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SLI Events

STEM Equity Seminars for Owls

Interested in equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in the STEM field? Join us for talks with academics, practitioners, and educators who are doing the work in a variety of ways.

Open to students, faculty, and staff interested in these issues, our STEM Equity Seminars for Owls (SESO) series is hosted by the Science Learning Institute in partnership with Foothill's STEM Division.

Seminar Series Format

Each session will involve a main speaker(s) who will present their research or work. There will be time for questions and answers at the end of each talk.

All sessions are recorded and posted here as well as on the Science Learning Institute YouTube channel for later reference. 

School Year 2022-23 Talks

We're excited to bring a new line-up of speakers for the 2022-23 school year. 

With more of campus back in person, these talks will be HyFlex where speakers may be in person or on Zoom, and we will have a classroom at Foothill where folks can join in person along with a Zoom link. 

Additionally, each event will have a lunch portion. We encourage students and faculty to join us and be in community! 

All talks are held in Room 4502 and Zoom link will be posted a week before the event. Recordings of events will also be posted after the talk. 

Jennifer Ortiz Cardenas: Microfluidics as a vehicle to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM - 10/21/22, 1pm - 2:30pm

Jennifer Ortiz CardenasDuring this talk, Dr. Ortiz Cárdenas will share how she went from being born and raised in Luquillo, Puerto Rico to her current position at the Stanford Microfluidics Foundry. She will discuss her thesis work on integrating 3D cultures in microfluidic devices, lessons learned from nearly a decade in academic and research environments, and the programming available for community college students to become involved in microfluidics-based research opportunities.

Dr. Jennifer Ortiz Cárdenas is the Director and Outreach Coordinator of the Microfluidics Foundry at Stanford University. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from Binghamton University and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Virginia under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca R. Pompano. In her research, she developed biomimetic photo-patterned 3D cultures to recreate the spatial organization of tissue on microfluidic chips. In her current role, she is in charge of the Microfluidics Foundry and supports nearly 30 users in integrating microfluidics in their research. Additionally, she is passionate about improving diversity and inclusion in STEM and has developed outreach programming to increase the representation of Latinx and other URM’s in the microfluidics field.

Pizza lunch before event from 12 - 1pm in the PSEC quad. 

Recording of talk on SLI YouTube channel

Sofia Sheikh: Forging a career in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) - Fri 12/2/22, 11am - 12:30pm

Sofia SheikhThe Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a small but vibrant sub-field within astrobiology. In this discussion, Dr. Sheikh will talk about the weird winding path, from rural South Carolina to NSF Fellow, that brought her to studying the challenging topic of searching for life in space.

Dr. Sofia Sheikh is an NSF-ASCEND Postdoctoral Fellow working on the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) at the SETI Institute. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from UC Berkeley in 2017, and her dual-title PhDs in Astronomy and Astrobiology in 2021. In her current position, she primarily uses the ATA to search for radio-wave "technosignatures" from extraterrestrial life, while also running experiments on more-typical astronomical objects such as pulsars and fast radio bursts.

Chipotle burrito lunch after event in the PSEC quad. 

Recording of Dr. Sheikh's Talk on Zoom

archive of past speakers

If you have any questions or suggestions for speakers, please contact Christina Rotsides, Chemistry instructor, at  or SLI Director Sophia Kim at


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Christina Rotsides, Chemistry Instructor