Who knew that Rebecca Cockrum used to work with elephants? Or that Holly Scoggins is a leading expert on hops in Virginia, and Elizabeth Gilbert spent a life-changing two years researching poultry science in Sweden?
A dynamic group of leading women in the college composed a panel on Wednesday, March 23 in Fralin Auditorium. The event was held as part of Women’s Month, and the discussion was moderated by CALS Grants Coordinator Nancy Dudek. Panelists included:
- Mary Leigh Wolfe from the Department of Biological Sciences Engineering
- Elizabeth Gilbert from the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
- Kim Niewolny from the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
- Samantha Harden from the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
- Inga Haugen from University Libraries
- Kelli Scott from Virginia Cooperative Extension
- Rebecca Cockrum from the Department of Dairy Science
- Meredith Steele from the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
- Sonia Ehivet from the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science
- Holly Scoggins from the Department of Horticulture
Discussion topics ranged from the value that women bring to agriculture and life sciences to the importance of nurturing relationships with mentors throughout one’s career. Several panelists emphasized the need for women to receive equal pay for equal work, and the need to focus on letting an individual’s skill set, talents, and hard work – rather than their gender – ultimately matter in the workplace. Several of the panelists had a family history of farming. This background contributed to their interest in working with food, animal, and crop production in their careers, and shaped the values they hold today. Ultimately, the discussion was rich with varied experiences and perspectives, and was inspiring to the audience of 50 people who attended.
This event was sponsored by the CALS Diversity Council.