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October 2022 NEWSLETTER

Connecting today's women to tomorrow's opportunities

POWERFUL LATINAS: Artists, Activists & Astronauts


The 2022 election is critically important to all of us, but in order to make your voice heard at the ballot box, you must REGISTER TO VOTE. Click here for specific information for college students. And remember, the deadline to register is Tuesday, October 18, 2022.


PBS has launched Hispanic Heritage Month with an outstanding selection spotlighting the myriad contributions and rich diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the worlds of social justice, performing and visual arts, literature. sports, and STEM. Tune in to this remarkable library here.


Phys.org is an arm of the Science X Network, an aggregator of science/technology media that digitally publishes over 200 STEM-related articles daily. Three recent articles take on issues directly related to women in STEM: Gender bias in the use of the terms ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ science; the importance of ‘you have to see it to be it’; the positive outcome of social relationships between women and men in the STEM workplace.


Need an overview of the upcoming midterm elections? VOX Media has compiled a comprehensive guide to make you an informed, smart voter.

Affirmative action. College loans. Career anxiety. The New York Times takes a look at the attitudes of current college students in a recent focus group.


Looking to expand your literary horizons? Here are three major contributors to the canon of Hispanic American feminist literature. For an introduction to the internationally acclaimed novelist Isabel Allende check out her TEDTalk. Esmeralda Santiago’s debut coming-of-age memoir, WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN, explores the pain, humiliation and ultimate triumph of her immigrant experience. Then there is the remarkable poet/novelist, Sandra Cisneros, who describes herself in her poem LOOSE WOMAN: “By all accounts I am a danger to society. I’m Pancha Villa.” 


Indigenous Peoples' Day

TODAY! October 10

Read Presidential Proclamation

Hispanic Heritage Month

2022 Theme: Unidos - Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation

Sept. 15 - Oct. 15


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

2022 Theme: RISE UP!

Oct. 1 - Oct. 31


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

2022 Theme: Every 1 Knows Some 1

Oct. 1 - Oct. 31


Monday, October 10

Live Like a Highlander Day

NJIT Welcomes Local High School Students


Wednesday, October 12

Breast Cancer Awareness/Women’s Healthcare on the Ballot Information about early detection, self examination and voter registration

11:30AM - 1:00PM - Campus Center Lobby


Sunday, October 16

Fall Open House

Murray Center Info Session

12PM - 1PM


Tuesday, October 18

DEADLINE: Register to Vote

Registration Station: 11AM-1PM

265 Campus Center


Thursday, October 20

Purple Thursday

Domestic Violence Awareness


Campus Center Lobby


Thursday, October 27

NJECC 2022 Conference:

Innovation for Impact

8:30AM - 5PM

NJIT Campus Center

Register here.


Monday, October 31

Trick or Treat!

Halloween at the Murray Center

Details TBA



(L to R:) Grace Burke, Talaar Rastguelenian, Ridhi Mehta

At the September 29 Committee on Women’s Leadership (CWL) annual Welcome Back Brunch, Murray Center Director Nancy Steffen-Fluhr presented the winners of the 2022 ACE-Network, Anne Wiley, and Constance A. Murray scholarships for women. The scholarships are largely supported by donations raised at CWL events.


This year’s American Council on Education’s Network for Women in Higher Education (ACE-Network) scholarship winner is Grace Burke, an Albert Dorman Honors College Junior majoring in Web and Information Systems—and a D1 athlete on the Track and Field team. As a member of the Murray Center’s student staff and Community Outreach Chair for NJIT’s Women in Computing Society, Grace “helps to create activities that make women feel welcome in fields that have been historically dominated by men.”


The Anne Wiley Scholarship was established in 2003 in memory of the former Murray Center Co-director and Assistant Dean in the College of Science & Liberal Arts. This year’s Wiley Scholarship winner is Talaar Rastguelenian, a senior majoring in Informatics. Taalar was the entrepreneurial lead on a healthcare simulation research project that won a mini-grant from the NSF I-Corps. She is currently honing her professional skills as an intern in Software Engineering at Crestron Electronics.


The Murray scholarship for women graduate students honors Dr. Constance A. Murray, for whom the Murray Center is named. A dedicated educator and humanitarian, she served as NJIT’s Dean of Student Services from 1978 until her death in 1994. This year’s Murray Scholarship winner is Ridhi Mehta, an NJIT BME masters degree candidate and an Associate Scientist in Sterile Drug Product Commercialization at Merck. As an undergraduate, Ridhi helped to broaden participation in STEM as part of the NSF-funded LiFE project, supporting after-school science clubs for elementary school girls.


Steffen-Fluhr closed the scholarship presentation by thanking the women who served on the 2022 selection committees: Fran Sears, Clarisa Gonzalez-Lenahan, Linda Cummings, Regina Collins, Amy Hoover, Grace Gangitano, Silvana Brito, Janice Daniel, Ann Hoang, Alison Lefkovitz, Lucie Tchouassi, Karen Quackenbush, Risa Gorelick, Christine Cervelli, Miosotis Hernandez, and Tara Walenczyk.


Students will be able to apply for the 2023 ACE, Wiley, and Murray scholarships starting in February.


Donations can be made online at: https://womenscenter.njit.edu/sites/womenscenter/files/lcms/donate_form_new.pdf


The NJECC is an NSF ADVANCE-funded program that was created to address equity issues in academic technology commercialization. Speakers for the inaugural NJECC conference include thought leaders from across the country who will share knowledge about the commercialization process for both new and experienced innovators, as well as discuss strategies to remove barriers and increase equity in New Jersey's innovation ecosystem. There will also be opportunities to create sustainable connections with other innovation ecosystem participants, including a technology showcase and networking event. 


Featured speakers include:


Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education, State of New Jersey

Michael Zwick, Senior Vice President of Research, Rutgers University

Jana Jensen, COO, Deerfield Discovery and Development, Deerfield Management


Panelists for the panel discussions include:


Commercialization Curious? How to Get Started (Early Pathways to Commercialization)

Michael Wiley, Vice President, NJ Health Foundation, Inc.

Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak, Associate Vice President, Innovation Ventures, Rutgers University

Christina Pellicane, Assistant Director of Innovation, Princeton University


Now What? Keeping Your Innovation Momentum Going (Experienced Pathways to Commercialization)

Linda Ziemba, Founding CEO, AeroDefense

Kurt RohloffCo-Founder and CTO, Duality Technologies

Jennifer Shieh, Director of Ecosystem Development, US Small Business Administration


Engaging More Women in Academic Innovation

Kimberly Foster, Dean of Engineering, Tulane University

Elizabeth L. Dougherty, Eastern Regional Outreach Director, US Patent and Trademark Office

Wayne Embree, Executive Vice President, Investments & Venture Development, Rev1 Ventures, Inc.

Joanne Wong, Chair, IEEE Entrepreneurship


Registration for the conference is free. Please register by October 11 in order to secure your spot! To learn more and register, please visit the link below. 


NJECC Annual Conference - Innovation for Impact: Commercializing Academic Discovery


Check out our past e-newsletters filled with valuable information, past events, and scholarships here!


The Murray Center is your place to relax, enjoy a little television or take a lunch break!


You are welcome to stash your lunch (labeled please!) in our fridge, use the microwave or computer lab, be our guest. 







On September 28 at NJIT’s inaugural Faculty Achievement Celebration, the 2022 Excellence in Service Award was presented to Dr. Nancy Steffen-Fluhr. That’s me. Faculty being notoriously long-winded, no thank-you speeches were permitted; so I am gifting you my unused homilies now, in lieu of the usual editorial.


First, ON SERVICE: The phrase “thank you for your service” is usually reserved for people who landed on the beaches of Normandy or labored on the WTC Pile. It acknowledges self-sacrifice. The “service” for which I was honored is quite the opposite, however. It consists of serial acts of self-fulfillment—play disguised as work. And playmates disguised as colleagues.


When I speak to prospective students, I often tell them that figuring out where they want to go to college is really part of an even more important process: figuring out what they want to do in their lives--what interests them.…what they love. Because working hard at stuff you love doesn’t feel much like work at all. In my life, I have had the privilege of doing what I like, so I have always liked what I do. All the more so because I’ve had the additional privilege of working with people I like. Every one of the achievements for which I was honored is a collaboration. ”Many hands make light work.”


Second, ON BRAGGING: Acknowledging the quilting bee quality of good teamwork is stereotypically girly. Bragging is not. Bragging is for boys, like being bossy is for boys—unless you’re Lucy Van Pelt. Which is why I cringed a bit when a wrote the lead to this piece: “I won.” But owning your worth, your smarts, your talent is a crucial political act for women, even now. Especially now. Bragging when you’ve got something to brag about creates a support structure over which other women can walk toward lives of self-fulfillment—doing what they like, liking what they do.


So, I’m using this occasion—my service award—to challenge other women at NJIT to step up and brag. We’re creating a Brag Box that will appear in each of our Murray Center newsletters throughout the year. Use it like a soap box on which you can stand and tell the world (or at least the NJIT world) some great/cool thing you did, won, created. Here’s where to send the news: MC Brag Box

Let it shine!

Dr Nancy Steffen-Fluhr     she/her/hers

Director, Murray Center for Women in Technology

Associate Professor, Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)


*Women Faculty Honors    * Scholarship Winners        *CWL Brunch

*NJECC October 27 Innovation for Impact Conference

*Hispanic Heritage Month Events



9/9: MC Welcome Back Blast

9/28: Faculty Achievement Celebration

Ten women faculty and lecturers were honored at NJIT’s inaugural Faculty Achievement Celebration on September 28 in the Campus Center Atrium. The ceremony featured a “State of the University” address by NJIT President Dr. Teik C. Lim; and presentations by Interim Provost and Senior Executive Vice President, Dr. Atam Dhawan; and Robert C. Cohen, Chair of the NJIT Board of Trustees.


Award winners included Murray Center Director, Dr. Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, who was presented with the 2022 Overseers Excellence in Service Award, in recognition of her “long record of extraordinary service” and the “lasting impact” her “exceptional contribution” has had on the university. Dr. Liza Axe, chair of the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, won the Constance A. Murray Diversity Award, recognizing her sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—including the creation of an annual NCE DEI colloquium.


Three women faculty were promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor: Dr. Tara Alvarez, Biomedical Engineering; Dr. Guiling Wang, Computer Science; and Dr. Julie Ancis, Informatics. Dr. Calista McRae, Humanities and Social Sciences, was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure; and Dr. Catherine Siemann, also from Humanities and Social Sciences, was promoted to Senior University Lecturer.


In addition, two women won Excellence in Teaching awards: Padma Natarajan, Mathematical Sciences, for Upper Division Instruction by a Senior University Lecturer; and Dr. Kathleen McEnnis, Chemical and Materials Engineering, for Upper Division Instruction by Tenure-Track Faculty. McEnnis’ citation especially praised her support for “underrepresented groups in STEM” and the creation of a program that matches students with faculty mentors.


Dr. Jing Li, an Assistant Professor in Computer Science, was also recognized with an Excellence in Research Award from the Ying Wu College of Computing.

9/29: CWL Brunch

An overflow crowd of 150 women faculty and staff, including NJIT First Lady Gina Lim, listened attentively as Professor Oya Tukel, PhD—Dean of the Martin Tuchman School of Management—laid out strategies for “Strengthening a Community of Women Leaders” during the Committee on Women’s Leadership’s (CWL) October 29 brunch.


CWL co-chairs—Risa Gorelick, PhD, a University Lecturer in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department; and Miosotis Hernandez, Assistant Director of Domestic Recruitment—announced the fall CWL event schedule, including a reboot of CWL’s popular Partnership for Success peer mentoring program. Murray Center Director Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, PhD, announced the winners of three women’s scholarships which are substantially funded by donations raised at CWL events.  The CWL brunch included the introduction of new women faculty and staff and an opportunity for cross-departmental networking.


Stay tuned for an announcement of the next CWL meeting in November during which Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Marybeth Boger, will discuss the results of the recent Campus Climate Survey.



Drop by the Murray Center and say hello to our new Coordinator, Kassandra Pérez.


A graduate of the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program and a masters degree candidate in Applied Theatre at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, Kassie brings a rich skill set and a strong commitment to social change to her work at the Murray Center. Kassie credits former NJIT Theatre Artistic Coordinator, Louis Wells, and his wife, performing arts educator Maria Aladren, with helping her see what she, as a woman and an artist, could do to foster positive change—“supporting women in spaces where they are often told they don’t belong and can’t thrive.“ My work in applied theatre encompasses practices that can benefit everyone in all walks of life, including organizations that work with women and their successes in the STEM world,” Kassie adds.


Welcome, Kassie!


On September 23, the NJIT Graduate Student Association (GSA) approved a new club: Graduates for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (GIDE). GIDE is the brainchild of Sumbel Yaqoob, a second-year doctoral student in Environmental Science, who serves as the club’s founding president. GIDE’s mission is “to promote inclusivity, celebrate diversity, and create equitable programs for the NJIT graduate student body.” “We aim not only to celebrate the diversity of the current graduate population, but to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in future STEM graduate programs,” Sumbel adds. “We want to create a safe space for dialogue.”

This fall, GIDE members plan to give a "Grad School 101" talk to EOP students and are working with them to help underrepresented populations with grad school prep. GIDE has also been working with NJIT administrators to stock on-campus bathrooms with women’s sanitary products—a lack that has concerned many students, faculty, and staff in recent years.

GIDE E-Board members include VP Nikki Rodriguez, a third-year PhD Student in Materials Science Engineering; Secretary Akshata Patil, a second-year Master’s Student in Engineering Management; Treasurer Jose Antunes, a third-year Master’s Student in Environmental Science; and Public Relations Manager Tushti Verma, a second-year Master’s Student in Data Science. Jose speaks for the club as a whole when he stresses, “I joined GIDE to help people reach their full potential, providing a place where differences are celebrated, and not put down.”


This month’s “Woman to Watch” is Hannah Tariq-Shuaib, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and President of Pi Tau Sigma, the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. A can-do person who understands the importance of teamwork, Hannah plays multiple leadership roles on the NJIT campus and beyond. She is a key member of the Murray Center student staff and a peer mentor (Ambassador), responsible for organizing and publicizing MC events and helping to recruit new women students. She also somehow finds time to fly high as the Wing & PR Lead for NJIT’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design Team, otherwise known as the Flylanders.


Every year, SAE releases a set of rules for their international Aero Design Competition. Last season, the NJIT team competed in Forth Worth Texas at the Thunderbirds field. The Flylanders placed 9th in design and 14th overall. Hannah and the team have been working diligently since then, conducting trade studies and determining the plane's configuration, committed to doing even better this year when the 2023 the competition takes place in Lakeland Florida from March 10-12.


Hannah Tariq-Shuaib—ready for takeoff!


Phone: 973.642.4885

Fax: 973.642.7205

Email: [email protected]

Website: womenscenter.njit.edu

Address: 323 Martin Luther King Blvd, Newark, NJ 07102



Dr. Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, Director

973.596.3295 | [email protected]

Fran Sears, Special Projects Manager

973.642.4672 | [email protected]

Kassandra Pérez, Coordinator

973.642.7441 | bkp42@njit.edu

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Click here for a campus map and virtual tour!

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Pathways to Science (a project from the Institute for Broadening Participation) is an excellent source of information on scholarships, REU’s, internships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students, post docs, faculty, and administrators.


Cards Against Humanity is awarding the Science Ambassador Scholarship. The deadline is Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 11:59 PM CST. For more information, click here.


The Women Techmakers Scholars Program - formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program - is furthering Dr. Anita Borg's vision of creating gender equality in the tech industry by encouraging women to excel as active participants and leaders in the field. Information about scholarships and internships is now open. Check the individual listings for application deadlines.


Since 1881 the American Association of University Women has been a leader in advancing professional and educational opportunities for women. In the last year, the AAUW has awarded over 6 million dollars in grants and fellowships, and applications are now open for this year. And make sure to explore the local AAUW chapters for the details about additional scholarship opportunities.


The Society of Physics Students scholarship applications will be available on January 2, 2023, with a submission deadline at 11:59PM on March 15, 2023.


Looking for an REU opportunity? The National Science Foundation's website is an excellent source of information. Click here for more information.


Need help figuring out how to finance your undergraduate or graduate degree? New Jersey's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is a valuable source of information about financial assistance for college students and their families. Click here for more information.