Saturday event highlights women’s contibutions to STEM

By: Staff Report

PEMBROKe – The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will host “Hidden No More: STEM Women of Color,” a program celebrating diversity in the sciences on Saturday.

The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Center Annex. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. To register, visit

Historically, women of color have faced considerable challenges pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Attendees will hear from four women, who despite these challenges, have made significant contributions to their fields and are pushing society forward. They will discuss how others can help expand diversity in STEM education.

The program will feature Ann Vaughan Hammond and Peggy Vaughan ,who are the daughter and daughter-in-law of Dorothy Vaughan, the NASA mathematician portrayed by Octavia Spencer in the film “Hidden Figures.”

Dorothy Vaughan was head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ segregated West Area Computing Unit from 1949 to 1958. She was Langley Research Center’s first African American manager.

Also featured in the panel discussion are Dr. Jamila Simpson, the first African-American woman to receive a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from N.C. State University. She serves as assistant dean for academic programs, student diversity and engagement at N.C. State University.

Stephani Page is creator of #BLACKandSTEM, a Twitter community dedicated to connecting African Americans in STEM career paths. Page is a postdoctoral research associate in the Pharmacology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Freda Porter is president and CEO of Porter Scientific Inc. and enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe. Porter serves administrator for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. A graduate of UNCP, N.C. State, and Duke University, she is one of only a handful of American Indian women to hold a doctorate in mathematics.

The event is sponsored by the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the UNCP College of Arts and Sciences, New Student Programs, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Staff Report