Women in Science Wednesdays

While women fill close to half of all jobs in the United States, they hold less than 25 percent of positions within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Even as college-educated women have increased their share in the overall workforce, our country’s science and technology sectors continue to lack a female presence.

To help close this gap, UNC research is sharing their stories — from the depths of the ocean to the crest of a mountain, with projects that impact our state, the nation, and the world. Carolina’s female scientists from all areas of STEM are making waves in the world of research. Join us each week as our scientists share their unique perspectives on the rigors of research, and advice for other women in their fields.

Vicki Mercer

Vicki Mercer is an associate professor of physical therapy in the UNC School of Medicine and director of the Human Movement Science Curriculum. She is also a clinical physical therapist for the Division of Physical Therapy’s faculty practice in Hillsborough. Her research focuses on balance and motor control with patients undergoing neurological and geriatric rehabilitation.

Jeliyah Clark

Senior Jeliyah Clark is an undergraduate researcher studying environmental health sciences within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a Chancellor’s Science Scholar, McNair Scholar, and undergraduate research assistant in the Fry lab. Her research focuses on the impacts of human exposure to environmental contaminants.

Adrienne Erickcek

Adrienne Erickcek is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. As a theoretical cosmologist, she researches dark matter, dark energy, and the evolution of the universe shortly after the Big Bang.

Casey Berger

Casey Berger is a PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow and a William Neal Reynolds Fellow within The Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows. She uses high-performance computing to simulate interactions between particles to understand situations that arose in the early universe — and still occur inside our atoms, stars, and special materials like superconductors.