iRead Mini Conference - Spring 2014
"I Retain, Encourage, and Attain Higher Degrees at Predominately White Institutions"

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, March 26, 8:00am-3:00pm

Limited seating available. Click Here to Register today!

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D., Yale University


Dr. Ainissa G. Ramirez: Dr. Ramirez is a scientist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She co-authored (with Allen St. John) Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game (Random House); and authored Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists (TED Books).

Before taking on the call to improve the public's understanding of science, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University. Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) named her as one of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology. She has been profiled in The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, CNN, NPR, ESPN, The Hartford Courant, and numerous scientific magazines including Scientific American and Discover magazine.

Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). Prior to being on the faculty at Yale, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey where she did award-winning research. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.

As a graduate student she wrote as a science correspondent for Time magazine's Washington, D.C. bureau, which ignited her passion for communicating science. Now, she speaks internationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, and several science museums.


Dr. Liara Gonzalez: Dr. Gonzalez completed her veterinary degree at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She successfully completed a large animal surgery residency at North Carolina State University (NCSU) at became a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgery in 2011. Dr. Gonzalez was a graduate scholar in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity for the first two years of her post-doctoral studies. She is now an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) recipient in the Comparative Medicine and Translational Program.

Dr. Dawn X. Henderson: Dr. Henderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. She also serves as a Research Associate with the Center for Community Safety where she conducts data analysis, program evaluations, and serves as a consultant for their school and community-based interventions.

Dr. Sherilynn Black: Dr. Black grew up in Charlotte, NC and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a recipient of the Morehead-Cain Award. She completed her B.S. in Psychology (highest distinction) and a minor in Biology, and subsequently completed her Ph.D. at Duke University in the Department of Neurobiology. Her doctorate work focused on the signaling properties of the myelin sheath of the central nervous system. She continued that line of investigation as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke. Dr. Black is currently an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Medical Education in the School of Medicine.

Dr. Leda Lunardi: Dr. Lunardi has been a professor since 2003 at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She received the BS and MS in physics from University of Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Her research areas are in traditional electronic devices, modeling and fabrication of electronic semiconductor transistors, energy harvesting, and optoelectronic devices. After graduation she spent 16 years in industry before joining academia. From 2005 to 2007 she served as Program Director for the Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division in the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, VA. She was the Director of Graduate Programs of the ECE Department in 2007, before joining the leadership team of Gen 3 NSF-ERC Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications and conference proceedings, been granted 5 patents, and given invited talks, plenary addresses, and short courses at conferences.

Dr. Jo-Ann Robinson: Dr. Robinson is the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Development at Wilberforce University. She provides leadership for the Academic Center for Student Success (ACCESS), Admissions, Athletics, Campus Activities, Campus Police, Dean of Students, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Health and Wellness Center, National Minority Male Health Initiative, Residential Life, Student Affairs, and Transportation. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Elementary Education Certification from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, a Master’s degree in Social Science with an emphasis in Counseling from Binghamton University and a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University. She is originally from Schenectady, New York and has worked in the field of education for over thirty years including in positions at North Carolina State University, the University of Texas at Austin, Florida Atlantic University and Florida College of Business.