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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. 

We will continue to hold these events in a HyFlex format to be able to record and make the events accessible for folks both on and off campus. To ensure cyber-safety, the Zoom link will only be posted a day before the talk, so we encourage anyone interested to RSVP when prompted.

School Year 2023-24 Talks

Welcome back for another year of speakers in STEM!

Spring Speaker: Dr. Saul Villeda, Associate Professor at UCSF: Mechanisms of Brain Aging and Rejuvenation

Friday, May 24, 2024

12 - 1:30pm in person - Room 4211 (MESA Center)- and on Zoom

Zoom Recording

Saul VilledaDr. Saul Villeda, a distinguished researcher at UCSF, is renowned for his pioneering work in neuroscience. With a background in biology and a deep curiosity about the brain, Dr. Villeda has dedicated his career to unraveling the mysteries of aging and cognition. His groundbreaking research explores how factors such as exercise, diet, and blood composition impact brain function and longevity. Dr. Villeda obtained his B.S. degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and his PhD degree in Neuroscience from Stanford University.

Join us for an enlightening talk where Dr. Villeda will share his transformative discoveries related to aging and the brain as well as his own personal journey, igniting curiosity and inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Winter Speaker: Dr. Adriana Alvarado Garcia, IBM Research Scientist

Friday, March 8, 2024

11am - 12pm on Zoom


Adriana Alvarado GarciaDr. Adriana Alvarado Garcia works at IBM Research, focusing on Responsible and Inclusive Technology. With a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech, she contributes to making technology proactively accountable and inclusive. Notably, during her doctoral studies, she developed the toolkit Bitacora, addressed to practitioners working in non-profit organization sinterested in integrating social media data into their work, which she will talk about in this presentation. Adriana's context-based approach to developing technology reflects her dedication to shaping a more inclusive future, as she prioritizes situated data analysis for slowing dow ninnovation in the context of humanitarian and non-profit organizations.

Adriana was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. for graduate school. As a first-generation college student, she navigated barriers and challenges, now working in a tech company trying to make a positive social impact. Come hear about her personal and professional journey!

Fall Speaker: Dr. Yvonne Cagle, NASA Astronaut

Thursday, November 9, 2023

12 - 1:30pm in the Multicultural Center, Room 2149

Pizza lunch provided for attendees who stay after the talk to chat with Dr. Cagle in person.

Watch the Recording

Dr. Yvonne CagleDr. Yvonne Darlene Cagle is an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and consulting professor for Stanford University’s department of cardiovascular medicine and its department of electrical engineering. 

Dr. Cagle currently is the chief scientist for the Level II Program Office of NASA’s Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program. She was assigned as Stanford’s lead astronaut science liaison and strategic relationships manager for Google and other Silicon Valley programmatic partnerships. Her groundbreaking work is preserving NASA legacy data while galvanizing NASA’s lead in global mapping, sustainable energies, green initiatives and disaster preparedness.

After earning her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, Dr. Cagle earned an M.D. from the University of Washington. She completed an internship at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Calif., and a residency in family practice at Ghent Family Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.

We look forward to hosting Dr. Cagle for a "fireside chat" to learn more about her academic journey, career path, and what has propelled her in her research. (What is a fireside chat? It's a a personal and interactive discussion involving a moderator and a guest. Our chat will be moderated by SLI Director Sophia Kim.)

*photo credit - Dominic Hart of NASA Ames

**bio summarized from 

archive of past speakers

If you have any questions or suggestions for speakers, please contact Shizuka Yamada-Hunter, Biology Instructor at or SLI Director Sophia Kim at


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Shizuka Yamada-Hunter, Biology Instructor