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Participant Reflections

"I came back from IPC rejuvenated, re-encouraged, and with a renewed confidence in completing my dissertation."

—Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics

"While attending IPC I was very doubtful if should continue striving toward a Ph.D. because I had one more qualifying exam to pass that I had taken four times already. But after attending IPC and talking to many of the very inspiring women, who by the way were just like me, it made me see that I am not alone and if they could do it I could too. So that June I took the test, passed it and even received a fellowship for the next year. I am extremely grateful to have been apart of IPC, it is a conference that was both inspirational and educational to me. It is an experience I will never forget."

—Graduate student, Mathematics/Commutative Algebra

"I thought the banquet dinner was very inspirational. It was moving to be in the same room with so many women from underrepresented minority groups with Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences. It serves as a reminder that getting a Ph.D. in the mathematical sciences is a tangible goal…I enjoyed the candid conversations about balancing a career and a family. I think that topic is seldom discussed and I appreciated the willingness of the panel members to share their experiences on that topic."

—Graduate student, Statistics

"Attending the conference made me realize that I definitely wanted to go to graduate school, and that research is a passion that I needed to pursue…All of the moments were memorable because I had never before seen that many women of color who were great at math. The conference was definitely one of the most defining moments in my life because it helped me make key decisions for my future."

—Graduate student, Applied Mathematics/Mathematical Biology

"The conference really lifted my spirits and helped me to move forward. As a first year graduate student, I needed to hear the stories of women who look just like me who have also struggled with racism, sexism, and favoritism in their respective institutions, but through faith, help and support from family and peers, and most importantly, with strong determination, were able to overcome these obstacles and succeed. After the conference I came back to my school rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. That following summer, I successfully passed two qualifying exams towards my Ph.D. in mathematics, and passed my last qualifying exam last fall. I not only take this opportunity to inform you of my progress as a graduate student, but rather to recognize the powerful impression the conference left upon me. I feel honored and blessed to have been part of such a wonderful event. Keep up the great work and I look forward to being inspired at the next one"

—Graduate student, Mathematics

"While attending the IPC conference I was motivated to continue to give back to my community. I have decided to become a high school math teacher so that I can help shape the minds of other women and minorities. The entire conference was memorable. Being able to be in the company of numerous mathematicians who were just like me was inspiring and truly a boost to my desire to continue in mathematics."

—Senior, Mathematics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

—Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"One thing the Conference did for my next steps is that it gave me motivation to stay in school. I heard from other women, including a single parent about how difficult graduate school can be at different times. Hearing the struggles and hardships and successes renewed my faith and confidence about sticking with it. It was extremely inspirational hearing from women of color, women that looked like me… This was an amazing conference that had such a powerful impact on my life. I hope it is offered time and time again. It was really cool being in a room filled with women of color who were at all stages of education. Very inspirational and powerful."

—Graduate student

"I had already applied and been accepted to Ph.D. programs when I attended IPC. But IPC did open my eyes to different opportunities for mathematicians. I was also able to meet people in the field I am interested in (biostatistics) and find out what they are doing or have done with their degrees. The entire conference was awesome. All of the speakers and sessions were informative yet entertaining. I met several people at the conference who I still keep in touch with today, both students and non-students."

—Graduate student, Biostatistics

"IPC exposed me to many areas one can study with a background in Math, and introduced me to the field I plan on studying in Graduate School. It was also a very empowering experience to see so many Minority women with the same passion...This was by far the most exciting and fulfilling conference I've ever attended, and I
hope that I get a chance to experience it once again. I hope that more people have the chance to experience the greatness of this conference."

–Junior, Mathematics

“It was an educational experience for me. The conference helped me grow as a mentor.”

—Professional in academia, IPC participant

“After attending the first conference, I definitely knew that I could be successful in graduate school.”

—College student, IPC participant

“I got to meet more math majors and learn a lot about the field of mathematics.”

—College student, IPC participant

“It made me believe that I can be one of the professors in a future meeting.”

—College student, IPC participant

“It was a pivotal moment for my deciding to pursue a doctoral degree. It not only gave experience in presenting my work, but it also inspired and motivated me to continue my research to complete my master's and discover my reasons for earning a PhD.”

—Graduate student, IPC participant

“Mostly it made me feel less alone…which has made me a little more comfortable pursuing the PhD.”

—IPC participant

“I felt very encouraged by women like me at a point where I really felt like giving up.”

—Graduate student, IPC participant

“I learned so many things about future possibilities in math that I never knew existed. This conference re-energized me in my pursuit of math. I love it! The research roundtable was my favorite part of the conference.”

—Undergraduate student, Mathematics


Infinite Possibilities Conference 2015
March 1-3, 2015
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

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IPC is a project of Building Diversity in Science (BDIS).