This week’s #WCWinSTEM is Allie Skaer, a scientist and educator committed to social justice.
Allie Mae Byrd Skaer holds a BS in Horticulture and an MS in Education from Virginia Tech. She also holds an MPS in Horticultural Biology: Human-Plant Interactions from Cornell University, where she was the recipient of the Cornell Plantations Fellowship in Public Garden Leadership and the Dreer Award for international study and research. Currently, Skaer is writing a number of papers for peer-reviewed literature based on her thesis research at Cornell University.
Skaer is passionate about social justice issues such as how informal STEM education institutions engage underrepresented and underserved communities. As a member of the Filipino-American and LGBT communities, a community college graduate, and a first-generation college student, Allie has a strong dedication to equity and inclusion in education, and she has led numerous programs serving people with a history of incarceration, people with disabilities, and at-risk youth.
Allie has worked in both formal and informal education, and as the Assistant Director of Cheyenne Botanic Gardens (CBG), where she led the college internship, volunteer, adult education, and horticulture programs. Allie founded and chaired the Social Inclusion Working Group for the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the American Public Gardens Association. Allie also serves on CU Boulder’s Chancellor’s Committee for Race and Ethnicity, and works as a consultant for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for their UCAR/NCAR Equity and Inclusion (UNEION) employee training program.
Skaer finds it necessary to continue the work that she does because of her experiences with racism, sexism, and homophobia in the sciences and in society. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion because she says, “I don’t want anyone else to have to live with these things.” Skaer is confident that being apart of the solution keeps her encouraged and motivated to do the work that she does.
Allie Skaer on the importance of highlighting women of color in STEM:
“It’s vital for women of color to know we’re not alone, to support each other and share collective wisdom, and to work together to redefine what people think of as a scientist. It’s important for young kids of color to see us so that they can see that people who look like them are scientists.”
Allie, thank you for your service, dedication, and contributions to STEM. We appreciate you!
Copyright © 2016 by Jedidah Isler
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