Women in Science Lecture Series

Woman with pipette set - text reads: This series highlights the innovations and contributions from women in science here at the University of Illinois. Lectures take place once a month in the University of Illinois Archives (Main Library Room 146) or over Zoom. Register below for zoom links. Find links to the recordings of past lectures below.


The University of Illinois Archives is hosting a monthly Women in Science Lecture Series that will feature speakers from across the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s diverse and
multidisciplinary scientific enterprise. The lecture series seeks to highlight the important innovations and contributions of women in the sciences at the University of Illinois, and center the importance of documenting women scientists and engineers to create a diverse and inclusive archival record.

This lecture series is now hybrid and will take place at the University Archives, Main Library Room 146, or over zoom once a month from noon to one pm CT. Please view our schedule and registration links below.

Spring 2024


February 8, 2024

Speaker: Dr. May Berenbaum

Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology, Dr. Berenbaum will discuss her research on the biochemical, genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and plants and how she applies her knowledge to help develop sustainable management practices for natural and agricultural communities. She also will talk about her extensive public outreach programs she has developed.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/de397d00-fc2b-013c-4d2c-02d0d7bfd6e4-0




March 7, 2024

Speaker: Dr. Karrie Karahalios

Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Karahalios will present her research on the relationship between computing and society, algorithmic bias, and AI.

Link to Lecture: Coming Soon




April 11, 2024

Speaker: Dr. Marni Boppart

Professor and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Kinesiology and Community Health, Dr. Boppart will share her research on and development of new therapies for creating muscle regrowth after disuse.

Link to Lecture: Coming Soon




May 9, 2024

Speaker: Sana Saboowala

Sana Saboowala, Ph.D. candidate, School of Integrative Biology, will share her research on how lived experiences impact the body with a specific focus on epigenetics and gene expression in South Asian Americans.

Link to Lecture: Coming Soon


Fall 2023


October 12, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Donna J. Cox

Michael Aiken Chair Emerita and Professor Emerita of Art & Design, Dr. Donna Cox will share her career as the former Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the  National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and her research on scientific visualizations.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/3186e420-9d09-013c-4aba-02d0d7bfd6e4-c


Professional Headshot

November 16, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Sayeepriyadarshini “Sayee” Anakk

Associate Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Dr. Anakk will discuss her research on how bile acids and nuclear receptors affect liver metabolism and liver disease.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/df615270-fc2b-013c-4d2c-02d0d7bfd6e4-e


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December 7, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Ann-Perry Witmer

Senior Research Scientist at the Applied Research Institute, Dr. Witmer will share her research on designing technologies that align with the knowledge, people, place and time of societies, on contextual process methodology, and her work on designing drinking-water systems.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/d956ee50-fc2b-013c-4d2c-02d0d7bfd6e4-1


Past Lectures:

You can find each speaker’s lecture under their description or you can access all past lectures at this link: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/collections/4fe01460-e960-0138-74c9-02d0d7bfd6e4-0

Fall 2022

Professional HeadshotOctober 13, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Imanni Sheppard

Assistant Teaching Professor and Co-Director of Bioethics and Medical Humanities thread at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Sheppard  will discuss her work in developing medical humanities and medical anthropology curricula and her work with community based participatory research.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/61d9f460-6f6e-013b-43a3-02d0d7bfd6e4-8


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November 10, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Monica Fabiani

Professor of Psychology, Dr. Fabiani will share her research on cognitive neuroscience, the neurophysiology of aging and non-invasive mapping of human brain function.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/63006b10-6f6e-013b-43a3-02d0d7bfd6e4-3


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December 8, 2022

Speaker: Clarion Mendes

Clinical Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Science, Mendes will present on her work on speech-language pathology and gender affirming communication for transgender individuals.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/60edbc40-6f6e-013b-43a3-02d0d7bfd6e4-6

Spring 2023

February 9, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Decker French

Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Dr. French will discuss her work on how galaxies evolve over time and co-evolve with their supermassive blackholes.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/3285a090-d55d-013b-46a1-02d0d7bfd6e4-0


Headshot of Heidi (woman wearing scarf and glasses)March 9, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Heidi Imker

Director of Research Data Service and Associate Professor at the University Library, Dr. Imker will discuss research as a modus operandi

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/7b612ed0-5707-013c-4971-02d0d7bfd6e4-a


April 13, 2023

Speaker: Molly Hathaway Goldstein

Teaching Assistant Professor and Product Design Lab Director, Dr. Goldstein will share her research on student-designer trade off decisions and design actions and thinking.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/abfa9050-620f-013c-4a0e-02d0d7bfd6e4-b



May 11, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Isabella Condotta

Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences, Dr. Condotta will discuss her research on reducing animal stress and improving their well-being and the use of technologies to study animal behavior

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/aac8d450-620f-013c-4a0e-02d0d7bfd6e4-8



Fall 2021

September 14, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Margarita Terán-Garcia

Assistant Dean for Integrated Health Disparities Programs and Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Terán will share her research on obesity including genetic and environmental influences on obesity and diseases related to obesity.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/d274ea70-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-a


October 12, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Patricia Gregg

Associate Professor of Geology, Dr. Gregg will discuss her research on volcanic systems and volcano evolution on land, on the seafloor and on other worlds.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/e113f150-6285-013a-c212-02d0d7bfd6e4-3


November 9, 2021

Speaker: Professor Colleen Bushell

Associate Director of Healthcare Innovation, Professor Colleen Bushell will present on her interdisciplinary approach to research in computing and healthcare, especially on analyzing genetic data.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/cd3fdb70-6285-013a-c212-02d0d7bfd6e4-c


Spring 2022

February 8, 2022


Speakers: MakerGirl Leadership Team: Mary Hadley, Elizabeth Engele, and Julia Haried

The Leadership Team from MakerGirl will talk about the mission and history of MakerGirl. They will also discuss their own experiences that led them to want to help girls engage with STEM disciplines in meaningful ways.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/7ae2c320-3b6c-013b-c89b-02d0d7bfd6e4-7

Wednesday March 9, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Deanna Hence 

Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Dr. Hence will discuss her research on tropical meteorology as well as scientific communications and policies for the public.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/7a470860-3b6c-013b-c89b-02d0d7bfd6e4-4


Special Women’s History Month Event: Picture a Scientist Panel, March 31, 2022

Join the University of Illinois Archives for a virtual panel reflecting on the film Picture a Scientist on Thursday March 31, 2022 from 2 – 3 pm.

Our panel will feature

Dr. Brenda Molano-Flores, Senior Plant Ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey

Erin Kerby, Veterinary Medicine Life Sciences Librarian

Janis Shearer, Public Services and Engagement Librarian

Bethany Anderson, Natural and Applied Sciences Archivist

Dr. Teri Chettiar, Assistant Professor of History

Moderated by Cindy Ingold, Gender Studies & Multicultural Services Librarian

The film will not be shown at the panel so please view it beforehand. If you are affiliated with the University of Illinois, it is available online through the library catalog. For those not affiliated with the University of Illinois, you can view it at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/picture-a-scientist/ 

PortraitApril 12, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Cecilia Leal

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Racheff Faculty Scholar, Dr. Leal will discuss her research on lipid-based systems and their uses in medicine and other biotechnological applications.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/79608000-5707-013c-4971-02d0d7bfd6e4-4


PortraitMay 10, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Katie Ansell

Teaching Assistant Professor of Physics, Dr. Ansell will discuss her work on new pedagogies and curriculums for physics labs and how these changes affect students.



PortraitSeptember 8, 2020

Speaker: Dr. Kathryn B. H. Clancy

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Anthropology and the Beckman Institute, will join us to talk about her research as a biological anthropologist and intersectional feminist biologist.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/cfa71ef0-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-4

PortraitOctober 13, 2020

Speaker: Dr. Carla Desi-Ann Hunter

Associate Professor of Psychology. Dr. Hunter will discuss her research on ethnic minority psychology, specifically related to identity and well-being in the United States.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/ccac2900-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-7

PortraitNovember 10, 2020

Speaker: Dr. Susan Martinis

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/dcab3680-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-6

PortraitDecember 8, 2020

Speaker: Dr. Zeynep Madak-Erdogan

Associate Professor of Nutrition

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/deb6e0b0-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-a

HeadshotFebruary 9, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Brenda Molano-Flores

Senior Plant Ecologist at the Illinois Natural History survey part of the Prairie Research Institute will speak about her research on plant reproductive ecology, conservation biology and plant-insect interactions.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/caeefc70-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-9


HeadshotMarch 9, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Catherine J. Murphy

Larry R. Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry, will discuss her research on inorganic nanomaterials applications and the chemical interactions these nanomaterials have on their surroundings.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/cd6e0110-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-7

April 6, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Lee Smith

Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Professor of Biomedical and Translational Science in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Smith will discuss her work in epidemiology.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/d3c9f740-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-1

May 11, 2021

Speaker: Dr. Ruby Mendenhall

Associate Professor in Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, Dr. Mendenhall will speak about her interdisciplinary work that focuses on issues of social inequality and economic mobility.

Link to Lecture: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/d681e6c0-1342-013a-7af9-02d0d7bfd6e4-b



Land Acknowledgement

We would like to recognize and acknowledge that the University of Illinois (where the Archives is located and where our speakers work) is on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.

As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois has a particular responsibility to acknowledge the peoples of these lands, as well as the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution for the past 150 years. We are also obligated to reflect on and actively address these histories and the role that this university has played in shaping them. This acknowledgement and the centering of Native peoples is a start as we move forward for the next 150 years.

To see digital exhibits related to our speakers’ research please visit: https://omeka-s.library.illinois.edu/s/archives/page/women-in-science 


If you would like an email reminder about future Women in Science Lecture Series you can join our email list at https://emails.illinois.edu/subscribe?emailId=964210580



Partners and Sponsors:

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Cancer Center at Illinois

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Center for Social and Behavioral Science

Cindy Ingold, Gender Studies and Multicultural Services Librarian

Grainger College of Engineering

Humanities Research Institute

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Prairie Research Institute

School of Integrative Biology

Siebel Center for Design

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives

Women in Engineering


Funding for the initial lecture series provided by the University of Illinois Library Innovation Fund

Continued funding provided by Cancer Center at Illinois, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Center for Social and Behavioral Science, Humanities Research Institute Supplemental Event Fund, Grainger College of Engineering, and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives.

Contact Information:

For questions or comments please contact:

Bethany Anderson, Natural and Applied Sciences Archivist, bgandrsn@illinois.edu | (217) 244-5041

Kristen Allen Wilson, Illinois Distributed Museum Coordinator,  klallen3@illinois.edu | (217) 300-7488