Registration Extends to Oct. 3 for Girls’ Math-Science Event at MTSU


Registration continues for the 22nd annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference at MTSU, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

Middle school and high school girls — rising sixth- through 12th-graders — from across the Midstate are welcome to attend. The registration fee is $20. To register and for more details, visit The deadline to register has been extended to Wednesday, Oct. 3, or when maximum capacity has been reached.

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, helps girls and young women investigate science and mathematics careers, talk with women in math and science, attend workshops with their peers, participate in hands-on activities and meet girls interested in the STEM disciplines of math, science, engineering and technology.

Girls with an interest in STEM from Rutherford and surrounding counties are welcome to attend.

Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, assistant professor in physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s conference.

Holley-Bockelmann joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2007. She is a recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, is a Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow and her work has been supported by NASA.

Her research on growing supermassive black holes and rogue black holes has been featured in many online and print media outlets.

A first-generation college graduate from a family that sometimes lived below the poverty level, Holley-Bockelmann has a deep interest in broadening the participation of women, minorities and first-generation college students in science.

She is co-director of the Fisk-to-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, which is designed to mentor a diverse group of graduate students to develop the skills needed to succeed as a doctoral scientist.

Holley-Bockelmann earned her bachelor’s in physics at Montana State University and her doctorate in astronomy in 1999 from the University of Michigan. She conducted postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Massachusetts.

In 2004, Holley-Brockelmann joined the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Penn State University, where she became highly interested in gravitational waves and attended many talks on loop quantum gravity.

Her main interests are computational galaxy dynamics, all varieties of black holes and gravitational waves.

A free EYH adult workshop is planned. Adults will learn additional resources and tools that can help engage children and students in learning coding and developing critical thinking skills.

The EYH director is Judith Iriarte-Gross, a chemistry professor and director of the MTSU Women in STEM (WISTEM) Center. She has received numerous honors in a distinguished career. She and dozens of volunteers help run the event.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Many aspects of STEM are a part of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.