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Northern, HPS hold Women in Math and Science event Thursday


April 30, 2019

Leslie Ruyle

Thursday, Havre Public School Educational Foundation and Montana State University Northern Alumni Foundation is partnering to hold the first Honoring Women in Math and Science Fields event.

"The evening is just going to be a celebration of women in math and science and we are just hopeful that we can get our students to attend," Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson said."Maybe identify with some of the things that these women are doing and excelling at and maybe inspire them to achieve as well."

Carlson said that the event is free and should last for about an hour, but the event will be followed by a reception where people will be able to speak with speakers and panel members. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Havre High School Auditorium followed by a reception in the west foyer of the high school.

"I just think that it's going to be a great evening," he said.

The event is also open to male students as well as students from other schools in the area, he said. It's for everybody, even if students aren't interested in math or science but if they have a dream they can pursue it.

"There are so many opportunities and amazing opportunities right here in our region," he said.

Carlson said that the event has grown a bit from what was first planned. The idea for the event originally came to him after he found out that Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University Assistant Professor Leslie Ruyle, Ph.D., who received her undergraduate degree from Northern, is an honoree at Friday's the Founder's Excellence and Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. Ruyle is a Founder's Excellence recipient this year.

Ruyle's story is an amazing one and was one reason he wanted her to speak at event, Carlson said. For her, Northern was the beginning of her journey and because she completed her degree here and pursued her dreams, she was able to achieve some wonderful things.

Ruyle said that Carlson is a friend of her's, of whom she thinks very highly. She added that she is very honored he asked her to speak at the event.

She said what she wants to communicate to the students is they should dream big. Ruyle grew up in a small town in Colorado before moving to Havre to attend Northern and had no idea of the opportunities were around her at the time. Since then she has been parts of world recognized studies, served in the Peace Corps and traveled all over the world working her dream job.

"I always had these big dreams, but I had no idea of what was out there," she said.

Ruyle has traveled to countries around the world working on conservation ecology projects.

Students need to pursue their dreams and look for opportunities wherever they can find them, even if they are not conventional, she said.

"There is every incentive to think big and not be afraid of going out there and marking your mark and doing what you want to do," Ruyle said.

Carlson said he thought it would be great to have her speak to the middle school and high school students, but he also wanted to include other women in the area who also are doing great things in the mathematic and scientific fields.

He then began to put together a panel of woman who he wanted to speak at the event, Carlson said. He added that Montana State University Research and Economic Development Assistant Vice President Jayne Morrow will lead the panel discussion.

"A pretty amazing individual living right here in Chinook," Carlson said.

Ruyle will also have a 15-20 minute presentation about her story and what she is doing, he said.

"For me, it will be exciting to hear the stories of the individuals that are working here and sometimes you don't realize just the amazing folks and the people around you," he said.

Carlson added that the event is the first time they have ever co-sponsored an event with Northern and if it goes well would like it to be bigger and have it grow in the future.

Students at times may feel limited by their geography or they potentially don't know what's available to them, he said. Some students might not know about the opportunities that exist in their area or even the doors that might be opened by the opportunities they have. He added that he hopes with the speakers at the event they might inspire and educate students of the opportunities they have in the future.

"If they have dreams, that they will have the ability to chase those dreams," Carlson said.

He said that he wants to highlight the teachers in the area as well as highlight Northern and the tribal colleges in the area and show what opportunities are available.

"I think our kids, all of us need to understand the potential that is right here and available to us," he said. "... There is some amazing things happening right here in our backyard that we don't always consider."


Read more about Leslie Ruyle in Wednesday's edition of the Havre Daily News.


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