The 2015 forum will feature Wendy Suzuki, Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University and the author of the recently published Healthy Brain, Happy Life.

Attendees will also hear two panels of highly accomplished professionals discuss how they achieved success and what they learned along the way. The forum will conclude with a networking reception.

Confirmed participants include:

Tracy Day
Co-Founder and CEO of the World Science Festival

Michal Lipson
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University

Gail Mellow
President of LaGuardia Community College

Elisa Riedo
Professor of Physics, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code

Gillian Small
CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research
& Executive Director of CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

Susan L. Solomon
Co-Founder and CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation

Rein V. Ulijn
Director, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center Nanoscience Initiative

The Women in Science series, sponsored by CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small, aims to contribute to establishing a community of women scientists at CUNY by offering practical tools for building their careers as well as opportunities for networking with colleagues and establishing mentoring relationships.

1:30pm — Welcome

Gillian Small, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research & Executive Director of the CUNY ASRC

1:45pm — Keynote Presentation and Q&A

Wendy Suzuki, Professor of Neural Science & Psychology, New York University

2:50pm — Panel Discussion

Learn from leaders outside of academe what it takes to get to the top.

Moderator: Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College

Panel: Tracy Day, Co-Founder and CEO of the World Science Festival; Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code; Susan L. Solomon, Co-Founder and CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation

3:50pm — Networking Break

4:15pm — Panel Discussion

Hear from academics on navigating the path to the top in a STEM discipline career.

Moderator: Gillian Small

Panel: Michal Lipson, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University; Elisa Riedo, Professor of Physics, CUNY ASRC; Rein V. Ulijn, Director, CUNY ASRC Nanoscience Initiative

5:15pm — Networking Reception

Keynote Speaker


Wendy Suzuki, PhD is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University. Her research focuses on two main questions. First, she is interested in understanding how our brains allow us to learn and retain new long-term memories for facts and events. Second, she is interested in understanding the effects of aerobic exercise on our learning memory and cognitive abilities. Wendy is a recipient of numerous grants and awards for her research including the prestigious Troland Research award from the National Academy of Sciences and NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching award. She is also passionate about supporting women in science. Her first book, entitled Healthy Brain, Happy Life, was published by Harper Collins in May of 2015.



michal-lipson-2Michal Lipson, PhD joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Columbia University in July 2015. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the Technion in 1998 followed by a Postdoctoral position at MIT in the Materials Science Department till 2001. In 2001 she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. She was named Cornell Given Foundation Professor of Engineering in 2013. Lipson was one of the main pioneers in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of several of the critical building blocks in the field including the GHz silicon modulator. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Prof. Lipson held several leadership positions in the scientific community including, IEEE Photonics society board of directors member, co-organized numerous symposia and sessions in OSA conferences. She chaired and served on numerous committees including the Micro and Nanophotonics Subcommittee of CLEO, which she chaired 2006-2009. She has served as a topical editor (integrated photonics) for Optics Letters and served as a guest editor for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics of Electronics. She is currently serving on the board of directors for two international photonics centers, two start up companies and on the Rice ECE Advancement Committee. She is a co-founder of PicoLuz, a company specializing in nonlinear silicon photonic components. Professor Lipson’s honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the NSF Early Career Award. She is a fellow of OSA and IEEE. In 2014, she was named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.

gail-mellowGail O. Mellow, PhD has served as President of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens since 2000. A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for achieving boundary-breaking success educating underserved students.

An expert on the history, development and future of the American community college, Dr. Mellow co-authored Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice of the American Community College. She is frequently sought as a commentator on the changing landscape of higher education and has been quoted in a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg BusinessWeek and has appeared on national radio and television broadcasts on NPR, MSNBC and PBS.

In 2014, Dr. Mellow was featured in a series of New York Times articles on the challenges and triumphs of LaGuardia and community colleges nationwide. She is co-author of the new book Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters!, which explores a groundbreaking digital model for improving faculty teaching to increase student success.

elisaElisa Riedo, PhD joined the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s Nanoscience Initiative in August 2015, while also holding a professorship at The City College of New York. She completed both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Milan and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ecole Polytechnic Federale Lusanne in Switzerland. Riedo previously taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she served as Associate Professor of Physics. She is particularly well known for her pioneering work in thermochemical nanolithography, a technique used to create nanoscale chemical patterns with applications in biomedicine, nanoelectronics, and magnetic materials. She has also made fundamental contributions to physics and chemistry at the nanoscale, including insights into nano-mechanics and the properties of water confined in nano-spaces, relevant in all living systems. She is widely published, has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Reshma-Saujani-Kinloch-6132-head-2Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future. In her groundbreaking new book, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, Reshma advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally.

After years of working as an attorney and supporting the Democratic party as an activist and fundraiser, Reshma left her private-sector career behind and surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman in the country to run for U.S. Congress. Following the highly publicized race, Reshma stayed true to her passion for public service, becoming Deputy Public Advocate of New York City and most recently running a spirited campaign for Public Advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been sidelined in the political process.

Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She was recently named a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC’s Next List, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, and many other honorariums. 


Gillian Small, PhD is Vice Chancellor for Research at The City University of New York. As CUNY’s top research executive, Dr. Small has focused on recruiting distinguished faculty across many disciplines, on supporting faculty research, scholarship, and entrepreneurial activities, and on obtaining significant funding for facilities and instrumentation. She is also committed to enhancing and expanding student involvement in research across all academic levels. In addition, Dr. Small has overall responsibility for growing the University’s intellectual property portfolio, developing partnerships with other universities and research institutions, fostering relationships with industry, governmental, and non-governmental funding sources, and enhancing CUNY’s contribution to the economic development of New York City and New York State. Dr. Small also serves as the founding Executive Director of CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC)—which houses high-end core facilities and supports cutting-edge research in photonics, nanoscience, structural biology, neuroscience, and environmental sensing.

Dr. Small, an internationally recognized scholar, joined CUNY in 2001 and served as University Dean for Research from 2003 to 2008 before being appointed Vice Chancellor for Research. In 1988, Dr. Small joined the faculty at the University of Florida where she established her independent research program. In 1991, she returned to New York as a faculty member at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she directed a research laboratory as well as being Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

Dr. Small’s research background is in organelle biogenesis and molecular regulation of lipid metabolism. Her research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the American Heart Association. She has published widely in these areas and presented her research at both national and international conferences.

Dr. Small serves on the governing boards of the Association for Women in Science, The Science Coalition, the World Science Festival, and the New York Structural Biology Center, among others.

solomon-2Susan L. Solomon is the Co-Founder and CEO of NYSCF, a non-profit organization established in 2005 to accelerate cures through stem cell research.

A longtime health-care advocate, Ms. Solomon is a founding member and current President of NYAMR (New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research), is on the Executive and Nominating Committee for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Plan Association of NY, and she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, New York Chapter. Ms. Solomon was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. In March 2008, Ms. Solomon received a New York State Women of Excellence Award from the Governor of New York.  In September 2008, she received the Triumph Award from the Brooke Ellison Foundation for her work in establishing NYSCF and in December 2012, she received the Stem Cell Action Leadership Award from the Genetics Policy Institute.

Prior to founding NYSCF, Ms. Solomon, an attorney and entrepreneur, spent much of her career building businesses.  She established and ran Solomon Partners LLC to provide strategic management consulting to corporations, cultural institutions, foundations and non-profit organizations, and  was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Sothebys.com.  She has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lancit Media Productions, an Emmy award-winning children’s television production company, and as the President of Sony Worldwide Networks. Ms. Solomon has also held executive positions at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings and MMG Patricof and Co., and began her career as an attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton.

Rein_Ulijn_HeadshotRein V. Ulijn, PhD is the Founding Director of the Nanoscience Initiative at CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center and Einstein Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College. A pioneer in an area of nanoscience—the study and control of matter on atomic and molecular scales—his research focusese on creating materials and systems that are inspired by biology and have unique “adaptive” properties.

Dr. Ulijn earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, received postdoctoral training at the University of Edinburgh and was a faculty researcher at the University of Manchester. In 2008, he returned to Strathclyde and was appointed full professor and later vice dean of research. In addition to his research and teaching, he has founded two university spinoff companies in Britain, Biogelx Ltd., of which he is chief scientific officer, and Renephra Ltd.

Dr. Ulijn has been the recipient of some of Britain’s and Europe’s most prestigious scientific honors, holds seven patents and, since 2004, has been principal investigator of research projects that have generated more than $10 million in grants from public and private sources, including the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Industry. He has held several personal fellowships and won a number of awards, including the RSC Norman Heatley Medal (2013) and Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2014). He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Scotland’s national academy of science) in 2014.

The Women in Science series of events includes the annual Inspiring Women Scientists forum as well as smaller targeted roundtables and workshops designed to address areas of interest and concern for  women students, faculty, and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The program aims to contribute to establishing a community of women scientists at CUNY by providing women scientists with practical tools for building their careers as well as opportunities for networking with colleagues and establishing mentoring relationships.

Click on the links below to find out more about our past events.

2010 Women in Science Forum

2011 Women in Science – Negotiating and Successful Academic Career

2012 Women in Science Forum  

2013 Women in Science Forum  

2014 Women in Science Forum

Click here to register online now

For further inquiries, please contact Camille Santistevan at 212.413.3306 or via email.

Directions by train

Take the A, B, C or D trains to 125th Street station. Exit the north/front end and get out at 127th Street. Go west/left one block on 127th, and turn right onto St. Nicholas Terrace (not to be confused with St. Nicholas Avenue). Proceed about 6 blocks north up the hill. Please use the south ASRC staircase at 85 St. Nicholas Terrace, which is between 130th and 135th Streets. Once at the top of the staircase turn left. Then proceed to the main ASRC lobby.

Directions by car/taxi

From the West Side

Proceed to St. Nicholas Terrace via West 135th Street. Once at 135th, travel east and proceed to the dead-end at St. Nicholas Terrace. From there, turn right. Continue south on St. Nicholas Terrace until you see the second staircase on the right.  At the top of the staircase, turn right. Then proceed to the main lobby of the ASRC.

From the East Side

Take the FDR or the Triborough Bridge to Harlem River Drive. Exit at 135th Street. Continue to St. Nicholas Avenue and turn right, then left onto 141st Street. Turn left onto Convent Avenue, then left onto St. Nicholas Terrace at 140th Street. Proceed south past 135th Street on St. Nicholas Terrace until you see the second staircase on the right. At the top of the staircase, turn right. Then proceed to the main lobby of the ASRC.

Parking near the ASRC

Littleman Parking

300 West 135th Street
New York, NY 10030
Tel: (212) 368-1745

Website & Rates

Monday – Friday, up to 12 HOURS – $10.00 with validation
Contact: Miguel Encarnacion

Alliance Parking

311 West 127th Street
New York, NY 10027

Y & H Garages Inc

526 West 134th Street
New York, NY 10031
Tel: (212) 862-3502

Call to inquire about rates.