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Registration deadline for September 22 Seeding Your Future Conference is September 7

ISSUED: 3 August 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Fifth Annual Seeding Your Future Conference for middle school-age girls is scheduled for Saturday, September 22, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Shepherd’s campus. The deadline to register for the conference, which is free and open to public, private, and homeschooled girls in grades 5-8, is Friday, September 7. Each girl will participate in four hands-on workshops, a plenary session, and a professional panel discussion. The day includes snacks, lunch, and a prize raffle.

Dr. Jordan Mader, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Sytil Murphy, associate professor of physics, created Seeding Your Future to inspire young girls to consider going into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

“We hope the girls walk away with a love of STEM and an appreciation that it’s fun and interesting and something they can do,” Murphy said.

Mader said spending a day on campus offers a valuable experience for the girls.

“By using the labs and classrooms, they get an idea of what it will be like when they go to college,” Mader said. “Shepherd students run workshops and are group leaders, escorting the middle schoolers around. This gives participants the chance to interact with the college students, who are studying in STEM fields.”

Seeding Your Future will include some favorite workshops from years past, such as Colorful Chemistry with Dr. Dan DiLella, chair of the Department of Chemistry; Hooray for DNA! with Dr. Carol Plautz, professor of biology; and Water Bugs and Stream Pollution with Dr. Peter Vila, associate professor of environmental and physical sciences. New workshops this year include three by professors in the Department of Psychology, Dr. Lindsay Levitan, associate professor of psychology, with Thinking outside the box: odd and unexpected mental processes; Dr. Heidi Dobish, associate professor of psychology, with The Eyes: a pathway to your soul or your brain?; and Dr. Chris Lovelace, associate professor of psychology, with I See What You’re Saying: Sight and Hearing the Brain, in which Shepherd’s human brain will be on display.

For a complete list of workshops and to register for the conference, visit

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