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.

Cheng Cao

Cheng Cao is a PhD student studying geological sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding Earth’s evolution over time, as well as the chemical processes that take place on the planet’s surface.

Rachel Willis

Rachel Willis is a professor of American studies, global studies, and economics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how sea-level rise, drought, and increased storm severity threaten port communities, influence migration, alter global food sheds, and impact future access to work through complex water connections related to infrastructure for global freight transportation.

Joyce Tan

As chief of research strategy, Joyce Tan is responsible for the development and implementation of research strategy for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. She works with leadership throughout campus to facilitate interdisciplinary research programs and to grow the university’s global reputation, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. She also promotes research partnerships with external public and private organizations.

Gabi Stein

Gabi Stein is a rising junior majoring in computer science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and has spent the past semester studying abroad in China through UNC Global. She will head to Ireland for a summer internship in June. Her research interests include mathematical modeling, public health, and education.

Kashika Sahay

Kashika Sahay is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests include gender equity, reproductive health outcomes, women’s empowerment, and violence prevention. In March, she successfully defended her dissertation on family planning among couples in urban Nigeria. She graduates this weekend and is already working as a contractor for the CDC in Atlanta.