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NEA Big Read @ Duquesne: Kick-Off Panel Discussion: Women in Science Respond to Lab Girl

Kick-Off Event

As part of our NEA Big Read @ Duquesne programming, we will host a panel discussion that will feature women working in STEM fields at Duquesne and beyond to discuss their experiences related to common themes found in Lab Girl! 

Read more about the panelists in this brief Q&A.

See Photos From the Event Below!



Panelists 2.0


Dr. Kristin Klucevsek (Moderator)

Dr. Klucevsek earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. She has been a Teaching Assistant Professor of Scientific Writing in the English department of Duquesne University since 2013. In 2017-2018, she received both the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Award and the Duquesne University Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to teaching, Dr. Klucevsek is the faculty advisor to the student-run, peer-reviewed,   scientific journal, The D.U.Quark, which communicates research to a broader audience.  



 Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar 

Dr. Benmokhtar is an experimental particle physicist, and studies the structure of the atomic nucleus. She is an assistant professor at Duquesne University’s Bayer School of Natural & Environmental Sciences. Dr. Benmokhtar does most of her research work using a particle accelerator at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News (, which allows her to collaborate with scientists from all around the world. She has co-authored more than 80 refereed publications: three in Nature and one in Science.



Dr. Plaxedes Chitiyo

Dr. Chitiyo is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Environmental Research and Education as well as the Internship / Capstone Coordinator for the Environmental Science & Management graduate program. Her scholarly interests are in the areas of sustainable agriculture in developed and developing regions, urban green space development, environmental justice and policy,  sustainability, and community development. Dr. Chitiyo has a PhD. in Environmental Resources and Policy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.



Dr. Jelena Janjic 

Dr. Janjic is an associate professor of Pharmaceutics at Duquesne. She is the founder and co-director of Duquesne's Chronic Pain Research Consortium, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to research and education on chronic pain. She was inducted into Duquesne University's Research Hall of Fame in 2018, and received the 2018 Pittsburgh Business Times Innovator award for pain nanomedicine work. She is part of the leadership team at WIS@DU since its founding.



Dr. Lauren O'Donnell

Dr. O’Donnell is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy. Her lab studies how viruses alter the course of brain development, with an emphasis on understanding the neuroimmunology of neonatal and pediatric infections.  She was awarded Duquesne University’s Creative Teaching Award in 2014 and 2018, and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019. 




Irene Qualters

Ms. Qualters is the Associate Laboratory Director for Simulation and Computation at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She previously served as a Senior Science Advisor in the Computing and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF).Prior to her NSF career, she had a distinguished 30-year career in industry, with a number of executive leadership positions in research and development in the technology sector. Ms. Qualters is a Duquesne University alum and former member of the university Board of Directors.


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