November Salon Spotlight


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Each month, CEWiT hosts a Faculty and Ph.D. Salon to provide a venue for faculty and students to network, socialize, and learn more about the research and/or teaching of colleagues across multiple schools and disciplines. In addition to networking time with wine and cheese, select faculty give lightning talks on their topic of research/study.

November's Salon featured Shahzeen Attari and Monika Herzig of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Jennifer Piatt of the School of Public Health. Read more about them and their presentations below.

Shahzeen Attari
Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)


Shahzeen Attari believes CEWiT’s Salons are a good way to learn about technology research on campus and meet other women working on tough research problems. “I think this network is important because it allows graduate students to seek out and identify mentors who can help them navigate the challenges of academia,” she said.

As an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Attari solves puzzles related to human behavior and resource use. “I get to work on challenging problems and work with wonderful students,” said Attari. “For example, how do people think about how much energy and water they use daily?”

Attari wishes others knew that solving problems related to sustainability are more important now than ever. She hopes those entering a technical field will be curious, ask questions, work hard and have a blast. Attari says, “Discovering something new about the way the world works is tremendously exciting and rewarding.”

Monika Herzig
Senior Lecturer, Arts Administration Program, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)


Monika Herzig is not only a jazz musician, but also a lecturer on the music industry. She appreciates the creative potential in her field, but wishes others knew how much discipline it takes to refine your skills, and how hard it is to make a living. Herzig is proud she has never given up on her passion, despite obstacles in her way.

Herzig was surprised to learn how underappreciated jazz is in the country of its origin. She says she works in a field with “a huge gender imbalance,” and that female instrumentalists in jazz have diminished to “low single digits.” It was important for Herzig to discuss that in November’s Faculty and Ph.D. Students Salon.

When she’s not teaching, Herzig is performing, recording, touring, writing books and articles—she admittedly needs more hours in the day. Her advice to others entering her field is, “Be ready to work twice as hard as everyone else,” Herzig said. “And never give up.” 

Jennifer Piatt
Assistant Professor, Recreational Therapy, School of Public Health


Jennifer Piatt believes it is important for faculty and Ph.D. students to share their research with one another on campus, and that CEWiT Salons are a fantastic way to facilitate this. “I am always surprised and intrigued with what my fellow colleagues are accomplishing,” said Piatt. She hopes her own research will make a difference in health care.

As an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health, Piatt loves her ability to use technology to enhance cost-effective community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities. She is proud of her students who have succeeded in the field, and wishes others knew “recreational therapy is listed as one of the top 10 best paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree,” said Piatt.

When she is not working with her students or doing research, Piatt enjoys spending time with her daughter, Betsy, running, cooking and traveling. Her advice for those entering a technical field is, “Be open to new ideas and collaborating with others,” she said.

Watch videos of the November Salon presentations on this YouTube playlist!