161)

2:40 pm – 3:40 pm: Student Research Talks

3:50 pm – 4:50 pm: Workshop/Panel Block #2

  • RM 201 – Building your Professional Toolkit
  • RM 219 – Science Communication on Modern Media Platforms
  • RM 247 – From Student to Scientist: Making the Transition into the Real World

5:00 pm – 5:10 pm: Closing Remarks

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

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.