A University of Maryland Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Event


You are cordially invited to our spring talk in the
Dean’s Voices of Inclusive Excellence Lecture Series

“Just because you’re a pawn doesn’t mean you have to lose the game”

presented by

Rita Colwell
Distinguished University Professor Emeritus
University of Maryland

Thursday, March 3, 2022
3:30 p.m.
Conference followed by a reception

Room ESJ 0202 (Floor plan)

In an age of science, technology, medicine, mathematics and social upheaval, equality of opportunity and diversity are fundamental and essential to the survival of the human species. Much has been written and many actions have been initiated to address issues associated with diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) careers. Fundamentally, national security, social stability and economic vitality depend on the full utilization of every nation’s talents in the 21st century in all dimensions if pandemics, climate change and yet unknown challenges are to be met. The personal journeys of women in science illustrate the many obstacles women have had to overcome to succeed and provide a useful guide to the changes needed if all underrepresented people can prevail and secure the future. These paths and challenges will be discussed… and framed by personal experiences.

Dr. Rita Colwell is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and President of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests focus on infectious disease, water, and health in the world. She is the author or co-author of 20 books and more than 800 scientific publications.

Dr. Colwell served as the 11th director of the National Science Foundation and co-chair of the Science Committee of the National Council of Science and Technology.

Dr. Colwell has served as Chairman of the Board of the American Academy of Microbiology, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences and the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Colwell is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Irish Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the ‘American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Colwell has received 63 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning and is a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, awarded by the Emperor of Japan, National Medal of Science 2006, awarded by the President of the United States, the Stockholm Water Prize 2010 awarded by the King of Sweden and the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018 from Singapore. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, was named in recognition of his work in the polar regions.

The cover of the book A Lab of One's OwnIn 2020, she released “A Lab of One’s Own,” a book that documents everything Dr. Colwell has seen and heard in his six decades of science, from sexual harassment in the lab to dark systems blocking women from leading professional organizations or publishing their work. Along the way, she meets other women who oppose the status quo, including a group at MIT who revolt when they discover their labs are only a fraction of the size of their male colleagues. It’s the science book of the #MeToo era, offering a shrewd diagnosis of how to tackle the problem of sexism in science and a celebration of women pushing back.

This event is organized and sponsored by the CMNS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.

If you have a question about this event, please contact Abby Robinson at abbyr@umd.edu or 301-405-5845.


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