October 18th – 22nd, 2021
Register for this year’s Empowerment Conference! See the list below for event descriptions and registration links:
Monday, October 18, 5:30PM: Sleep Better, Stress Less: Grad Student Wellbeing Workshop with Zan Barry
Sleep and stress are deeply interconnected. Learn strategies to help you improve your sleep and decrease stress, reboot your sleep schedule, and make getting up in the morning easier. MIT resources to manage stress and improve sleep health will be provided. Susanna (Zan) Barry is a senior program manager in Community Wellness at MIT Medical. Her preventive health programs at MIT include stress reduction, sleep health, mindfulness, and new ways of finding motivation and meaning in the Covid era. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology and certifications in health coaching, meditation, and yoga.
RSVP for Sleep Better, Stress Less (please RSVP by Thursday, October 14th if you’d like food)
Tuesday, October 19, 12-1PM: Keynote Address by Professor Sara Seager: “Innovation, Exploration, and the Search for Life Beyond Earth”
Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and a Professor of Physics, Professor of Planetary Science, and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she holds the Class of 1941 Professor Chair. She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concepts. In space missions for planetary discovery and exploration, she was the Deputy Science Director of the MIT-led NASA Explorer-class mission TESS; she was PI of the JPL-MIT CubeSat ASTERIA; is a lead of the Starshade Rendezvous Mission (a space-based direct imaging exoplanet discovery concept under technology development) to find a true Earth analog orbiting a Sun-like star; and most recently is directing a mission concept study to find signs of life or life itself in the Venus atmosphere. Her research earned her a MacArthur “genius” grant and in addition Professor Seager is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of US National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, and has Asteroid 9729 named in her honor. Professor Seager is the author of, “The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir”.
RSVP for the keynote address (please RSVP by Thursday, October 14th)
Tuesday, October 19, 4-5PM: Bystander Intervention and Coping Strategies Around Sexual Harassment with IDHR and VPR
Location: Virtual only, join the session at this link
Bianca Kaushal-Carter and Rose Angelle Poyao of IDHR and VPR will be hosting a one-hour workshop to talk about MIT resources around sexual harassment, provide tangible skills and practice around bystander intervention, and discuss coping strategies focused on self-care and empowerment. Bianca Kaushal-Carter is the Manager of Prevention & Education in the IDHR Office. She conducts trainings for students, faculty and staff about MIT policies, reporting options, and legal responsibilities, and coordinates other prevention education efforts within the MIT community. Previously, Bianca worked at Washington University in St. Louis where she provided culturally-relevant training to international students regarding sexual assault, and at Saweraa, a St. Louis non-profit that supported South Asian women experiencing IPV. Bianca holds a Master’s in Social Work from The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
RSVP for Bystander Intervention and Coping Strategies (the first 40 people who RSVP will get $15 food reimbursement, excluding tax)
Wednesday, October 20, 4-5PM: Zumba & BollyX Combo with Fen Tung
Location: In-person in W20-491 and virtual on Zoom
Join this high energy, super fun party to music from around the world! You’ll be sweating and smiling as you move to heart-pounding beats. No equipment needed, just space on your dance floor. Open to all fitness levels. Wearing sneakers, comfortable fitness clothes that allow for movement, and having water on hand is highly recommended for class. (Zumba is a Latin-inspired cardio dance fitness format and BollyX is a Bollywood-inspired cardio dance fitness format.) Fen is a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA-Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ISCA Master Trainer, STOTT Pilates certified instructor, and BollyX Co-founder & Fitness Director who has been training and teaching since 2003. She believes that each day is a new opportunity to do something good for your health. It’s not about perfection but about giving it your best. Fen graduated from MIT with a BS in Biology.
Thursday, October 21, 6-8PM: Movie Night
Join us for a screening of the documentary film ‘Picture a Scientist’, featuring the stories of some incredible women in academia, including MIT Biology’s own Nancy Hopkins. There will be dinner from Baker’s Best and popcorn from LaVerde’s that can be eaten at the venue while watching the film. Stay behind for some post-movie discussion if you have time and want to engage with your fellow graduate women!
RSVP for the movie night (please RSVP by Monday, October 18th if you’d like dinner during the event)
Friday, October 22, 12-1PM: Individual Development Plan Workshop with CAPD (Career & Professional Development)
An IDP is an Individual Development Plan– a key professional development tool used within both academia and industry, to establish priorities, set goals, and track progress. You can create an IPD to guide you in self-assessment, exploration, goal setting, implementation, recording milestones, and reflection. By creating and using an IDP, you can optimize your PhD years by planning experiences that will help you build the competencies and skills you need not only to finish your degree but to keep rising throughout your career. An IDP is not a static document; you will be revisiting and adjusting yours on a regular basis. Learn more about IDPs on the CAPD website.
RSVP for the IDP workshop (please RSVP by Tuesday, October 19th if you’d like food)
Friday, October 22nd, 5-7PM: Womxn in History Trivia Night
Come play trivia over dinner with other graduate womxn! The theme is womxn in history. You can come with friends as a team or we’ll assign random teams at the event.
RSVP for the trivia night (please RSVP by Tuesday, October 19th if you’d like dinner during the event)