Distinguished Women in Science

Distinguished Women in Science Logo

The UTA College of Science Distinguished Women in Science Speaker Series was developed to show the impact women in science have had on society. We're proud to have welcomed presentations by leading women researchers from here and around the globe.

Distinguished Women in Science Speaker Series

Irene Pepperberg


3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2024 – SEIR Building Room 198

Refreshments will be served at 3 p.m.

Irene Pepperberg, Ph.D.

“Reflections on the Excitement (and Frustrations) of Science--45 Years of Research on the Intelligence of Grey Parrots”

The College of Science is proud to welcome Irene Pepperberg, adjunct research professor at Boston University and an affiliate in the Animal Behavior and Conservation Program, Hunter College, CUNY. She has held faculty positions at Harvard, Purdue University, Northwestern University, University of Arizona, MIT Media Lab (where she studied animal-human-computer interfaces), and Brandeis. For over 45 years she has trained Grey parrots to use English speech referentially, then employs this communication code to examine their intelligence. The birds score at the level of 6-8-year-old children on many of the same cognitive tasks used to test humans.

Previous Speakers and Honorees

Alexandra Navrotsky

October 20, 2023

Alexandra Navrotsky, Ph.D.

Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and the School for Engineering Matter, Transport and Energy at Arizona State University, and Director of the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe. Dr. Navrotsky was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993 and she earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago. She is an esteemed physical chemist who has made major contributions to mineralogy and geochemistry as well as to solid state chemistry and materials science. Her fields of study include ceramics, mantle mineralogy and deep earth geophysics, melt and glass science, nanomaterials and porous materials.

Jasmine Drake

March 28, 2023

Jasmine Drake, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Texas Southern University; Laboratory Coordinator of the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs Dr. Drake earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from LSU and has worked as a forensic chemist and also taught chemistry and forensic science at the high school and university levels. Her areas of specialization include crime scene investigation, controlled substance analysis, clandestine laboratories, field-testing, designer drugs, analytical chemistry, quantitative analysis, and solid-state chemistry.

April 21, 2022

Lori Glaze, Ph.D.

Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA
Maverick Science alumna, Dr. Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division, was a featured guest during Science Week and delivered a biographical overview of her work through the lenses of distinguished women in science in her own life. An Arlington, Texas native, Dr. Glaze received B.A. and M.S. degrees in Physics from UTA and earned her Ph.D. in Volcanic Eruption Plume Dynamics from Lancaster University, England.

Mary Gray Ph.d

March 8, 2022

Mary Gray, Ph.D.

Mathematician, Statistician, Lawyer and Distinguished Professor at American University
Talk title: “Statistics and Human Rights”

April 20, 2021

Drew Harvell, Ph.D.

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
Talk title: "Ocean Outbreak: Pandemics in the Ocean are Heating up with Climate Change"”

November 7, 2019

Ami Radunskaya, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics, Pomona College
Past President of the Association for Women in Mathematics
Talk title: “From Music to Mathematics to Medicine: One Woman’s Journey”

September 25, 2019

Maura Hagan, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Science, Utah State University
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Talk title: “Surfing Atmospheric Waves: Their Impact on Space and the Career of a Physicist”

March 18, 2019

Penny Beuning Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Northeastern University, Boston
Talk title: “On the Move: Protein dynamics in DNA damage responses and mutagenesis”

November 17, 2018

Cassandra McZeal, Ph.D.

Mathematician, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rice University
Talk title: “Not That Kind of Doctor: Stories of Triumph, Excellence, and Achievement in Math and Computer Science”

March 28, 2018

Kelsey McNeely, Ph.D.

Emerging Energy Sciences section head, Exxonmobil
Talk title: “Biofuels research: Genetic Engineering as a key enabler”

UTA Women in Science


Meet Minerva Cordero

"I strive to be a role model for other women and girls in mathematics."

Read about Minerva


Meet Laura Mydlarz

"I work hard to be a role model for girls so they can see that being a scientist is a real, obtainable goal."

Read about Laura

Chemistry -

Meet Kayunta Johnson Winters

"Women and girls can be attracted to STEM when we break the myth that they are not good at math and science and we introduce fun projects that will...

Read about Kayunta


Meet Majie Fan

"I have learned so much from my female role models and feel strongly that I should be a role model for other women or girls in my field."

Read about majie


Meet Nicolette Hass

"Preparing students for success, guiding their learning, growing their talents, then observing their professional transformation is both rewarding and...

Read about Nicolette


Meet Piya Ghose

"Striving to be a role model and encourage women to become involved in science is a major driver for me, and I'm so proud of my scholars so far."

Read about piya


Meet Shanna Banda

"I consider it my mission to help pave a way forward for other women in STEM, specifically mathematics. I want it to be easier for them than it was...

read about shanna


Meet Yue Deng

"An inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, which embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people, is crucial for the STEM...

Read about Yue