Central Exchange Panel Discussion Highlights Kansas City Women in STEMM

UMKC SOM Dean a Panelist for Women in STEMM Discussion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City women in STEMM careers will weigh in for the Central Exchange’s upcoming discussion on “The Intersection Point of Women, Science, Technology and Medicine.”

The program will begin at noon, Wednesday, June 26, at Central Exchange, 1020 Central St., Kansas City, Mo. Lunch and networking opportunities will precede the program at 11:30 a.m. The event is free for Central Exchange members; $25 for non-members. RSVP online.

This panel is part of Central Exchange’s WiSTEMM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) initiative. The WiSTEMM initiative was designed in 2011 to put a spotlight on Kansas City women in STEMM careers. By focusing on successful STEMM leaders, WiSTEMM hopes to inspire women to pursue STEMM careers.

The upcoming panel will include Betty Drees, M.D., dean, UMKC School of Medicine; Michelle Lewallen, Ph.D., scientist, Stowers Institute for Medical Research; and Michelle Brush, software engineer architect-instructor, Cerner. The panel will be moderated by Diane Stafford, columnist with the Kansas City Star.

Betty M. Drees, M.D., was appointed Dean of the UMKC School of Medicine in 2003, after serving two years as Interim Dean and one year as Executive Associate Dean. Dr. Drees is an endocrinologist, whose research interest is in calcium and bone metabolism. She joined UMKC as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Docent Physician in 1998. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Michelle Lewallen, Ph.D., attended Colorado State University and earned a B.S. in Biochemistry with a Chemistry minor in 2004. Upon the completion of her undergraduate degree, Lewallen enrolled in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She completed her dissertation research in 2010 under the mentorship of Dr. Tony Hollingsworth, a renowned pancreatic cancer biologist.  After grad school, Lewallen moved to Kansas City, Mo. to work under world-recognized stem cell biologist Dr. Ting Xie at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

Michelle Brush holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Missouri State University.  She has 10 years of experience in software engineering. She develops curriculum for new engineer training programs and instructs new engineers on best practices regarding code quality, test-driven development, instrumentation and performance optimization, and Cerner’s architecture and security models.

Diane Stafford (moderator) is a workplace columnist and business writer for the Kansas City Star.

About Women in STEMM
Women in STEMM is a Central Exchange initiative designed to put a well-deserved spotlight on women in Kansas City working in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. By focusing on successful STEMM leaders, WiSTEMM hopes to draw attention to the resource shortfall in these careers, provide inspiration for others to pursue careers in these areas, and help those in the field advance as far as they desire in their STEMM career. The series is sponsored by the Central Exchange Education Foundation through a grant from Spencer Reed.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TTY) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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