Forum to focus on women’s roles in sciences

Top women who study topics in medicine, global hunger and obesity will share their experiences at the ninth annual Global Educational Forum on March 19 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

This year’s conference theme, “Women in Science and Medicine: Challenges, Achievements and Way Forward,” brings experts from around the globe to delve into a multicultural, multi-discipline event. Forum topics include women in African medicine, global hunger, breast cancer and patient diversity, gendered politics of health and obesity epidemics around the world.

The annual forum focuses on women in scientific fields because they are, traditionally, an underrepresented group, said Rose Chepyator-Thomson, a professor in the College of Education’s sport management program and organizer of the conference.

The event includes a mix of UGA scholars and experts from around the world. This mix, said Chepyator-Thomson, brings the world to UGA while also giving students and faculty across disciplines a chance to collaborate.

“We need to be able to talk to each other across disciplines and across colleges,” she said. “And by bringing people from outside, we can enhance our research, and we can collaborate on grants—that’s how we can connect.”

This year’s slate of speakers features:

  • Aimee Nibagwire, a doctor and technical officer on USAID-funded global health programs who specializes in nutrition and infectious diseases. She will give the keynote speech, “From Infectious Minds to Infectious Diseases: the Journey of African Women in the World of Medicine,” at 8 a.m.
  • Maria Navarro, an associate professor of agricultural leadership, education and communication in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will speak on “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hunger in Global Communities,” at 9:30 a.m.
  • Melissa Davis, an assistant professor in the genetics department of UGA’s Franklin College, will speak on “Breast Cancer Disparities in Context of Patient Diversity” at 11 a.m.
  • Kelly Happe, an assistant professor in the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Franklin College, will speak on “Heredity, Embodiment and the Gendered Politics of Health” at 12:30 p.m.
  • Ouliana Ziouzenkova, an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University, will give the afternoon keynote speech, “Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Global Obesity Epidemics” at 3:30 p.m.

The event is also a chance for students from across UGA to present research posters, and the day concludes with a student poster award presentation.

The Global Educational Forum continues on March 31 with a special presentation from invited speaker Henrietta Ukwu, physician and senior vice president for global regulatory affairs at Otsuka Pharmaceutical. She will speak at 11 a.m. in Mahler Hall on “Regulatory Science–Role in Pharmaceutical Medicine and Global Impact.”

Registration for the Global Education Forum is free and is available on-site for all faculty, students, staff and visitors. For more information on the event, see

Sponsors for the Global Educational Forum include the kinesiology department in the UGA College of Education, the African Studies Institute, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public Health, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, the Institute for African-American Studies, the Institute for Women’s Studies, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, the Office of International Diversity and the Office of International Education.

For more information about attending the Medical College of Georgia at the Medical Partnership campus

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