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Chemistry DEI Colloquium Series: Mary Jo Ondenchren – Northeastern University
September 22 | 3:40 pm - 4:30 pm
About the Colloquium:
Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Indigenous Students in STEM
The low numbers of minoritized faculty members in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at colleges and universities can discourage minoritized students from pursuing degrees in STEM. Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM, a project of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), is aimed at breaking the vicious cycle and bringing more Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai’ian students onto the path to the STEM professoriate. As faculty members, the first of our Pathways Scholars are now able to encourage many more Native students and other minoritized students to pursue STEM majors and careers. This project, now with 181 participants, has already succeeded in increasing the number of Indigenous individuals who pursue faculty positions in STEM disciplines at U.S. colleges and universities. The need for the project, the project’s approaches, and outcomes will be discussed. Supported by NSF DBI-1444853 and DBI-1935888.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen is an American chemist, educator, researcher, community leader and activist. She serves as Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Principal Investigator of the Computational Biology Research Group at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Ondrechen received an American Chemical Society certified bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Reed College, Portland, Oregon. She pursued doctoral studies in Chemistry and Chemical Physics at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and earned the Ph.D. degree, under the direction of Mark A. Ratner. After postdoctoral research appointments at the University of Chicago and at Tel-Aviv University in Israel, the latter as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, she joined the faculty at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Ondrechen Research Group (The O.R.G.) is based in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University in Boston, USA.
Our work spans the areas of theoretical and computational chemistry, computational biology, bioinformatics, protein design, and drug discovery.
We have collaborators in experimental chemical biology, experimental biophysics, protein engineering, medicinal chemistry, mathematics, and computer science. Areas of interest include functional genomics – predicting the biochemical functional roles of gene products (proteins), protein engineering, providing computational guidance for drug discovery, and understanding the fundamental basis for enzyme catalysis.