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.

Jordan Dodson

Senior Jordan Dodson is double-majoring in computer science and information science within the UNC School of Information and Library Science. She is a research assistant in the Interactive Information System Laboratory. Her research focuses on how collaborative agents like chatbots can assist people in their information-seeking processes.

Ariana Rivens

Senior Ariana Rivens is an undergraduate researcher within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences majoring in psychology and neuroscience, with minors in social and economic justice and history. She is also a McNair Scholar. Her research focuses on the risk and resiliency of marginalized racial and ethnic populations as they react to and cope with stress.

Abby Gancz

Junior Abby Gancz is an undergraduate researcher studying biostatistics within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and anthropology within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Within the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, she focuses on integrating new digitization and modeling technologies into archaeology and understanding how researchers and educational institutions can utilize them.

Johna Register-Mihalik

Johna Register-Mihalik is an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She is also a research scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. Her research focuses on the prevention, education, consequences, and clinical management of recreation- and sport-related traumatic brain injury.

Catherine Chen

Catherine Chen is a PhD student in the Department of Biology within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Karin Pfennig Lab. Her research focuses on how visual and auditory signals affect the mating decisions of female spadefoot toads.

Katrina Morgan

Katrina Morgan is a fourth-year PhD candidate studying mathematics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research is motivated by General Relativity, which says our universe bends near massive bodies like planets or black holes and becomes flat away from them. She examines how light waves decay on a variety of spacetimes that are curved, but become flat far away in space.

Nicole Gardner-Neblett

Nicole Gardner-Neblett is an advanced research scientist with the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She is also a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on investigating factors that promote children’s language and literacy development.

Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is the founding director of Carolina Demography, a research consulting service at the Carolina Population Center. Her research focuses on informing decisions at local, state, and national levels through analyzing demographic data on topics like where and why people move, educational attainment and employment rates, and the housing market.

Teresa Edwards

Teresa Edwards is the assistant director for survey research within The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC. She conducts web and mail surveys for principal investigators within and outside the university, teaches within the graduate Certification Program in Survey Methodology, and provides survey research consultations to faculty, staff, and students across campus.

Yaiza Canzani

Yaiza Canzani is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding the behavior of wave functions that solve Schrodinger’s equation — the mathematical formulation for studying the energy levels of quantum mechanical systems like atoms.