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RIT STEM educator included in Smithsonian exhibit  

RIT STEM educator included in Smithsonian exhibit  

Tiffany Panko, director of the Deaf Health Laboratory in the Center for Culture and Language at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, is being recognized for her accomplishments in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field.  

Tiffany Panko

Panko will be among 120 women in the STEM field who are personified in life-sized statues that will be on display in Smithsonian gardens and in select Smithsonian museums March 5-27 for the #IfThenSheCan — The Exhibit. 

The exhibit, which represents women leaders engaged in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled.  

The exhibit kicks off the Smithsonian’s Women’s Futures Month in March, which is a celebration of the power of women and girls in STEM to shape a better world. 

“My passion for encouraging young women to pursue education and careers in STEM runs deep, and this honor is another way that I can share my message,” Panko said. 

Panko, an alumna of RIT who received support from NTID, earned her undergraduate degree in applied arts and sciences, with concentrations in premedical and psychological studies, in 2008. She earned her MBA from Saunders College of Business in 2009 and her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2016. 

In her role at NTID, Panko oversees the Deaf Health Laboratory’s mission to promote health justice by conducting research and initiatives in the deaf community on the areas of preventive health, family planning, health literacy, and the deaf experience in health care.  

Panko’s research interests include reproductive justice, health literacy, access to health care and women’s health issues. 

Panko is also involved with the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate program as the director of research networking. The program provides scientific mentoring for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to become a strong candidate for a doctoral degree program in biomedical or behavioral science disciplines. 

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