Women in Science Conference 2023

women in science

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WIS students perform experiments at Beadle Lab 2019

Join us March 31 - April 1, 2023

The 24th Annual Women in Science Conference will be held on City Campus and the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sponsored by Nebraska EPSCoR, the NebraskaSCIENCE Program of Excellence, and the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, this two-day event brings high school students from across Nebraska and the Midwest region together to explore interests in science careers. Women in Science is for students who want to interact with career and academic professional women in science, meet current undergraduate science students and other high school students who are interested in science, and discover countless professions as diverse as biologists, geologists, engineers, food scientists, computer scientists, and those in the medical fields. Registration is now open.

New Registration Portal

We are introducing a new registration system for this event. Upon the first time visiting the registration portal, you will be asked to create an account and verify your email address. After completing these two steps, you can proceed to Upcoming Events and click on the Women in Science registration.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Athena Ramos and Dr. Eileen Hebets will engage in a "fireside" chat about the field of science communication and public health. The conversation will be moderated by Jocelyn Bosley of the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development.

Athena Ramos

Dr. Athena Ramos, Associate Professor

Department of Health Promotion, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Athena Ramos, MBA, MS, CPM, is affiliated with the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), and the Global Center for Health Security at UNMC in Omaha. She leads a Latino outreach and engagement team and serves as principal investigator for multiple community-based health and social research and education initiatives in such areas as occupational health and safety within the agrifood system, immigrant integration, and community well-being. She has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing social, health, and human service programs with culturally diverse populations. She strives to bring a sense of hope and vitality to the work she does both professionally and personally.

Ramos has been honored numerous times for her commitment and dedication to making Omaha and Nebraska a healthier, more inclusive, and vibrant place to live, work, and play. She was recognized as one of the “40 Under 40” by the Midlands Business Journal, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans, the American Heart Association’s Advocacy Volunteer of the Year, the Nebraska Latino American Commission’s Inspiration Award recipient, and a WCA Tribute to Women Honoree. Recently, she was awarded the Carruth J. Wagner Faculty Prize in Public Health from the UNMC College of Public Health for her work during the pandemic. Ramos is married and is the mother of four children.

eileen hebets

Dr. Eileen Hebets, Charles Bessey Professor

School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Hebets is at the forefront of arachnid and animal behavior research, having uncovered the science behind several previously unexplained phenomena Hebets is also a pioneer of informal science education, capitalizing on spiders’ natural charisma to help students of all ages engage and persist in science. As part of her National Science Foundation-funded Eight-Legged Encounters project, Hebets has developed a variety of hands-on activities intended to bridge the gap between academia and the public. She’s driven by a desire to help students use their innate creativity and inquisitiveness to learn in a fun and engaging way.

Hebets, who joined the university in 2005, has appeared in more than 100 publications and has three active grants totaling around $1 million. She’s heavily involved in outreach, having developed youth summer camps that have impacted hundreds of Nebraska students in the last decade, as well as the university’s Community Science Through Outreach course, in which Husker students create interactive programs for after-school science clubs. In 2017, she received the University of Nebraska’s Innovation, Development and Engagement Award, the system’s most prestigious award for using academic expertise to enrich the broader community.


The 2023 conference will be held in-person at the Embassy Suites on Friday and on UNL City Campus on Saturday. Friday's schedule consists of a tour of the Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts on City Campus, and then the keynote speaker and a chance to meet with UNL recruiters. Saturday morning will be filled with hands-on activities for students to experience on City Campus, in the conference space in the Willa Cather Dining Complex. After lunch in Cather Dining, students will hear from a panel of undergraduates and attend labs in the Beadle Center.

Friday, March 31

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Tour, Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Registration at Embassy Suites
4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Department Displays at Embassy Suites
6 p.m.-8 p.m. Banquet and Keynote Speaker's Address at Embassy Suites

Saturday, April 1

9 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Check-in at Willa Cather Dining Complex, City Campus
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. First Round of Workshops at Willa Cather Dining Complex, City Campus
10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Second Round of Workshops at Willa Cather Dining Complex, City Campus
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch in Willa Cather Dining Complex, City Campus (hosted by conference)
1 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Undergraduate Panel at Willa Cather Dining Complex, City Campus
2 p.m.-4 p.m. Beadle Center Labs, City Campus
4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Evaluation, Beadle Center Auditorium, City Campus

I am working on a letter of recommendation for a former graduate of mine to get into the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry because of Women in Science. My female students that attend seem to pursue higher degrees in education/careers due to having attended this fabulous function.

Ms. Marie Wadas Arcadia Public School, 7-12 Science Teacher

Registration now open

Registration is now open. High school sophomore and junior students who have an interest in exploring a career in science are encouraged to attend. Participants are selected by their teachers based on interest and aptitude. Registration fills quickly, so interested high school teachers or counselors should contact us after registration closes to get on a waiting list at:

UNL Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education
251 Avery Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0131



Students are encouraged to use hashtag NEBwis2023 to share their experiences with us during the conference on social media.

Selected students should know and agree to the following expectations prior to attending: I understand that the focus of this conference is exploring careers in science, and I will give my best effort to interact with the faculty and industry professionals who are volunteering their time to speak with me and to participate in the activities and workshops provided by UNL. For my safety, I will always be with at least one other member of the group and at least one teacher. During my stay at the conference hotel and on UNL property, I will treat my surroundings with the appropriate respect. I accept responsibility for any damage done to the hotel or any UNL property during my stay. I agree to follow the instructions and schedule established by conference activity workers. If at any time the UNL staff deems my behavior unacceptable, my guardians may be notified and I may be asked to leave the conference.