Women in Science Speak Event Returns for Another Year

By Samuel Lopez, staff writer; image by Joe Meyer, staff illustrator
Women in Science Speak graphical identity

The second annual Women in Science Speak event is just a few days away, but there’s still time to register.

Women in Science Speak was established in Frederick last year to observe and celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Last year’s co-organizers, Woman to Woman Mentoring, Inc. and Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., have teamed up again to host the event, along with a new partner—Hood College.

The event aims to amplify the voices of women scientists and foster mentorship, allyship, and cooperation to empower current and future women scientists. The feature segment this year is a lengthy panel discussion among and moderated by women scientists. An hour-long networking social will follow.

The event will be held in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College on Friday, February 10. The doors open at 9 a.m.

Attendance is open to both in-person participants and livestream viewers, though the networking session won’t be livestreamed and will only be available in person. Registrants can select their preference when registering.

While the event focuses on celebrating and advocating for women in science, attendance is open to anyone who is interested. There’s no cost to attend.

The panelists will speak about their careers in science, share their experiences, and offer advice and wisdom to those in attendance. Mary Kearney, Ph.D., senior scientist and deputy program director of the HIV Dynamics and Replication Program at NCI Frederick, will moderate the discussion.

The four panelists are Banis Githinji, DNP, a research nurse practitioner at the National Institutes of Health; Christine Fennessey, Ph.D., head of the Viral Evolution Core in the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program at Frederick National Laboratory; Nicole Fer, a scientist in the RAS Initiative at Frederick National Laboratory; and Debbie Ricker, Ph.D., the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Hood College.

Kearney, who is also the chair of the National Institutes of Health Women Scientists Advisors, was also a panelist last year.

The event is a continuation of a series of partnerships between Frederick-based organizations. Frederick National Laboratory (which is operated by co-organizer Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.) is the nation’s only national laboratory dedicated solely to biomedical research. Part of its mandate is to train and equip new generations of scientists.

Woman to Woman Mentoring, Inc., is a nonprofit devoted to creating mentoring relationships between women, offering opportunities for guidance, support, and connections. Hood College is an independent liberal arts college that seeks to empower students to confront personal, professional, and global challenges.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed annually on February 11, was established by the United Nations in 2015 in recognition of the challenges and gender biases facing women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical fields. Its goal is to promote the full and equal participation and recognition of girls and women in science—and to celebrate those already in such fields.

Interested parties can register to attend and learn more about the panelists on the NCI Frederick website. In the event of inclement weather, Women in Science Speak will be rescheduled for Friday, February 24.


Samuel Lopez leads the editorial team in Scientific Publications, Graphics & Media (SPGM). He writes for newsletters; informally serves as an institutional historian; and edits scientific manuscripts, corporate documents, and a slew of other written media. SPGM is the creative services department and hub for editing, illustration, graphic design, formatting, multimedia, and training in these areas.