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BioCONNECTS: Elevating the Influence and Impact of Women in the Field of Life Science

5:00pm-6:00pm:   Conversations and Connections

6:00pm – 6:50pm

Elevating the Influence and Impact of Women in the Field of Life Science | Panel Discussion (Auditorium)

Please join us for a special panel of incredible women who work in all areas in the fields of Life Science. Learn the value of serving as a mentor, providing professional development, and promoting upward mobility elevates the influence and impact of women in the fields of Life Science.


Sharon Nelson: Novant Health Corporate Program Manager, Health Humanities and Chair of the Women’s Business Resource Group

Jennifer Byrne: CEO Javara Research & Founder of Greater Gift Initiative

Joan Schanck: Academic Research Program Officer Wake Forest Health

Moderator: Nancy Johnston, Executive Director, North Carolina Biotechnology Center

7:00pm – 7:50pm

Navigating and Excelling in the Male Dominated Life Science Market with Heidi Fleshman (Auditorium)

The Life Science market is comprised of 50% males/females yet only 20% of these women reach the C-Suite(s) and only 10% reach Board level. How can women advance and excel? With 27 years in this market, Heidi will share her experience(s) on overcoming barriers that women face including hiring, funding and a lack of female mentors; as well as understanding communication differences and knowing your value. Come hear insights and other suggestions on how to support women in your organization.

Changing the Culture for Women and Underrepresented Groups in STEM with Dr. Stephanie Dance-Barnes (Room 153)

This session will serve to outline Dr. Dance-Barnes’ journey in STEM and higher education, and to provide insight into the importance of promoting diversity in STEM disciplines. She will highlight the role of female mentors in inspiring students to pursue STEM careers primarily through being an example of “someone like them” thriving in the field. This session will also provide examples of how intentional and strategic learning opportunities can encourage students to persist in STEM through exposure to various experiential and high impact practices.

Breaking the Glass – Beaker? From Human Insulin to Horseshoe Crab Blood with Dr. Kristen Dellinger (Room 155)

Dr. Dellinger will highlight her work as a biomedical engineer and analytical chemist working in both academia and industry and will serve as a platform for discussing the role of women in STEM fields. This will include detailing work as a Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant and exploring alternative science-based career opportunities.