WISE Speakers

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Dr. Sally Pasion

December 10, 2019
"From Deficits to Possibilities -Mentoring Lessons from Plants on Cultivating Individual Growth through Environmental Assessment and Optimization" by Beronda L. Montgomery
Host: College of Science & Engineering

Dr. Sally Pasion from Biology will be hosting a Journal Club. The article is by Beronda Montgomery and discusses mentoring practices.

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Cassandra Extavour

December 06, 2019
"Strategies for managing the 'invisible work' of having minority identities in STEM"
Host: College of Science & Engineering

Dr. Cassandra Extavour, a Canadian geneticist, researcher of organismic and evolutionary biology, professor of molecular and cell biology at Harvard University.

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Prof. Tejal Desai

November 12, 2019
"Nanostructured Biomaterials for Therapeutic Delivery"
Host: College of Science & Engineering

Prof. Tejal Desai is the Ernest L. Prien Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focusses on micro and nanofabrication techniques to create new devices for drug and cell delivery as well as biomaterials for cell and tissue regeneration. She is a fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering and the inaugural director of the UCSF Engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative Health Innovation Via Engineering. Among her many contributions to research, leadership, and education, Prof. Desai’s laboratory recently developed an implantable drug delivery device that spares glaucoma patients from daily medicated eye drops. 

In her talk, Prof. Desai will discuss her most recent work in developing nanostructured materials for protein and cell-based delivery as well as injectable micro/nanoscale materials for the modulation of fibrosis and immune activation. By gaining a better understanding of how small scale topographies influence biological micro-environments, she envisions that platforms may be designed for applications in therapeutic delivery and tissue regeneration.

Lunch will be provided.

Please click here to RSVP by Friday, Nov 8, 2019 or scan this QR Code.

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Emily Kirsch

September 23, 2019
"Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital in Clean Technology"
Host: College of Science & Engineering

Emily Kirsch is the Founder and CEO of Powerhouse, Founder and Managing Partner of Powerhouse Ventures and the host of the podcast Watt it Takes. Powerhouse backs entrepreneurs building the future of energy. At Powerhouse, Emily builds strategic connections between entrepreneurs, corporations, and venture capital to enable an energy system that is decarbonized, decentralized, democratized and digitized.

Emily serves on the Advisory Boards of Renu Ventures and USF’s Master’s of Science in Energy Systems Management. Emily also serves on the World Economic Forum’s Advanced Energy Technologies Council and is on the board of Station A.

In 2017 Emily received the Entrepreneurship Award from C3E, a partnership between the United States Department of Energy, Stanford, and MIT to highlight women’s leadership in clean energy. In 2019 Emily was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Her work has been cited in Bloomberg, The Guardian, TechCrunch, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. Emily has guest lectured at UC Berkeley and Stanford. Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Francisco State University.

Please RSVP by Thursday, September 19

 RSVP Here!

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Dr. Paula Stephan

April 08, 2019
"Gender in Science"
Host: College of Science & Engineering, Phi Beta Kappa and Department of Economics

Paula Stephan is professor of economics, Georgia State University and a research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research focuses on the economics of science and the careers of scientists and engineers. Recent work examines how bibliometric measures discourage risk taking in science, the relationship between international mobility and scientific productivity, how gender pairing between student and advisor relates to the productivity of PhD recipients and the economics of the postdoctoral position. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and member of the Board of Reviewing Editors, Science. She was named ScienceCareers’ first Person of the Year in 2012. Stephan is a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year.

 RSVP Here!

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Susan Carlson, Ph.D. and Barbara L. E. Walker, Ph.D.

December 03, 2018
"The Promise of Diverse Scientific Teams: Theory and Praxis"

Susan Carlson, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs
The University of California
Office of the President




Barbara L. E. Walker, Ph.D.

Director, Research Development, Social Sciences
Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives
UC Santa Barbara


WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Dr. Carol Muller

September 13, 2018
"Mentoring for Equity: Opportunities and Dilemmas"

As Executive Director of WISE Ventures, Carol Muller joins with individuals and organizations at Stanford to amplify the impact of programs, research, and other projects to advance equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and works collaboratively to enhance existing and establish new initiatives to meet needs aligned with this mission for Stanford University. She also provides executive support for Stanford’s Faculty Women’s Forum and serves as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Coupling leadership experience across a wide range of responsibilities in higher education with entrepreneurial skills honed through her work in engineering education, she founded MentorNet in 1997, a nonprofit online global mentoring network supporting diversity in science and engineering, serving as its chief executive until 2008. Her prior work includes service as consulting professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, as associate dean for administration at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College (where she co-founded the Dartmouth Women in Science Project and the Dartmouth Project for Teaching Engineering Problem-Solving), and as department manager for Stanford’s Electrical Engineering department.

A Fellow of the Association for Women in Science, her work has been recognized with national awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. She has authored and presented numerous papers, presentations, and workshops, and has created projects, programs, and fellowships developed with funding from private foundations, corporations, and the federal government, contracts, and individuals. She earned a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in education administration and policy analysis at Stanford University.

Please click below to RSVP by Monday, September 10.


WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Dr. Jan Randall

May 2, 2018
“Discoveries in Animal Behavior by a Woman Field Biologist”

Dr. Jan Randall will present some highlights of her research along with a discussion of the role of women of her generation in pioneering careers in science.

RSVP link here

Event Flyer

WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Kelly Mack

March 15, 2018

Dr. Kelly Mack is the Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope, a non-profit organization focusing on undergraduate STEM education reform, at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  Prior to joining AAC&U, Dr. Mack was the Senior Program Director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program while on loan from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) where, as a Professor of Biology, she taught courses in Physiology and Endocrinology for 17 years. 

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WISE Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Neda Nobari

February 19, 2018
"Balance and Harmony in Science and Culture"
Host: Carmen Domingo, Interim Dean of College of Science and Engineering, and Elahe Enssani, Associate Professor of Engineering

Ms. Neda Nobari, 2017 SF State Commencement Speaker, is an alumna of the Computer Science program (1984) and a generous donor. She has had a very interesting and successful career. She will share her career experiences with us.

Learn more about Neda Nobari