Event Date: Friday, February 28
Event Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Location: Shelby Auditorium

Seminars set up by University Programs faculty cover a variety of topics throughout the year. Students on and off campus are invited to attend to learn more about what is happening in the marine science community. Topics include oysters, restoration, hypoxia, and more. The majority of seminars are streamed live and archived to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab YouTube channel.

Talk: A Career in STEM: From Ph.D. to CEO

Dr. Adrienne Starks founded STREAM Innovations, Inc., which is an up and coming 501 (c) (3) designated non-profit in Birmingham, AL. Under her leadership, their mission has been committed to helping students develop and explore their passion in Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STREAM) by providing exposure, experiences, and engagement with high expectations for their success. STREAM Innovations promotes collaborative innovation to engage students in their desired STREAM discipline(s) and innovate solutions to real-world problems in their communities.  

Dr. Starks received a BS in Biology from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AAMU) and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her doctoral research focused on genetic variation influencing aging and quantitative traits in Drosophila melanogaster.  She transitioned from fly genetics to study human variation in disease in her postdoctoral fellowship National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  There she focused on cancer disparities between African Americans and European Americans.  While at NCI, Dr. Starks investigated how stress impacts tumor microenvironments by contributing to increased breast and prostate cancer mortality rates for African-Americans. These training experiences afforded her an opportunity to lead projects in the areas of basic and translational science, bioinformatics, and epidemiological research.  Working on these various projects provided her with an understanding of the importance of an interdisciplinary team science approach to problem-solving that she now applies to work in STEM education and community-based inequities efforts.

Her biomedical training at the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s most prestigious federal biomedical research agency, lacked significant representation of underrepresented minorities and women.  This reality has become the catalyst for her desire to promote scientific exploration and innovation for students within her hometown in Alabama to successfully pursue STEM careers.  

Her charge for STREAM Innovations is to bring programs to communities that lack adequate STREAM access and/or have a majority of students that are underrepresented in STREAM fields.  Because of her commitment to supporting community infrastructure, STREAM Innovations has partnered with local K-8 schools, libraries, recreation centers, and universities to develop programs that support and extend existing community STEM-based effort.

Click here to see the full Seminar Schedule.