Women in Science Symposium to Connect Community with Professionals, Perspectives for Navigating Cancer and Gaining Layers of Support

| Fort Collins, Colorado — (February 7, 2024) — While receiving a cancer diagnosis can be lonely, not to mention frightening, getting tough on cancer will be a community endeavor March 6 at Colorado State University. Scientists, pioneers, oncologists and hands-on practitioners will connect the community to their work and perspectives thanks to the CSU Women in Science Network and its 8th annual symposium. The event will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with attendees welcome to the full day or as much of the symposium as they are able to attend. Attendance is free, and registration is open online through February 29 at WomenInScienceci.colostate.edu.

On average, more than one in three people in the United States will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, says the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS estimates that new cancer cases will exceed 2 million in 2024, a record high. Four new cases are diagnosed every minute. Each minute, cancer takes the life of another human. For Colorado, the ACS is estimating nearly 30,000 new cancer cases in 2024 across all types of cancer, affecting women and men.

At the same time, the symposium will connect the community to extra layers of support for navigating cancer. Those extra layers will include, but not be limited to, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and cancer research; using art to translate scientific ideas and health impacts; and clarity on hospice care as distinct from palliative care and why the two are confused and misunderstood. “The goal of palliative care is to provide the best quality of life for every patient, no matter the illness or the treatments,” says Helen Kilzer, MD, founder of the Banner Health Palliative Care Program at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado. Dr. Kilzer will deliver the symposium’s opening remarks. She adds, “A patient does not have to have a terminal illness to receive palliative care. The palliative care relationship is one of trust and adapts based on what a patient and family are going through.”

From Diverse Therapies to Oncology

Other speakers include Nicole Ehrhart, is a surgical oncologist at CSU’s animal cancer center and professor and director of CSU’s Center for Healthy Aging; Mallery Quetawki, artist-in-residence with the Community Environmental Health Program at the University of New Mexico; Hailey Kepler, an inpatient and outpatient palliative care and hospice nurse practitioner at the UC Health Cancer Care and Hematology Clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado; and more. A full list of presenters is at WomenInScienceci.colostate.edu/. The symposium also will include wellness round-table presentations and experiences, including oncology yoga.

The Women in Science Network also is welcoming 200 high schoolers to the symposium March 6. The experience will connect students with hands-on learning in digital literacy led by Pretty Brainy, a slice of academic life at CSU, and professionals in science, tech, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Students may register online at WomenInScienceci.colostate.edu and are urged to connect with the science department in their respective schools.

On March 7 the symposium will focus on budding scientists, engineers, mathematicians, medical professionals, and artists in grade 3 and grade 7. Students at those grade levels will enjoy a day of experiential learning at CSU.

To reinforce the fact that no one has to endure illness alone, the Women in Science Network has scheduled the symposium to coincide with Women’s History Month and segue into International Women’s Day March 8.

About the Women in Science Symposium

The annual symposium aims to reach as many students, scholars, and local and regional community members as possible. Symposium sessions engage students in dialog with women of ingenuity and tenacity. Candace Mathiason, co-founder and director of the Women in Science Network, says, “We are fortunate to celebrate the eighth year of the Women in Science Symposium. Each year is more inspiring than the last as we learn from leading scientists and innovators about their career journeys, discoveries, and achievements.” She continues, “Whether our participants are primary students or doctoral-level candidates, we hope to create a spark that will persist and motivate our participants to be curious and achieve.”

About the Women in Science Network

The Women in Science Network exists to empower women and girls in science from K-12 through terminal degrees. Mathiason and Julie Moreno, associate director, say, “We believe that the solution to barriers women and girls face in science education and in science fields is discovered by linking arms with people of all genders, all races, all colors, and all ages.” Along with the symposium, the network organizes and promotes the quarterly Innovating Minds Lecture Series and fosters small-group development for Colorado State students and faculty on career issues.

For More Information

Julie Moreno, PhD
970-491-5410 (office)
970-694-1020 (mobile)