Out to Innovate™ 2017 Summit for LGBTQ+ People in STEM

Out to Innovate™ is a biennial cross-generational summit that provides an educational and supportive environment for career development and enrichment for LGBTQ+ students, academics, and career professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Established in 2010, this summit has become NOGLSTP’s signature event. This year’s Out to Innovate™ was held March 3-5 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers Massachusetts. Over 150 attendees had 24 workshops, a competitive poster session, a luncheon keynote and an Out and Accomplished Distinguished Panel session to enjoy sandwiched between two inspiring plenary addresses. Popular workshops included – Being LGBTQ in Academia, Careers in Research and Medicine, Mentoring Handbook, Working in a National Lab and LGBTQ Mental Health. Some workshops focused on personal growth to support professional growth and others dealt with demystifying the application process for fellowships and grants including a behind the scenes look at the review process, and science communication.

The Saturday evening program, NOGLSTP held its Gala Banquet and Recognition Awards Ceremony, began with poster award winners presenting their fantastic oral presentations. This was followed by the presentation of NOGLSTP’s Recognition Award Recipients for Scientist, Engineer, and Educator of the Year – Dr. Matthew McGill, Dr. Wolfgang Sigmund, Dr. Tony Butterfield. Barbara Belmont, NOGLSTP treasurer, was honored with the Walt Westman Award for Volunteer of the Year. Each award recipient spoke about their lives and career trajectories.  Honoring NOGLSTP’s 2015 and 2016 Out to Innovate Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship winners – Rachel Owen, Dustin Plowman, Albert Appough, and Dustin Nowaski – brought the evening to a close.
Presenters, students, and sponsors had a lot to say about Out to Innovate™:

“What a wonderful event that you made come true.  We are amazed (and inspired) by all of the hard work, blood, sweat, tears (I’m sure) that go into making Out to Innovate happen. Certainly the younger students who we spoke with said it was life changing. It was fortifying!” – Shana Goffredi, Occidental College

“I had a lot of great conversations and made connections with a whole range of different students, faculty, and professionals” – Drew Simenson, National Research Mentoring Network.

“It was really inspiring in general to get to know some role models that I could connect to in ways I hadn’t imagined.” – Undergraduate Student

“It was really great just seeing LGBTQ+ people succeeding in their fields, just to know that that is possible” –Undergraduate

“I was inspired by the confirmation that I could be out and proud in the STEM field. It was cathartic for me to see LGBT people strive and overcome their hardships through their professional work. All the workshops were insightful.”- Undergraduate

“It just felt welcoming being around queer STEM professionals. Felt like I was welcome in the field”. – Undergraduate

“I greatly appreciated the overall vibe and tone of the conference. I have never been fulfilled so completely as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as and STEM community member. It reinvigorated my passion for this field. The networking opportunities were stellar, I left the conference with many new friends and colleagues. I also greatly appreciated the talks by the keynote speakers ands well as the poster presenters. The breakout sessions I attended were uplifting and informative”. – Graduate Student

“I made a connection with some people in industry. It was great to be able to meet with them at this conference, it’s not like meeting with people at other conferences. I was inspired by all the women; I have to say. Hearing how there are more problems encountered because of gender over being a lesbian or something else was appalling to me. It has made me reconsider a lot.” – Graduate Student

“Helped to navigate transition from academia to industry and help to better relate with my non-LGBTIQA+ colleagues.” Graduate Student

“It felt so amazing to see so many other LGBTQ+ scientists! I especially learned a great deal about how to make my campus queer organization more trans-inclusive.”- Graduate Student

“This Out to Innovate was great, and was particularly helpful to me in terms of mentorship and community-building. I appreciated the opportunity to speak at length with panelists and speakers, and I received lots of great life and work advice.” – Graduate Student

“Looking at the stellar achievements of people at NOGLSTP I feel very inspired to excel in my own career. I felt like there is a community I belong to and I can certainly go a long way to learn how to assimilate my multiple, intersectional identities as a scientist.” – Graduate Student

“It was so motivating to see such incredible people who have achieved so much success while being out and advocating for the community.” – Graduate Student

“I think just being around people who are passionate about both science and LGBTQ issues was really amazing!” – Graduate Student

“I was inspired by being in a room with so many smart and creative people who have dealt with similar struggles that I’ve had. OTI helped motivate me to make things better for all marginalized groups of people across the nation in STEM.” – Graduate Student

“I was excited to hear from the next generation of leaders in STEM”- Post Doctoral Scholar

“Inspiration: how many younger professionals are unafraid to be out, proud, and speaking out for both their field of study and LGBTQ+ issues.” – Professional in Academia

“Seeing the variety of science/engineering disciplines represented was enlightening. Also enlightening was the passion that participants showed for LGBT persons pursuing meaningful science/technical careers.” –Professional in Government

“The session on transgender issues in the workplace was absolutely amazing. An incredible amount of information and really informative. I don’t remember learning as much in such a short period.” Professional in Academia

“I was inspired by the younger scientists that are conducting amazing research in their respective fields, and are also generally great people aware of larger issues facing our community.” Professional in Academia

“I was inspired by being in a room with so many smart and creative people who have dealt with similar struggles that I’ve had. OTI helped motivate me to make things better for all marginalized groups of people across the nation in STEM.” – Graduate Student

“Seeing the variety of science/engineering disciplines represented was enlightening. Also enlightening was the passion that participants showed for LGBT persons pursuing meaningful science/technical careers.” – Professional in Government

About NOGLSTP

NOGLSTP was established in 1980, incorporated in the State of California in 1991, and was granted IRS 501 (c) 3 non-profit status in 1992.  NOGLSTP’s mission is to educate the scientific and general communities about the presence and accomplishments of LGBT individuals in STEM professions.  NOGLSTP presents educational symposia and workshops nationwide.  NOGLSTP fosters dialog with other professional societies, academia, and industry to facilitate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. NOGLSTP is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a participating professional society member of MentorNet®, a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute Presidential Advisory Project’s Coalition, a partner with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) and a founding member of the E-Week Diversity Council.

For more information, visit the website at www.noglstp.org