Every year, female STEM professionals are invited to share their experiences and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math with the participants of the madiSTEM Conference.

The 2022 Morning speaker is Dr. Anca Constantin. Dr. Constantin is a Professor in JMU’s Physics and Astronomy Department, where she teaches classes and conducts research on galaxies that host supermassive black holes in their centers.  Prof. Constantin received her Bachelor of Science in physics at University of Bucharest and completed her PhD in astrophysics at Ohio University. She held postdoctoral positions at Drexel University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, before joining JMU in 2009.  Her galactic investigations involve identifying telltales of the processes by which black holes form and grow. The lullabies her daughter heard when she was little often included some sort of cosmic perspective ... literally! 


The 2022 Afternoon speaker is Dr. Michelle Hesse, RD. Michelle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Professions at James Madison University. She received her PhD in 2010 from the Ohio State University Nutrition Program and completed a distance dietetic internship with Iowa State University, becoming a Registered Dieitian in 2011. Over the past 7 years, Michelle has been working to help food banks make informed procurement decisions based on nutritional quality. From 2018-2020, Michelle served as the Director of Agency Relations and Programs at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, helping to give vulnerable populations access to enough nutritious foods. Michelle continues as a food bank consultant and recently served on the Feeding America Nutritious Foods Realigning Task Force and the Federation of VA Food Bank Health Equity Work Group.  She currently serves as co-President of the Blue Ridge Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics district.   Michelle resides in Harrisonburg with her husband Sean, daughter Lena who has dreams of being an engineer and son, Connor who aspires to be a professional baseball player!  

Our planned speakers for the 2020 conference were Dr. Ray Ann Havasy, founder and director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning in Rockville Center, NY, and Dr. Anca Constantin, an Associate Professor in JMU’s Physics and Astronomy Department.  Unfortunately, the 2020 conference was cancelled approximately 1 week before the conference due to COVID-19.

The 2019 Morning speaker was Dr. Jerri Alexiou, a board certified dermatologist practicing in Harrisonburg since 2001.

The 2019 Afternoon speaker was Dr. Linda Thomas, director of the School of Integrated Science at JMU (Ph.D. in Architecture and Building Construction, B.S. & M.A. in Civil Engineer, Law Degree)

The 2018 Morning speaker was Dr. Angela Jarrett, a Peter O'Donnell, Jr. postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

The 2018 Afternoon speaker was Ms. Marne Martin (Bachelor's degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Masters degree in International Management from ESCP Europe in Paris France, and MBA from Krannert School of Management at Purdue University).

The 2017 Morning speaker was Dr. Cynthia Bauerle, JMU College of Science and Mathematics (Ph.D. Molecular Biology).

The 2017 Afternoon Speaker was Ms. Beth Mellott, Booz Allen Hamilton (B.S. Computer Science, M.A. Education).

The 2016 Morning speaker was Dr. Theresa Rutledge, Preston Memorial Hospital (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)

The 2016 Afternoon speaker was Dr. Morgan Steffen, JMU Department of Biology (Ph.D. Microbiology)

The 2015 Morning Speaker was Dr. Shalyn CrawfordFour Star Equine Veterinary Services (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine).

The 2015 Afternoon Speaker was Dr. Kimberly F. Sellers, Georgetown University (Ph.D. Statistics).

The 2014 Morning Speaker was Dr. Melyni Worth, Foxden Equine (Ph.D. Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology).

The 2014 Afternoon Speaker was Dr. Caroline Lubert, JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Ph.D. Engineering).

The 2013 Opening Speaker was Dr. Elise Barrella, JMU Department of Engineering (Ph.D Civil Engineering).

The 2013 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Crystal Brogan, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (Ph.D. Physics and Astronomy).

The 2012 Opening Speaker was Dr. Debra Warne, JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Ph.D. Mathematics).

The 2012 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Alissa S. Crans, Loyola Marymount University (Ph.D. Mathematics).

The 2011 Opening Speaker was Dr. Carla Martin,  JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Ph.D. Applied Mathematics).

The 2011 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Rebecca Goldin, George Mason University (Ph.D. Mathematics).

The 2010 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Kyle Myers, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Ph.D. Optical Sciences).

The 2009 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Kathryn Thornton, former NASA astronaut (Ph.D. Physics).

The 2008 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Monica Neagoy (Ph.D. Mathematics Education).

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