Prof. Kelly Douglass Mission to Encourage Women in STEM

March 8, 2023

Thanks to my parents and teachers growing up, I didn’t really experience the stigma against women in STEM until college.  At college, though, it was everywhere around me: during orientation, one of the physics professors pointed out how many of the prospective physics majors were women, and I was one of only a few women (and sometimes the only one!) in my classes.  There were also very few female physics professors, and I was so excited to finally take one of their classes at the end of college.  I was sure that she was going to be amazing and demonstrate how much it doesn’t matter who you are – anyone can be a great physicist.

You can imagine my disappointment, then, when it quickly became apparent that she was not a good lecturer; unfortunately, most of my STEM classes that were taught by female professors were underwhelming.  Stemming from these experiences, I have made it my mission to provide others with what I thought was missing from my physics education.  Starting in college, I have participated in various outreach events designed to encourage women to pursue STEM careers, supervised students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and encouraged those in my classes to ask questions.  Here at UR, I strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and to be the best lecturer that I can be, to show that we all can be successful in what we set our minds to.