Seton Hill Hosts Global Women's Breakfast

Seton Hill University hosted the Pittsburgh Women Chemists Committee's (WCC) Global Women's Breakfast (GWB) on Saturday, February 24 with Provost Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D., as keynote speaker. 

The Pittsburgh WCC is a committee of the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society' (ACS). The breakfast at Seton Hill was part of a global effort coordinated by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry or IUPAC. Each year, the IUPAC Global Women's Breakfast is held in conjunction with the U.N. Day of Women and Girls in Science. The goal of the event is to establish an active network of people of all genders to overcome the barriers to gender equality in science. Over the last five years, more than 1500 GWB events have been held in 100 countries. 

This year's theme was “Catalyzing Diversity in Science." The event at Seton Hill was organized by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Amalene Cooper-Morgan, Pittsburgh WCC Chair.

Sister Susan, a Seton Hill alumna and Professor of Chemistry in addition to her role as Provost, spoke of her experiences as a woman in science and a leader and how she has navigated challenges in her various roles. 

She discussed how she and other women in science programs in graduate schools in the past had to constantly prove themselves. As the only women in class - or one of only two or three - they were "doubted, targeted or just ignored."

That has drastically improved as more women are teaching in graduate programs, but those experiences certainly shaped Sister Susan's perspective and her leadership style. 

"We each have our own story," she said. "The question is how did you cope with that and how did you thrive? I think we did because we all have this inner resilience, this persistence and this commitment to reaching our goal. Personally I've been guided and encouraged by the directive of Elizabeth Ann Seton .... to be prepared to meet your grace in every circumstance in life and the Setonian work ethic, which I define as to do whatever it takes, and I think all who have succeeded in this profession have done what it takes."