Women Professionals in STEM Offer Advice to Otterbein Students

Posted Mar 22, 2021

Otterbein Student Success and Career Development recently brought together a panel of women in STEM careers to talk to Otterbein students about diversity in their fields. Moderated by Elena Caruthers, assistant professor of engineering, the panelists discussed their careers and challenges they have faced, and offered advice for the future STEM professionals.  

Otterbein is committed to increasing diversity in STEM fields through scholarships and support. Women are well-represented among the STEM faculty, and students have established supportive networks through Otterbein chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Science. 

Additionally, a recent National Science Foundation grant established the Cardinal Science Scholarships to increase the number of students from under-represented populations in STEM majors. 

The Women in STEM panel was another opportunity for students to learn and network. This is what the professionals had to say. 


Alexandria (Allie) Brackbill   
Customer Service Manager CEM Corporation  

  • “As more and more women enter into professional STEM careers, the fear and hesitation associated with lack of representation will diminish, inspiring and validating future generations of women pursuing STEM careers.”  
  • “Increased diversity in the workforce offers increased diversity in ideas, solutions, and problem-solving strategies.”   
  • “Speak up when you have something to offer, ask questions when reasoning is unclear, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Push through your self-doubt and make yourself seen/heard.” 

Reagan Nemec   
Application Engineer Honda  

  • “I think women add a lot of value and bring a different perspective, so it’s always a win having them in any field. The STEM field is especially essential as it has traditionally been very male-dominated.”  
  • “Women offer perspectives that men are unable to. Simply put, with roughly half the world being women, failing to have a woman’s perspective in the STEM field seriously impedes the ability to reach more demographics and utilize other skill sets.”  
  • “Your opinion and expertise is just as valuable as a man’s. Everyone has unique perspectives and skills, so do not elevate or look down on yourself but know that you are an equal and that your input matters.” 

Dr. Nita Seibel   
Head of Pediatric Solid Tumor Therapeutics, National Cancer Institute  

  • “It is important that women are aware of the program and what it offers and is for anyone with interest in science, technology, engineering and math. In the past, particularly engineering has been male dominated, and one of the key messages from the panel is that this no longer the case and women should be encouraged to participate.”  
  • “It is well known that women approach problems in a different way than men. Women are excellent multitaskers which is another important aspect of these careers so they are of huge value on a team.”  

Carol Ventresca 
President, Women in STEM President  
Chief Executive Officer, SynGenics Corporation  

  • “In my opinion, it is important for anyone with an aptitude for mathematics and science to set her/his sights on a STEM career because our society (and our nation’s place in the world) depends upon technical superiority and the benefits that qualified STEM professionals can unleash….”  
  • “Follow your passion. You will spend a large portion of your waking hours working in your chosen profession. It is best to spend that time doing what that you love to do.” 
  • “Focus on the goal, and do what is necessary to achieve it. Study hard. Take advantage of opportunities for broadening experiences. Become the best possible version of yourself!”