Dr. Maria Elena Zavala
California State University, Northridge
Dr. Maria Elena Zavala is a Professor of Biology studying plant development, including how gene regulation and cell-to-cell communication drive root growth. Dr. Zavala was the first Mexican-American woman to earn a botany PhD in the United States and has since dedicated herself to supporting students from under-represented backgrounds in science as Program Director for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) and Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS) STEM Resource Hub Lead-PI at CSU-Northridge. She has received numerous awards and honors, including in 2000, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring and was elected as the first Chicana president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and in 2020 she was named one of 100 most inspiring Latinx/Hispanic scientists in the United States by Cell Press Journal.
About the Roadmaps to Building Equitable and Inclusive Research Experiences in STEM Series
What can we do to create more equitable and inclusive STEM educational systems? This lecture series will feature speakers that have successfully run boots-on-the-ground institutional diversity initiatives. These leaders have strong records of advocacy and are employing innovative ideas to build anti-racist/anti-sexist programs, truly they are changing the system in support of a more diverse STEM workforce. With this lecture series we hope to provide action steps for those who have the power to define the systematic aspects of the STEM work environment (professors, administrators, supervisors), to give inspiration to students in STEM who are eager to see people in leadership positions making changes to the SYSTEM of STEM, and to show members of the public how organizational transformations can take place in support of a more diverse workforce.Explore the series