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Mel Cossette, of Edmonds CC’s MatEdU Center presented at the Gordon Research Conference


Mel Cossette
Mel Cossette

Mel Cossette, Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), housed at Edmonds College, was invited to present at the Gordon Research Conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine on June 24.

Cossette’s presentation was based on MatEdU’s research and was titled, “Recruitment and Retention Practices for Women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.”

The presentation consisted of:

  • Statistics about jobs from the Department of Labor
  • Effective strategies to recruit women into STEM fields
  • Outreach and retention strategies

According to the Department of Labor, women make up close to half of the workforce, yet hold an estimated one in four STEM jobs.

“You can still be who you are and hold onto what you are,” said Cossette. “You don’t have to give up your passion to go into a STEM field as a woman.”

There were 165 attendees with 36 states and 17 countries being represented and only three community colleges attended. MatEdU and Edmonds CC were the only community college invited to present.

The annual conference held in the northeast has an international following and invites experts in their respective fields to attend and present.

The Gordon Research Conference promotes discussions and the free exchange of ideas. Scientists with common professional interests come together for a full week of intense discussion and examination of the most advanced aspects of their field.

“It was quite an honor to be recognized and invited to present at such a conference,” said Cossette. “I found the conference very impressive and the experience to be able to learn about cutting-edge research was phenomenal.”