USM’s Cwikla to be Featured Speaker Address at Women’s Conference

October 24, 2016

Dr. Julie Cwikla

Dr. Julie Cwikla, Director of Creativity & Innovation in STEM, Office of Vice President for Research at The University of Southern Mississippi, will be a featured speaker for Mississippi’s first TEDxJacksonWomen Conference set for Thursday, Oct. 27 in downtown Jackson.


The event will be held at the Old Capitol Inn in conjunction with the TEDxWomen event in San Francisco.

TED-Technology, Entertainment, Design- is a series of lecture events held across the globe where some of the “world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about.”

Cwikla’s talk titled, “Math Stories Make a Difference,” will focus on the power of parents’ words and expectations, and how they impact a child’s long term career options and success.

“We never hear people say, ‘I’m just bad with letters’ or ‘I was never a good reader.’  Unfortunately, there is a cultural norm in this country where people are comfortable sharing, ‘I don’t do math’ or ‘I don’t have a math brain.’ I am hoping to begin a conversation about mathematics phobia and how we can all make a difference for children and students simply by changing the way we talk about math,” Cwikla said.


Cwikla holds degrees in Mathematics Education, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. Working with others she investigates interesting and important questions about STEM learning and careers at Southern Miss. Funded by NSF, NASA, and others she studies preschool fraction learning, digital devices in the classroom, and growing algae on Mars.

Cwikla added, “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share the TED stage with thought leaders across the region, represent the university, and hopefully help lead the STEM education agenda forward.”