“Everybody relax, I’m a scientist”
Starting the New Year right with my favorite Woman “Crushin'” It ever, Alyssa!
Alys has had a pretty eventful couple of months. On December 14, 2018 she was officially presented her PhD from the University of Chicago’s program of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. The first picture above is from her defense, “Investigating molecular mechanisms and dynamics of Ena/VASP and other actin binding proteins”. Celebrations were in order (2nd picture), but not before practicing safe science.
While finishing up the PhD, Alyssa was traveling back and forth from Chicago to Cleveland, interviewing for careers after graduation. After a lot of miles, many phone and in person interviews and follow-ups, I’m very happy to share that Alys has accepted a Data Scientist role at the wonderful company Smucker’s!
Tackling all of this while also navigating the logistics of moving back to Cleveland is just one example (of many) of how Alys is able to do anything she sets her mind to do. Her commitment to being the best version of herself is what I admire most about her, and I’m so excited to see her continue to “Crush” it on the regular.
The number of women in the traditional “Guess Who?” game: 5 out of 24. The number of women in the “Who’s She?” spin-off from creator Zuzia Kozerska-Girard: Every. Single. One.
Biography cards that focus on the Woman’s accomplishments, this game probably has the best rule modification from it’s predecessor: you are NOT allowed to ask questions regarding appearances (HUZZAH!). Very exciting to see a game centered on learning more about bold, powerful women who have made an impact on society. Hopefully more games to come that will inspire little girls (and boys).
Read the Yahoo article because it’s fantastic:
“A record number of women will serve in the U.S. Congress in January 2019, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers.
In the 116th Congress, at least 125 (106D, 19R) women will serve overall, increasing the percentage of women in Congress from 20% to 23% at minimum. There are three additional House races featuring a woman candidate that remain too close to call (GA-7, NY-22, UT-4).
- At least 102 (89D, 13R) women will serve in the U.S. House (previous record: 85 set in 2016), including a minimum of 43 (42D, 1R) women of color. Women will be at least 23% of all members of the U.S. House, up from 19.3% in 2018.
- At least 23 (17D, 6R) women will serve in the U.S. Senate (previous record: 23), including 4 (4D) women of color. Women will be at least 23% of all members of the U.S. Senate, matching women’s current level of Senate representation.
Nine (6D, 3R) women will serve as governors in 2019, including 1 (1D) woman of color.
The freshman class of women in the House of Representatives in 2019 will be the largest ever with a minimum of 36 non-incumbent women elected. 36 (35D, 1R) non-incumbent women have already won and 1 (1D) more is in an undecided contest. The previous high was 24, set in 1992.
“We’ve seen important breakthroughs, particularly in the U.S. House,” said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh, “but deepening disparities between the parties in women’s representation will continue to hobble us on the path to parity. We need women elected on both sides of the aisle.” – CAWP Center for American Women and Politics
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 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 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
A fantastic CNN piece about the women of Puerto Rico who are kicking ass and taking names getting the island back on its feet post-Hurricane Maria
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!
Girl Scout and future leader of America Julianne Speyer:
Fiction writer and the 2018‒2019 Radcliffe fellow Lauren Groff being interviewed by The Harvard Gazette:
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.
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!
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.
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.