“The Jessica Effect” and Women in STEM (Mujeres en STEM) – En memoria de Jessica

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a chance to lead an international session on Women in STEM and Diversity (Mujeres en STEM y Diversidad) in Ecuador (Agenda – Broadening the STEM Research Participation of Women-URM-Disabilities), lead an international National Science Foundation delegation, and participate in a national conversation on career-life balance as part of the ACE and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s National Challenge for Higher Education. But perhaps one of the most special things to happen this month is the publication of our paper on “The Jessica Effect” in honor of one of my former students, the late Jessica Soto Perez.  I am very pleased to announce that our paper on “The Jessica Effect” was published last week.


LACCEI Jessica Effect 2

This journal issue on “Gender Equity and STEM” can be purchased for $10 here: AAC&U Peer Review.

The “Jessica Effect” article can be accessed here.  Jessica was special, and sometimes emotions can hit you when you least expect it. So, I’m actually crying as I write this (trying to regain composure because I’m in a public place), but I’m overwhelmed with remembering Jessica’s laugh, and her smile, and her plans for the future. She is the reason why I’ve been so involved in Puerto Rico. Jessica was so excited when she found out that I was going to Puerto Rico for the first time.  She wanted to go back to the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez to become an engineering professor.  Jessica was in my office, talking about her plans to be a professor on the day that she died. Here she was talking to me outside of my office at UMBC, back in 2004.




Jessica was one of our first PROMISE AGEP Peer Mentors:



I miss her!


Her legacy lives on. My work in Latin America and the Caribbean was inspired by her. She continues to motivate the work of PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP, the ADVANCE Hispanic Women in STEM project, and our “Women in STEM” program at LACCEI. Thank you Jessica.



The work continues, on an international level. The agenda from the 2014  “Mujeres en STEM” program in Ecuador is here:

Agenda - Broadening the STEM Research Participation of Women-URM-Disabilities-FinalAfterPHOTO







– Dedicado a mi Mami Lucy (adoptada), en memoria de Jessica.