Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies Hosts Women in STEM

The virtual event included Master of Science in Data Analytics faculty, students, and alums

April 2022 – Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies hosted Women in STEM, a deep dive into Drew’s Master of Science in Data Analytics from a woman’s perspective.


Assistant Director of Caspersen Admissions Chelsea Capstraw

Assistant Director of Caspersen Admissions Chelsea Capstraw moderated the virtual event.

Today, men greatly outnumber women in the field of data analytics. But the demographics are quickly changing, offering more opportunities for women to enter the field.

Ellie Small, Norma Gilbert junior assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, has been in computer science for over 40 years. “The attitude towards women has changed significantly over the years, and that’s a very good thing,” she said.

“In this day and age, there is still a little bit of a bias with women in STEM. It’s very important that we talk about those issues,” said Yi Lu, Norma Gilbert junior assistant professor of mathematics and computer science.

The field of data analytics is growing and evolving rapidly. The collection and analysis of data is used consistently throughout all industries. “Almost every business you can think of can benefit from analyzing data to help make decisions,” said Small.


Data Analytics is a rapidly growing and evolving field

“It’s not just about math and statistics, it’s about creativity and computer skills,” said Lu. “Data analytics is like a marriage between statistics and computers science.”

Capstraw discussed the value women bring to data analytics. “With more women in the field, companies will become better communicators in how data science is at the heart of effective decision-making and highlight specific problems that are solved.”

“There are so many data sets filled with data that are screaming to be analyzed, to find patterns to reveal something to help a company make a better decision or gauge its customer’s needs,” said Diane Liporace, assistant teaching professor of mathematics and computer science.

Lisa Stites C’21, G’22 found her passion for data during an Intro to Statistics course in her first year at Drew. “I had always struggled with math, but this was a type of math that made sense to me.” Her decision to pursue an MS in Data Analytics was solidified during a Machine Learning course as an undergrad at Drew.

“Most of the data analytics faculty and department heads at Drew are women and extremely intelligent people, it’s given me confidence,” said Erin Frederick C’21, G’22, who has landed a job at IBM.

“Because it’s a small program and personal, everyone is here to help,” added Frederick.

The data analytics program is very flexible and caters to working students. Classes are offered once per week in the evenings. Hybrid classes are also offered when needed, affording students a work/life balance.

Allie DiDario C’20, G’22 offered advice to prospective data analytics students, “Don’t be intimidated to try something new, just embrace it.”


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