Diversity in STEM Summit 2020

Conference / Symposium,
Student Life
For NYU Community

At Tandon, we believe that academic excellence is inseparable from our commitment to creating a culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness. Join us for our 6th annual Diversity in STEM Summit on December 2-3, 2020 where we will explore the theme, “Inclusive Innovation: Impacting the Future of STEM.”

Inclusive innovation in STEM fields improves access and opportunities as well as the commitment to breaking down silos. If the future of work across all industries is truly meant to work for all of the employees, then it must be inclusive to all.  The COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement has led to unprecedented innovation at companies, for industry leaders, as well as in STEM education and STEM research.

This year’s Summit will do a deep dive to examine the current status of inclusive innovation in several sectors including what this all means for increasing a diverse future STEM pipeline.

  • How are industries moving forward to create a future where we imagine and build technology that mirrors the people and societies for whom they build, both locally and globally?
  • How are researchers rethinking traditional approaches in STEM disciplines that foster inclusive innovation by accelerating paths for more women and underrepresented minorities to be at the table, as well as conducting directed research that focuses on disparities in marginalized communities?
  • How do we ensure that diverse learners in K-12th grades are encouraged to become interested in STEM? What inclusive approaches can increase access and remove barriers from the STEM pipeline?

New York University and the Tandon School of Engineering provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for events and services should be submitted at least (1) week before the date of the accommodation need. Please email for assistance.

Signature Events

Wednesday, December 2

Inclusion Innovators to Watch: Changing the Mindset
12:30-2:00PM EDT

Join us to hear these STEM trailblazers conducting cutting edge COVID-19 research and making significant impacts in the STEM pipeline, as well as a leading biomedical researcher in antimicrobial resistance who will discuss the latest updates in the field.

Our three “lightning talk” presenters include a female solar energy entrepreneur harnessing the power of “community solar” and providing more affordable energy; a sustainability expert on a mission to make NYC more resilient and healthy, tackling climate change, food waste, and the green building landscape; and a female data science researcher leading the way examining whether AI is effective if it isn’t equitable and responsible. 

What are the important next steps in diversifying these fields and career paths? Those questions and more will be answered by this exciting lineup of innovators driving change.

Reimagining the Building Industry: Engineers & Architects Motivating Change
6:00-7:30PM EDT

This evening panel brings together the intersection of engineering and architecture with key individuals in both fields to answer questions such as: What is driving innovative change in the construction and building industry, and why is a collaborative relationship between engineers and architects so critical? How does diverse thought inspire innovation and strengthen the bottom line? What are examples of how diverse teams of architects and engineers have transformed communities in a way that mirrors them?

Thursday, December 3

Putting Intention into Action: Building a Diverse STEM Pipeline
6:00-7:00PM EDT

The final event of our Summit will look to the future of STEM, from K -12 through STEM doctoral programs. How should companies be responsive to supporting the STEM pipeline of women and underrepresented students, and what are the conditions needed that would put ideas into action?

Panelists from U.S. National Laboratories will discuss their mission in strengthening American security by providing expertise and innovative technology solutions for the homeland security community as well as career opportunities. They’ll also discuss how they have prioritized recruiting a diverse workforce, and what inclusive innovation looks like in their labs as they solve some of the largest scientific global challenges. 

This event will open with a featured presenter sharing how visionaries have come together in a coalition to fulfill the promise of a true working Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan to create structural changes to achieve parity, particularly in STEM fields.


Host & Moderator

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Anita Farrington is an experienced Student Affairs Administrator who has had a professional career at New York University spanning 39 years. In 2010, she assumed the role of Dean of Student Affairs at NYU-Poly where she played a key leadership role in overseeing the merger of NYU-Polytechnic School of Engineering. In her current role, Dean Farrington works to ensure that students have full access to services and resources at the Washington Square Campus, but most importantly, she is committed to making sure that they have a strong Tandon identity through community building and programming initiatives.

She began her career at the NYU Stern School of Business, where she served as Director of MBA Academic Advisement and Director of Diversity Admissions. She then assumed the role of Dean of Freshmen at the NYU College of Arts and Science for many years. Her personal interests are in the arts, especially classic and contemporary jazz, and in supporting female and artists of color.

Featured Speakers

Inclusion Innovators to Watch: Changing the Mindset

Kristal Hansley is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WeSolar. She began the role of CEO in May 2020.

As CEO, Kristal brings affordable and accessible community solar energy to under-resourced communities who historically faced environmental injustices. She also assists commercial properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and plans to expand throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

In Maryland, lawmakers recently passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2050. Kristal is a disrupter who advocates that communities of color and low-income communities be included in this shift and have a healthy environment in the future.

Before founding WeSolar, Kristal was the Director of Government and Community Relations for Neighborhood Sun, a leading solar energy enterprise in Maryland, from 2018 to 2020. In this role, Kristal was the liaison between solar energy developers and families with low-to-moderate-income in Baltimore. Hansley built organic relationships with city leaders and increased the number of subscribers to MD’s Community Solar Pilot program that allocates energy savings credits toward their electricity bills. In turn, she helped thousands of families save hundreds annually on their utility bills.

Before transitioning to the solar industry, Kristal worked on Capitol Hill, where she served as a Community Affairs Program Manager for U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and the Program Manager for the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative at the Office of the Majority Leader Harry Reid. She was chosen as the 2010 Howard University Legislative Fellow at Senator Harry Reid’s Office.

Kristal is on the Steering Committee for Baltimore’s People Climate Movement; on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Baptist Aged Home; on the Board of Directors for Dad’s United Organization; and on the Board of Directors for Freedom Advocates Celebrating Ex Offenders, Inc.

Kristal is a proud alumna of Howard University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and of the Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Brooklyn, New York. She is a daughter of Brooklyn, New York, but is grateful for the village of community leaders in Baltimore who welcomed her with open arms.

Kristal is a classically trained pianist, opera singer, and a proud dog mom to her mini poodle Jade.
John Mandyck joined Urban Green Council in 2018 as its first-ever CEO. He capped a 25-year career as Chief Sustainability Officer for United Technologies Corporation, a Fortune 45 global leader in the building, aerospace and food refrigeration industries. He also serves as a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Business. John is the founding chair of the Corporate Advisory Board for the World Green Building Council, a former board chair of Urban Green, and co-author of the book Food Foolish.
Jin Kim Montclare in lab
Jin Kim Montclare is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, who is performing groundbreaking research in engineering proteins to mimic nature and, in some cases, work better than nature. She works to customize artificial proteins with the aim of targeting human disorders, drug delivery and tissue regeneration as well as create nanomaterials for electronics. Using multidisciplinary expertise in chemistry and genetic engineering, these results have already been realized.

Prior to joining NYU-Tandon, Montclare was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Fordham University in 1997, a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from Yale University in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
Among her many honors and awards are the AAAS Leshner Fellowship, AIMBE Fellow, ACS Rising Star Award, Agnes Faye Morgan Research Award from Iota Sigma Pi, Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering Fellowship, American Chemical Society PROGRESS /Dreyfus Lectureship, the Dreyfus Special Grants Program Award, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, the Wechsler Award for Excellence, the Othmer Junior Fellow Award, the National Institute’s of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship.

Montclare is the author of numerous papers for refereed journals, colloquia, and seminars and holds several patents.

She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, the Biophysical Society, the Materials Research Society, the Biochemical Society, the Protein Society and American Association of Cancer Research, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
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Julia Stoyanovich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Center for Data Science. She is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award and of an NSF/CRA CI Fellowship. Julia's research focuses on responsible data management and analysis practices: on operationalizing fairness, diversity, transparency, and data protection in all stages of the data acquisition and processing lifecycle. She established the Data, Responsibly consortium, and serves on the New York City Automated Decision Systems Task Force (by appointment by Mayor de Blasio). In addition to data ethics, Julia works on management and analysis of preference data, and on querying large evolving graphs. She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University, and a B.S. in Computer Science and in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Headshot of Muhammad Zaman
Muhammad Hamid Zaman is Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. A major research theme in his lab focuses on developing solutions to improve access to quality care in low income settings, including in refugee settlements.

In addition to over 130 peer-reviewed research articles, he has also authored two books for broad audiences. His first book, Bitter Pills (Oxford University Press, 2018), looks at the global challenge of substandard and counterfeit drugs. His second book Biography of Resistance (Harper Collins, 2020), is focused on global antimicrobial resistance. It is a story of science and evolution that looks to history, culture, attitudes, our own individual choices and collective human behavior in creating one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.

Professor Zaman has also developed research and education programs focusing on refugee health at Boston University. He co-founded the university wide initiative on forced displacement in collaboration with academic, public and private sector partners in Lebanon, Uganda and Colombia.

Professor Zaman has written extensively on innovation, refugee and global health in newspapers around the world. His newspaper columns have appeared in over 30 countries and have been translated into eight languages. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and research, the most recent being Guggenheim Fellowship (2020) for his work on antibiotic resistance in refugee camps.

Reimagining the Building Industry: Engineers and Architects Sparking Inclusive Innovation

Christine P. Davie is a Senior Consultant in Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy market offering where she skillfully leads her clients in the areas of business transformation, workplace strategies, and operations improvement. In this role, Christine also co-leads the Women in Infrastructure and Real Estate (WIRE) initiative, a program that supports the advancement and success of women practitioners in the Real Estate industry through networking, industry eminence development, and mentorship. Prior to joining Deloitte, Christine was a Construction Engineer at Clark Construction where she scoped, priced, and drafted contracts for various trades valued at up to $8M each.
Christine attended the NYU Tandon School of Engineering as a recipient of the Turner Construction, Links, Inc., NACME, and NYU-Poly Promise Scholarship, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. While at NYU, Christine was an active leader in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), an organization dedicated to increasing the diversity and retention of minorities in STEM fields. In the NYU NSBE chapter, Christine held positions such as Membership Chairperson, External, and Internal Vice President, and planned the inaugural Women Excelling Avidly and Leading Through Habit (W.E.A.L.T.H) Luncheon in 2013 – an event which has continued every year since then.
Today, in addition to her professional work, Christine continues to promote the wellness and success of women and young girls through her involvement in several organizations. She is currently a member of the NYU Tandon Alumnae Advisory Counsel, serves her community through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated, and was recently nominated to join the Board of Directors of House of Ruth DC, a non-profit created to help women and children overcome homelessness and domestic violence.
Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, diversity, sustainability and the future of cities. In her current role as the 2019-2020 national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she is working closely with her board of directors and staff to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building profession. Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned from architecture to government and teaching to real estate development. Kimberly is currently a Principal in the Chicago studio of HOK, a global design firm. She is a LEED accredited professional, a co-founder of the SEED Network and an AIA 2020 Young Architect of the Year awardee. Kimberly was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business and Crain’s Chicago Business as a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities.
John Rice is a Professional Mechanical Engineer with over 35-years’ experience in the consulting engineering field, specializing in innovative, leading-edge, sustainable solutions for the built environment. John is President & Principal of Legacy Engineers, a mechanical & electrical consulting engineering firm with a goal is to be a national, best-in-class, MBE engineering firm; and to champion more African Americans in the Engineering field.
John is a sustainable design expert and is recognized for his leadership skills and his passion for engineering. He applies out-of-the-box thinking and cutting-edge technologies to integrate modern engineering systems within traditional building architecture. He has vast experience in designing high performance HVAC systems for both new construction and renovations and across all building market sectors. His designs have incorporated innovative sustainable features such as local climate-adaptive systems, geothermal heat pump systems, renewable energy, and rainwater harvest systems.
He is a board member of the Urban Green Council and a Past -President of the NY Chapter of ASHRAE.

Putting Intention into Action: Building a Diverse STEM Pipeline

Dr. Lisa M. Coleman is New York University’s (NYU) inaugural Senior VP for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation and in the role serves as the institutions’ Chief Diversity Officer. Reporting to the President, Dr. Coleman works with Deans, internal stakeholders, external partners, and constituents to advance, promote and build capacity for strategic global inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging, and innovation initiatives across NYU globally and this includes New, York, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, and NYU’s other thirteen sites, and numerous global centers. Prior to NYU, Dr. Coleman served as the first Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President at Harvard University, 2010-2017, and during her tenure, she and her team developed some of the first initiatives focused on the intersections of technology, disability, and access.

Dr. Coleman’s scholarly work was sparked by early professional and research experiences including working with the Association of American Medical Colleges, Merrill Lynch Inc., and as an independent computer and analytics consultant with various for-profit organizations. Dr. Coleman has spent 20+ years working with numerous colleges and universities, for-profit, and non-profit organizations on leadership, global inclusion and diversity (GID), innovation and technology initiatives. These include, and are not limited to, collaborations with global stakeholders and university partners in New Zealand, South Africa, China, Thailand, UK, and Germany. Prior to NYU and Harvard, she directed the Africana program at Tufts University, and was later appointed to serve as that institution’s first senior global inclusion & diversity executive working with the C-Suite executives and reporting to the President of the university. Currently, Dr. Coleman continues to advise and consult with C-Suite leaders globally and sits on various national and international boards. Her current research focuses on the intersections of innovation, inclusion, science and technology, art and humanities, data analytics and digitization for diverse cultures globally.
Dr. Coleman is the recipient of numerous awards, recognitions, and honors for her outstanding leadership and teaching efforts, and for her work on diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity, and innovation globally. Dr. Coleman earned her doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies from NYU, and three master’s degrees from the Ohio State University in African and African American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and also in Communication Studies. Her undergraduate foci were sociology/anthropology and computer science.
Dr. Karl W. Reid was named executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) on June 2, 2014, marking his return to the organization that gave him his first major leadership experience, 32 years earlier. For the past 22 years, he’s been a leading advocate for increasing college access, opportunity and success for low-income and minority youth.

Dr. Reid came to NSBE from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where he oversaw new program development, research and capacity building for the organization’s 37 historically black colleges and universities and held the title of senior vice president for research, innovation and member college engagement. Before his service at UNCF, he worked in positions of progressive responsibility to increase diversity at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which he left as associate dean of undergraduate education and director of the Office of Minority Education. While working at MIT as Director of Engineering Outreach Programs, Dr. Reid earned his Doctor of Education degree at Harvard University. His dissertation explored the interrelationship of race, identity and academic achievement. He is the author of Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College…and Life.

Dr. Reid was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and grew up in Roosevelt, N.Y., a mostly working-class, African American community on Long Island. The high value his parents placed on education, and his admission to a well-resourced, magnet high school near Roosevelt, put him on a track to follow his older brother to MIT, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in materials science and engineering and was a Tau Beta Pi Scholar. He credits his membership in the NSBE chapter at MIT with giving a vital boost to his self-confidence and leadership skills. He joined the Society during his freshman year, was elected chapter vice president his junior year and subsequently served as NSBE national chairperson.
Terrence Buck joined the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 2017 from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) as a Sr. Inclusion & Diversity Consultant. After a year and a half in that role, he became the new Sr. Talent Acquisition Diversity Lead. Working in this position he helped to improve the number of diverse candidates applying to INL and being hired to INL. Now Terrence is the new Talent Acquisition Manager. He is a strategic leader who develops, mentors, and supports the members of the Recruiting (TA) team to enable INL to attract, onboard, and retain talented employees. He serves as a member of the HR leadership management team responsible for developing HR strategies and initiatives and integrating those talent acquisition initiatives with the lab-wide activities, initiatives, and goals, such as the annual Lab Plan, Lab Agenda, Performance Evaluation & Measurement Plan (PEMP) deliverables and reporting for the HR Directorate. He is a team-centric leader with the ability to maintain composure under pressure; a strong presence of integrity; open communication and ethical discernment.
Barbara Harrison has over 15 years of experience as a Recruiter, 9 of which have been in the human resources. As the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner, she leads PPPL’s equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. This includes developing and overseeing PPPL’s diversity and inclusion plan to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. She is in charge of promoting diversity through learning and development and employee resource groups, and works with PPPL’s research staff to recruit and maintain more diverse post-doctoral staff as a pipeline to the future workforce. Barbara holds a BA degree from Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ.
Mr. Jahi Simbai is the Senior Manager, Workforce Strategy and Development, in Human Resources. In this role, Jahi partners across NREL to build an integrated strategy and plan for the “Workforce of the Future,” primarily focusing on internship and post-doctoral programs. Prior to NREL, Jahi was the Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Studies at Colorado School of Mines. Earlier in his career, Jahi worked as a structural analyst for Ball Aerospace. Jahi holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.