During the 2017-2018 academic year, Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) began offering Women Scholars Co-Sponsorship grants to help facilitate the ability of SU STEM departments to bring women speakers to campus for department seminars, colloquium, conferences, etc. The purpose of the co-sponsorship funds is to encourage departments to invite more women and people of color to campus to serve as role models for students in the STEM disciplines, demonstrating that diversity drives innovation and that SU is an institution that values inclusive excellence. WiSE requested that 15-25% of these funds be used to meaningfully connect underrepresented students and post docs, especially women, with the speaker.

The Earth Sciences department submitted and received co-sponsorship funds in support of Dr. Lisa Morgan’s visit to campus for the Central New York Earth Science Student Symposium held on April 14, 2018. Dr. Morgan is a geologist emeritus with the United States Geological Survey and spent almost her entire career with the USGS, studying rhyolitic volcanism associated with the Yellowstone hotspot magmatic system.

During her visit, Dr. Morgan met with women graduate students at lunch and dinner meetings, held discussions with current graduate students about their research, and offered feedback to students presenting at two poster and two oral presentation sessions. Additionally, Dr. Morgan gave a keynote speech on recent geologic discoveries in the floor of Yellowstone Lake within Yellowstone National Park and an up-close experience of a Syracuse Lava Project experiment investigating how basaltic lava flows interact with topography. Funding acquired from the Women Scholars Co-Sponsorship was used to pay for round trip airfare and lodging as well as food during meetings with students. Participants in these opportunities were particularly inspired by hearing about Dr. Morgan’s professional journey and the perseverance she exhibited as the first female career scientist with the USGS.