Slam poet writes “Building a World” poem for Women in Science Symposium

The third annual Women in Science Symposium was held April 25 at Colorado State University, featuring speakers and panelists from Colorado and Oregon. The half-day event brought the campus community together to network with others from academic and industry backgrounds interested in promoting gender equality.

Learn more about the Women in Science Symposium

The symposium kicked off with the unveiling of a video featuring a CSU undergraduate student and slam poet, Merall Sherif, reading her poem in research settings across the university. Each scene also featured CSU’s female faculty and students in science or research. The poem, titled “Building a World,” was written by Sherif specifically for the women across the university and for girls aspiring to become scientists and researchers themselves.

Meet the women in the “Building a World” video

(In order of appearance in video)

Merall Sherif, slam poet, undergraduate student: Sherif is an undergraduate student double majoring in neuroscience and biology with a minor in poetry. She uses spoken word and slam poetry as a way to reclaim her voice as a Libyan-American Muslim woman and honor her most-authentic self. An aspiring gastrointestinal surgeon, Sherif serves as the officer of recruitment and retention for the Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate, vice-chair of the University Issues Committee, and senator for the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. Sherif is also the founder and chairwoman of ASCSU Women’s Caucus, which empowers women to take higher leadership positions within CSU’s student-run government.

Elizabeth Ryan, associate professor, radiation cancer biology and oncology

Blythe Lagasse, associate professor, music therapy

Kimberly Woodman, graduate student, music therapy

Rachel Jackson; fish, wildlife and conservation biology undergraduate student (left)

Emma Long; fish, wildlife and conservation biology undergraduate student (right)

Fabiola Silva-Angulo, Ph.D. student, infectious disease/tuberculosis (left)

Jessica Haugen Frenkel, Ph.D. student, infectious disease/tuberculosis (right)

Dr. Khursheed Mama, clinical sciences professor, veterinary anesthesiologist

Kim Nichols, assistant teaching professor, primatology and primate paleontology

Jennifer Barfield, special assistant professor, animal reproduction

Dr. Noa Roman-Muniz, associate professor, CSU Extension dairy specialist

Ellen Wohl, University Distinguished Professor, geosciences

Anna Fontana, instructor, construction management (center)

Vanna Hosanny, construction management undergraduate student (left)

Khristy Jesse, Construction Management Cares coordinator (right)

Jessica Grubbs, undergraduate anthropology student

Rachel Pries, professor, mathematics

Jenna Gallegos, postdoctoral fellow, chemical and biological engineering

Josiane Broussard, assistant professor, Sleep and Metabolism Lab

Dr. Samantha Evans, clinical pathology resident

Jessica Metcalf, associate professor, animal sciences

Elizabeth Creissen, research associate, infectious disease/tuberculosis

Julie Moreno, assistant professor, prion research

Amanda Walz, research associate, infectious disease/tuberculosis

Candace Mathiason, associate professor, prion research

Marcela Riddick, undergraduate, zoology

Danielle Adney, DVM student

Lumina Albert, associate professor, management 

The making of