Faculty Participated in STEM Conference

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Westminster College faculty Dr. Helen Boylan, Dr. Sarah Kennedy, and Dr. Deborah Mitchell participated in the Pennsylvania Girls STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Collaborative Annual Conference Sept. 24 in Allison Park.

Conference participants included educators, non-profit organizations, and regional and national professional societies.  The goal of the conference was to nurture collaborations among those who promote STEM activities for girls.

Boylan, associate professor of chemistry, and Mitchell, professor of English and film studies, displayed a poster on their upcoming outreach program, "Empowering Detective Girls Everywhere: Giving Girls the EDGE by Linking Forensic Science and Detective Fiction."  The program is based on Boylan and Mitchell's successful cluster course "Tracking the Criminal through Science and Literature" and will target middle school girls, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Kennedy, assistant professor of chemistry, presented a poster showcasing talented undergraduate women who are pursuing independent research in collaboration with faculty in Westminster's Department of Chemistry.  The projects spanned the fields of biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, sustainable chemistry, and analytical chemistry.

Westminster College ranks first in the nation as the "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)," according to Forbes.com.

Boylan, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2001, earned her Ph.D. from Duquesne University.

Kennedy, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2009, earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mitchell, who has been with Westminster since 1992, earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Youngstown State University and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Contact Boylan at (724) 946-6293 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Dr. Helen Boylan




Dr. Sarah Kennedy




Dr. Deborah Mitchell