2022 Women in Science Symposium 

‘Deprival to Revival – Resiliency in Action’
April 21, 2022
9 AM to 2 PM MT
Virtual via Zoom

Join a thriving inclusive community from Northern Colorado to engage in this virtual half-day event of listening, learning, sharing and networking with others interested in promoting inclusivity in science.

This symposium, our 6th annual event, will feature 15 minute WISS Talks, ‘Resiliency in Action’ including, Balanced States of Being, The Art-Science Continuum, Cultivating Resiliency and Care Giving. A segment designed especially for K-12 attendees will highlight Resilience in Movement led by CSU’s Little Shop of Physics. Breakout groups will permit opportunity to ask questions of our WISS Talk participants and foster conversation among the WiSCI community.


All times are in MDT.

9 – 9:30 a.m. Opening remarks by CSU President Joyce McConnell

Balanced States of Being
9:30 – 9:45 a.m. June Gruber
9:45 – 10 a.m. Joyce Yi-Frazier
10 – 10:30 a.m. Discussion

Art-Science Continuum
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Oriana Poindexter
10:45 – 11 a.m. Yamilée Toussaint Beach
11 – 11:30 a.m. Discussion

Cultivating Resiliency
11:30 – 11:45 a.m. Marissa Levine
11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Gitanjali Bhattacharjee
12 – 12:30 p.m. Discussion

12:30 – 1 p.m. Lunch Break

Care Giving
1 – 1:15 p.m. Deana Davalos
1:15 – 1:30 p.m. Madisen Golden, Mary Francis, WomenGive recipient
1:30 – 2 p.m. Discussion

K-12 segment; Resilience in Movement
1 – 2 p.m. Heather Michalak

2 – 2:05 p.m. Closing remarks by Candace Mathiason

2:05 – 2:20 p.m. Poetry reading by Robin Walter

2022 WISS Speakers

Session: Balanced States of Being

June Gruber

June Gruber
Associate Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder

Dr. Gruber teaches courses on topics including emotion, affective science, psychopathology, and happiness and has created a free online course in Human Emotion available through YouTube. She has given a public TEDx talk on the “dark side” of happiness. She is the recipient of the 2020 UROP Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, has a monthly column for young scientists in Science Careers, and received an IMPART grant to co-lead a workshop focused on advancing underrepresented women in the sciences. Dr. Gruber is engaged in science outreach and dissemination of the science of emotions and mental health for students and the broader public, with a recent focus on the mental health crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joyce Yi-Frazier

Joyce Yi-Frazier
Senior Clinical Research Scientist, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Dr. Joyce Yi-Frazier is a senior clinical research scientist with the Palliative Care and Resilience Research group and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She completed her PhD in health psychology from the University of Washington and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Yi-Frazier has a long history of research in stress and resilience in groups adversely affected by stress. She co-developed the Promoting Resilience in Stress Management (PRISM) program with her research partner Dr. Abby Rosenberg, a pediatric oncologist. As PRISM was originally designed in the context of serious/chronic illness, she and Dr. Rosenberg run numerous multi-site clinical trials investigating the efficacy of PRISM in adolescents and young adults in patients and caregivers across various subspecialties. In the wake of COVID-19, PRISM has even been adapted for community members most affected by stress including healthcare professionals, teachers, and students.

Session: Art-Science Continuum

Oriana Poindexter

Oriana Poindexter
Marine Scientist, Artist

Oriana is interested in the balancing act between the extraction and conservation of marine natural resources. She earned her degrees at Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and went on to collaborate with academic institutions, government agencies and non-profit organizations for nearly a decade as an expert in the sustainable seafood and fisheries management arenas. Her photographs have been featured by the likes of the Getty Museum, the Wall Street Journal, and the Aquarium of the Pacific. She founded Pelagic Projects in 2020 to focus on interdisciplinary projects that bridge art and science, applying her expertise in both fields to engage the senses,  inspire awe, and impact positive change for the oceans. Oriana is working on her first book, The Iridescent Ones, to visualize the cultural and natural history of abalone species on the Pacific West Coast.

Yamilee Toussaint Beach

Yamilée Toussaint Beach
Founder and CEO, STEM From Dance

Yamilée personally experienced the extraordinary benefits of a STEM education and dance. After studying mechanical engineering and being an avid dancer for over 25 years, she switched gears to teach high school algebra in an underserved community in Brooklyn through Teach For America. She started STEM From Dance in 2012 with the hope that a program that infuses dance in STEM would help to increase the number of underrepresented minority girls across the nation who pursue a future in STEM. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and a Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University and is also a recipient of Teach For America’s Social Innovation Award, AnitaB.org’s Educational Innovation Award, Brooklyn Magazine’s 50 Most Fascinating People, as well as an AAAS/IF THEN® Ambassador.

Session: Cultivating Resiliency

Marissa Levine

Marissa Levine
Professor, University of South Florida

Dr. Marissa Levine is Professor of Public Health Practice at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health (COPH) and collaborating faculty to the Department of Family Medicine at the USF Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. Her primary focus is on sustainable and equitable population health improvement. Dr. Levine directs the USF Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice at COPH where she teaches a positive, strength-based, systems thinking approach to leading in complex contexts.

Dr. Levine completed 16 years of state government service culminating in being appointed as the Virginia State Health Commissioner and agency head for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) from 2014-2018.   Dr. Levine previously held leadership positions at local health departments within VDH from 2002 until 2009 and then VDH deputy commissioner positions from 2009-2014.  During that time, Dr. Levine was involved in the state’s response to the H1N1 pandemic. As Commissioner, Dr. Levine led the effort to create an action framework for population health improvement called Virginia’s Plan for Well-Being and also led significant public health emergency preparedness and response activities as the state ESF-8 lead.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Levine has been a public health advisor at local, state and national levels as well as a frequent media guest expert.

Dr. Levine is a retired family physician with 16 years of medical practice experience who also received a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY and completed family practice residency training at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Gitanjali Phanttacharjee

Gitanjali Bhattacharjee
Associate, Buildings & Structures, Exponent 

Gitanjali Bhattacharjee is currently an Associate in the Buildings & Structures Practice at Exponent, where her growing portfolio of projects includes developing and calibrating risk models for large utilities networks subject to a variety of hazards, creating data visualizations for decision-makers managing complex systems, and assisting with structural failure investigations. She holds an MS and PhD in Structural Engineering from Stanford University, where she developed methods to assess and mitigate the seismic risk of regional road networks and investigated how decision-makers use building damage information after earthquakes. Her current research collaborations include developing methods for modeling post-earthquake traffic demand, training surrogate models to more rapidly assess seismic risk to road networks, and investigating the design of artist-in-residency programs at scientific and technical organizations. In her free time, she writes essays and literary criticism.

Session: Care Giving

Deana Davalos

Deana Davalos
Professor, Colorado State University

Giving care to caregivers and elderly. we investigate temporal processing, aspects of cognitive aging, and cognitive processes in clinical populations. One line of research focuses on understanding the development of time processing abilities over the life span. Of particular interest is the relationship between one’s ability to process time accurately and higher cognitive skills such as planning, sequencing, and executive functioning. We also study time processing in clinical populations. Our research involves behavioral testing, EEG, and neuropsychological testing and we maintain active collaborations with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the Center for Neurorehabilitiation Services.

Madisen Golden

Madisen Golden
Director, WomenGive of Larimer County

WomenGive provides support and financial assistance through child care scholarships to single mothers pursuing postsecondary education. WomenGive helps families achieve self-sufficiency allowing them to focus on their studies, knowing their children are receiving high-quality care in a safe environment.

Yaricza Serrano

Yaricza Serrano
Recipient, WomenGive of Larimer County

Mary Francis

Mary Francis
Co-Chair, WomenGive of Larimer County

Mary Francis has always had a passion for volunteering and community engagement. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and went on to create a successful career in fundraising and development for the American Red Cross, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Colorado State University and the UC Health Foundation in Northern Colorado.

Mary currently serves as Co-Chair for WomenGive, supporting women and children in Larimer County. From 2014-2019 she served as Chair of the Hunger Initiative for the Junior League of Fort Collins in collaboration with the Food Bank for Larimer County. She was the Home and Family columnist for the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper from 2015-2018. She has served on the Steering Committee for WISH at UC Health and three years as secretary on her neighborhood HOA Board. She has been a long-time sponsor of CSU Athletics and the Alumni Association, All Star Youth Sports Flag Football and a partner of the local business collective, We R FoCo.

In 2015 Mary was honored as one of Larimer County’s 40 under Forty for her business and community contributions. In 2016 she was awarded the Junior League of Fort Collins Elena Lawrence Inspiration Award and in 2019 the Deanna McCrery Community Service Award.

K-12 Session: Resilience in Movement

Heather Michalak

Heather Michalak
Assistant Director, Little Shop of Physics

Heather Michalak received her BS in Physics from Colorado State University and got her start in Little Shop of Physics working as an intern! After graduation, she spent 10 years working in the technology industry and owned a coffee shop along the way. She decided to return to her tie dye roots to inspire the next generation of scientists.

WISS 2022 Host

Hannah Halusker

Hannah Halusker
Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Columbine Health Systems Center for Health Aging at Colorado State University

Hannah Halusker develops multi-media communications and plans outreach events to help amplify the research and programming offered by the Center. She comes to CSU from South Carolina, where she received her B.S. in Genetics (2017) and M.A. in Communication, Technology and Society (2020) from Clemson University. At Clemson, Hannah served as a science writer in the College of Science and then as the director for a science and arts festival in nearby Greenville, S.C. She is thrilled to bring her passions for science communication and engagement to her work at CSU. In her free time, you can find Hannah running, biking, reading, doing yoga, or hiking.