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College of Science & Engineering


The inaugural TCU STEM & Culture Symposium will focus on the theme “Embrace Your Story: Bringing Your Whole Self to STEM.” The virtual event will be held Friday, April 9 from 2-4 p.m. CST via Zoom. The symposium is open to students, faculty, staff.

STEM and Culture advertisement
Virtual event

The disparities that occur when studying or being employed in a STEM field are complicated and demonstrate a need for social change. The symposium is intended to provide exemplars for students who challenge the idea that their personal identities should be separate from their professions as scientists and engineers. The vision of the event is to create a diverse and inclusive STEM field, where people are encouraged to bring their whole selves – including all personal identities to their profession.

A pre-symposium cultural exposition will allow students to express aspects of their culture through an artistic medium such as visual arts, music, dance, or spoken word. Three students will be chosen to present their artistic piece during the virtual symposium. All eligible student entries will be highlighted on social media. The cultural exposition is an opportunity to encourage sharing and learning about one’s and others’ cultures while highlighting talented students.           

During concurrent sessions, a diverse group of professionals in various STEM fields will present their research and discuss their journey to their career and the influence of culture on their work. Each concurrent session will include a breakout session and time for Q&A. During the breakout sessions, attendees will have an opportunity to meet in small groups to introduce themselves and discuss prompts related to working in the STEM field. Submit to the Cultural Expo by March 19.

The symposium is sponsored by the Inclusive Excellence Fund and College of Science & Engineering as well as various student organizations including the Chemistry Club, Minority Association of Pre-medical Students, Native and Indigenous Student Association, and the TCU Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. The event committee includes Laura Luque, instructor of biology, Community Scholars mentor, curriculum chair for STEM Scholars, global health coordinator for the TCU Pre-Health Professions Institute; Scott Langston, instructor of religion, TCU Native American Nations and Communities Liaison; and Sophia Garcia, instructor of biology, CSE College Diversity Advocate, STEM Scholar Mentor/Advisory Board.

Track  1

Speaker 1: Dr. Danika Franks, TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, STEM Field: Medicine
Speaker 2: Dr. Kathy DeerInWater (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Chief Program Officer, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (STEM Field: Native STEM Education; Ecology)

Track 2

Speaker 1: Dr. Floyd Wormley, Jr., TCU Research and Graduate Studies, STEM Field: Microbiology
Speaker 2: Mrs. Maria Azucena Nunez, Lockheed Martin, STEM Field: Systems Engineering

Tracks run concurrently (Speakers 1 will both speak at the same time; Speakers 2 will both speak at the same time). You may register for one or both tracks.


  • Dr. Kathy DeerInWaterDr. Kathy DeerInWater (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)
    Chief Program Officer
    American Indian Science and Engineering Society
    STEM Field: Native STEM Education; Ecology
  • Dr. Danika FranksDr. Danika Franks
    TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
    STEM Field: Medicine
  • Ms. Maria Azucena NunezMrs. Maria Azucena Nunez
    Lockheed Martin
    STEM Field: Systems Engineering
  • Dr. Floyd Wormley, Jr.Dr. Floyd Wormley, Jr.
    TCU Research and Graduate Studies
    STEM Field: Microbiology