West Virginia State University President Dr. Nicole Pride will be the keynote speaker for the 2020 West Virginia Women & Technology Conference, to be offered online this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Charleston-based TechConnect West Virginia is hosting this year’s virtual conference, which is free to view online. It will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at noon on Monday, Oct. 19.
As in years past, the 2020 webinar/conference will address the under-representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields and explore strategies for closing the gender gap in technology.
Pride started her career in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, moving later to the higher education field at North Carolina A&T State University. She was named the first female president at the Institute university in July and became the school’s 12th president in September.
A pair of panel discussions will follow Pride’s remarks. In the first, panelists from West Virginia State University will offer an insider’s look at the triumphs and challenges of operating within an institution that is designated both as an Historically Black College and University and a land-grant institution. In the second panel, West Virginia University representatives will address systemic racism and its effects throughout society.
The scheduled agenda for the webinar includes:
• 9 a.m.: Welcome and conference kickoff with remarks by TechConnect West Virginia Executive Director Anne Barth.
• 9:05-10 a.m.: Introduction of the keynote speaker, Pride, by Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Pride’s keynote address.
• 10:05-11 a.m.: “Research Perspectives: HBCU & Land Grant Institutions,” featuring WVSU faculty members Dr. Padma Nimmakayala, Associate Professor of Research, Department of Biology; Dr. Barbara Liedl, Associate Professor, Department of Biology; Dr. Sean Collins, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Biology. Dr. Ami Smith,