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Using the Power of Storytelling to Attract and Retain Women in STEM

Using the Power of Storytelling to Attract and Retain Women in STEM

We are thrilled to announce Professor Kelli Hendrickson’s exciting initiatives aimed at bolstering the representation of women in the field of fluid dynamics. Kelli’s projects are integral parts of the “Stories of Women in Fluids Initiative,” launched in 2023 with the mission to foster a more inclusive demographic landscape within fluid dynamics.

Kelli has received an APS FOEP Mini Grant from the American Physics Society Forum on Outreach and Education and recently an ONR STEM grant to support her work going forward. The latter grant is dedicated to the publication of two books that harness the power of storytelling to attract and retain women in the field of fluid dynamics. Her recent invitation to present her ongoing work at the APS March Meeting, within a special session hosted by the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, underscores the significance of her endeavors (you can see the abstract from her talk here).

The first book, tailored for middle-grade female identifying individuals aged 8-12, is an anthology of captivating stories. Authored by current women researchers in the field, each chapter not only illuminates the science of fluid dynamics but also intricately weaves in the personal narratives of the young protagonists, inspiring them to consider a future in this field.

The second book targets early-career scientists, including those in graduate school and beyond. It serves as a source of guidance and support, featuring personal narratives penned by a diverse group of women at various career stages. Through these narratives, readers will glean invaluable insights and practical strategies for navigating the complexities of working in fluid dynamics and broader STEM domains.

As part of the Stories of Women in Fluids Initiative, Kelli has brought together a team of diverse women to form a Leadership Committee to help create the strategic vision of the Initiative. They are Dr. Roni Goldshmid (Caltech), Dr. Swathi Krishna (University of Southampton), Dr.  Beverley McKeon (Stanford University), Dr. Banafsheh Seyed-Aghazadeh, and Dr. Nicole Xu (University of Colorado Boulder).

Congratulations and good luck, Kelli!