top of page

2018 Keynote Speaker: Renee Horton


FRIDAY, JUNE 22 | 12:30-2PM

Dr. K. Renee Horton is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and works diligently in the community for STEM education and outreach. Renee is on a mission to change the face of STEM and make an impact on others by helping them learn to thrive as their authentic selves. She is the founder of Unapologetically Being, Inc., a nonprofit for advocacy and mentoring in STEM.


Her success did not come without obstacles and disappointment, starting with dropping out of college at 17 after learning of a hearing loss that prohibited her from pursuing her dream of being an Astronaut. A failed marriage and three children later, Renee returned to school in 2000 and finished her undergrad degree from LSU in 2002 and moved on to her finish her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Alabama. Renee was the first African American to receive her degree in the area of Material Science with a concentration in physics from the university. Her dream as a child was to work for NASA and currently she serves as the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Metallic/Weld Engineer at Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans. Throughout her academic career, Renee has received numerous accolades and awards including the Black Engineer of the Year Trailblazer Award in 2011.


In 2016, Renee was elected President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as the second woman to hold the office. She has served the physics community abroad as a member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Women in

Physics Working Group and currently serves on several advisory boards dedicated to a more diverse inclusion in physics. In 2017, she was elevated to a Fellow in the NSBP, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a member.


Renee has been an invited speaker for the first International Women and Girls Day at the United Nations, Essence Power Stage, March for Science – New Orleans and recently the LSU Engineering Spring Commencement. She has spoken all over the world including South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and the beautiful Virgin Islands. She is the author of Dr. H Explores the Universe, a children’s series, Dr. H and her Friends, and Dr. H Explores the ABCs. Renee recently received the Silver Anniversary Artie Literature Award for 2018 for her published works.


She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as well as the proud mother of three.


Renee’s Facebook , Instagram : an
d Twitter handles are @reneehortonphd.
Her website for the book is and it can be purchased on Amazon.

Her personal website is and the website for the nonprofit is

Renee will be presenting her Keynote address, "It’s Our Time to Make an Impact" at the FestiGals 2018 Tricentennial Empowerment Luncheon. Read about her topic here, then join us June 22 at the Tricentennial Women's Day!

bottom of page