Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer has spent more than a decade diligently working towards broadening participation of women and underrepresented group in STEM fields. She is the Associate Director of the Purdue University Women in Engineering Program where she leads retention efforts and conducts research around female student success. She also holds a courtesy Associate Professor appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue.
Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer’s research focuses around understanding the barriers and pathways to success for typically marginalized groups in STEM. She is currently developing an online training program for students with under-developed spatial skills. She is also working to understand the intricacies of female undergraduate students’ successful navigation to their degrees. Finally, Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer and her colleagues study the career pathways of indigenous women to better inform practices and policies in the work force.
She has held several positions across academia including Deputy Director of Purdue’s NSF-ADVANCE initiative to increase the number of female faculty in the STEM fields and Associate Professor and co-Chair of Mathematics at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN where she implemented a curriculum revision and developed a Mathematics-Engineering dual degree program.
Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer earned her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University. She was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012 from Purdue University Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences where she also serves on their Alumni Advisory Board.
Learn more about the Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations Advisory Board here.