Category: #WCW

Donna Strickland and Frances H. Arnold

From 1901 to 2017, only 48 women have been awarded a Nobel Prize (compared to 892 men). The 2018 announcements are still coming in, but so far it’s looking like a good year for women in STEM.

Donna Strickland

Donna_Strickland

Donna Strickland became just the 3rd woman to receive the Nobel in Physics (the last was 55 years ago). Sharing the honor this year with two others, Strickland’s work with lasers earned her the nod.

“Unlike her fellow winners, Strickland did not have a Wikipedia page at the time of the announcement. A Wikipedia user tried to set up a page in May, but it was denied by a moderator with the message: “This submission’s references do not show that the subject qualifies for a Wikipedia article.” Strickland, it was determined, had not received enough dedicated coverage elsewhere on the internet to warrant a page” –One Wikipedia Page Is a Metaphor for the Nobel Prize’s Record With Women

Frances H. Arnold

Frances_Arnold

Frances H. Arnold became the 5th woman to receive the Nobel in Chemistry (like Strickland, sharing the award with others).  Arnold received the nod for her work in with the directed evolution of enzymes.

“I think of what I do as copying nature’s design process,” Dr. Arnold said in an interview with NobelPrize.org. “All this tremendous beauty and complexity of the biological world all comes about to this one simple beautiful design algorithm.” – Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to a Woman for the Fifth Time in History

Dr. Frances Kelsey

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Dr. Frances Kelsey was a Canadian-American pharmacologist who worked as a reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after an impressive career as a faculty member at the University of Chicago and University of South Dakota.

At the FDA, Dr. Kelsey was a member of a very small team whose responsibility it was to review drug applications from pharmaceutical companies, placing a much needed emphasis on evidence-based data. During this time, Dr. Kelsey repeatedly blocked the application for a drug called thalidomide, which was already widely used in Europe. Drawing on her past research of finding evidence of certain drugs that crossed the placental barrier, she was not convinced that thalidomide was safe for pregnant women, especially with the data (or lack of) that was being presented. Despite growing pressure to ram the drug application through (drug company’s bottom line $ of course being their most important worry), Dr. Kelsey and her team stuck to their guns and refused to let a drug with possible serious side-effects into the U.S. market. In the 1960s, births of many deformed infants in Europe started to be linked to thalidomide, and it became widely known that Dr. Kelsey prevented a disastrous medical crisis in the U.S.

In 1962, she became the second woman to be presented the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Kelsey retired from the FDA in 2005 after 45 years of service.

Thank you to Sarah (a current #WCW in STEM) for sharing the below video and putting Dr. Kelsey on my radar!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez

A good follow up to the last Woman “Crushin’ It” #WCW post about the major uptick of female political candidates: 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez solidly beat out 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley (the 4th ranked House Democrat) in the New York primary. If elected in November (she is favored to win against the Republican challenger), she will become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Despite being out-raised 10-1 and repeatedly referred to in the press as “Joe Crowley’s opponent”, Alexandria was able to spearhead an aggressive and successful grassroots strategy. November is going to be crazy.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Millennial beats veteran Democrat

Congress, 2018

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Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

Shout-out to ALL the women who are running for Congress in November. As of now: 476 women have filed to run for the House in 2018 (compared to 272 who filed in 2016). Such a cool stat!

http://cawp.rutgers.edu/buzz-2018-potential-women-candidates-us-congress-and-statewide-elected-executive

Marta Minujin

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Marta Minujin is an Argentine artist who was recently awarded the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award this past March, celebrating her long career in the Latin American and Global art scenes. She got on my radar recently when I saw someone post a beautiful picture of her The Parthenon of Books exhibit that took place last summer.

Parthenon of Books

This exhibit was located in Kassel, Germany on the site of a Nazi book burning. Comprising of over 100,000 once-banned books shaped as a replica of the historic Athens Parthenon, it served as a powerful symbol against censorship. It was the second time she created this replica, the first being in 1983 in Buenos Aires using books banned by the military dictatorship of Argentina.

Tammie Jo Shults

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Former Navy pilot (reaching the rank of lieutenant commander) after being turned down by the Air Force,  Tammie Jo Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy three decades ago, flying the F/A-18 Hornet in an time when women could not go on combat missions.

Tammie eventually side-stepped into commercial flying, becoming a part-time pilot at Southwest Airlines. On April 17, 2018, the passengers of Flight 1380 were lucky enough to have her in the cockpit. The engine failed on the Boeing 737, flinging debris from a fan blade into the plane. Tammie was calm and collected, making an emergency landing.

Desiree Linden & Sarah Sellers

Those who followed the results of this week’s Boston Marathon probably already knew this was coming: FIRST US WOMAN’S WINNER SINCE 1985!

Desiree Linden

Desiree_Linden

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALYSSA JUSTINE HARKER

Such a huge congratulations to Desiree Linden, who battled through some really nasty Boston weather to win the marathon. Trudging through the cold and slowing down so her teammate could have a restroom break, Desiree cruised to win by more than 4 minutes.

“Honestly at mile 2, 3, 4 I didn’t feel like I was gonna even make it to the finish line,” Linden said, via Roxanna Scott of USA Today. “I told her [Flanagan] in the race, I said if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out.”

Sarah Sellers

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You have to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon, so Sarah Sellers had to have at least one marathon under her belt before the main event. It turns out, one was all she needed. Completing in just her second marathon, Sarah was the runner up. She ran the race without sponsors, and only signed up because her younger brother was also racing. The Arizona nurse plans to use the $75,000 prize money to pay down student loan debt.