On January 21, 2010, I had the honor of welcoming the students and experts to the District's first Dinner with the Experts. Thanks to our Community Relations Department and M.D. Anderson, as well as all those who made the Dinner a huge success.
The event is described below, and in this video:
From the Spring Branch website:
The Jan. 21 dinner and roundtable discussion program drew about 80 of young women interested in science and medical careers to the Town and Country Norris Conference Center in Houston City Centre.
For the event, students were grouped at dinner tables for easygoing question-and-answer sessions with medical doctors, researchers and scientists from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the Medical Center.
Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman organized the first-time event. It was hosted by the Community Relations Department in partnership with women doctors, researchers, professors and scientists from the cancer hospital and top-rated research facility. The program concept was conceived by the department’s Partners in Education (PIE) Advisory Board.
Keynote speaker was Dr. Carmen Escalante of M.D. Anderson, the professor and chair of general internal medicine, ambulatory treatment and emergency care. At each table, these working professionals shared personal career insights and their schooling, experiences and pathways into particular medical, science or research fields.
Numerous studies continue to show that men in science- and medical-related careers still far outnumber women. According to National Science Foundation data, women make up about 26 percent of the nation’s scientists and engineers.
"I really appreciate being invited to an event like [Dinner with the Experts]. I think it's vitally important for women who have pursued a professional career to come back and to model and to talk to women, especially young women at this age,” one M.D. Anderson participant said.
“This is a very pivotal age for young women where they're looking at the world around them and trying to decide, 'Can I even do this? Can I even have a big dream?' To hear from women like us, who have had a dream and had confidence and probably had mentors of our own who have encouraged us to go forward and handle the challenges of school and money and family and relationships. I think that means a whole lot to women in high school who are trying to make those decisions," she added.
Many of the working professionals attending “Dinner with the Experts” overcame serious issues including poverty and minority status to achieve professional success. The stories of these women are related in a recently-published book, “Legends and Legacies.”
Among M.D. Anderson experts scheduled to attend were Michelle Barton, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology; Kim-Anh Do, professor of biostatistics; Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, who is professor and chair of investigational cancer therapeutics and Anderson Clinical Faculty chair for cancer treatment and research; and Dr. Vivian Porche, professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine; Aysegul A. Sahin, who is a professor of pathology; and Jill Schumacher, associate professor of genetics.
M.D. Anderson guests also included Dr. Vickie Shannon, who is professor of pulmonary medicine; Dr. Louise C. Strong, a professor of genetics and the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Chair; Peggy T. Tinkey, associate professor and chair of veterinary medicine and surgery; Elizabeth L. Travis, associate vice president for women faculty programs, a professor of experimental radiation oncology, and the Mattie Allen Fair professor in cancer research; Stephanie S. Watowich, associate professor of immunology; and Dr. Judith K. Wolf, who is professor of gynecologic oncology.
For more information, please call the Community Relations Department at 713-251-2286.
Design by Communications Dept. Intern George Earley III