Lydia Villa-Komaroff - Molecular Biologist


“I grew up in a very big family in a very small house,” says Lydia Villa-Komaroff. That house was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where few Mexican-American kids like herself were lucky to even finish high school. But Villa-Komaroff knew from a young age that she wanted to become a scientist. She remembers when she was nine, hearing her uncle talking about his work as a chemist and deciding that this sounded like the career for her. “All children are scientists, but… I think it gets lost because people forget about the excitement and the joy of discovery,” she says. “I wanted to continue to explore things, take them apart, put them back together.”

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Helen Augusta Blanchard

Woman inventor rises above financial trouble, pursues her dream, garners nearly thirty patents and revolutionizes an industry. Sounds like a modern-day success story.  Even though Helen Blanchard would be remarkable by modern-day metrics, the fact that she achieved all of this during the late nineteenth century is even more impressive.

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Katherine Freese


Katherine Freese is the Director of one of the most prestigious theoretical institutes in the world, Nordita, the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Stockholm, Sweden. During her three year placement the institute is serving as her base for pondering the deepest mysteries in the cosmos, in particular the identity of dark matter, which makes up most of the mass in the universe but has stubbornly refused to reveal itself in physicists’ searches.

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Dr. Leila Denmark

When Leila D. Denmark, left her office for the last time in the spring of 2001, her retirement from the practice of pediatrics marked the end of more than seven decades as a practicing physician. At the age of 103 years, she was thought to be the oldest living medical doctor in the United States at the time of her retirement, a person who had seen medicine from the days before immunizations to the advanced medical technology of the 21st century.

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Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin

At age ten, Vera Rubin was fascinated by the stars, as she watched the night sky revolve from her north-facing bedroom in Washington D.C. Although her father was dubious about the career opportunities in astronomy, he supported her interest by helping her build her own telescope and going with her to amateur astronomers’ meetings. She got a scholarship to the prestigious women’s college Vassar, where she graduated as the only astronomy major in 1948. Applying to graduate schools, Rubin was told that “Princeton does not accept women” in the astronomy program. (That policy was not abandoned until 1975.) Undaunted, Rubin applied to Cornell, where she studied physics under Philip Morrison, Richard Feynman, and Hans Bethe. She then went on to Georgetown University, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1954 (under George Gamow, who was nearby at George Washington University).

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Dr. Ellen Ochoa- Director of Houston's Johnson Space Center

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a veteran astronaut, is the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center. Prior to being named director in 2012, she served the center as deputy director for five years.

Ochoa is JSC's first Hispanic director, and its second female director. Dr. Carolyn L. Huntoon served as JSC director from 1994-95.

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Annie Jump Cannon

 

Oh, Be A Fine Girl--Kiss Me! This phrase has helped several generations of astronomers to learn the spectral classifications of stars. Ironically, this mnemonic device, still used today, refers to a scheme developed by a woman. 

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Rosie the Riveter- inspiring Women in STEM since 1942

Our organization is inspired by and named after Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of the women who stepped up and stepped in to take on previously male-dominated roles in factories and heavy industry when men left their jobs to fight in WWII.  While widespread cultural references encouraged women to undertake such work (a song, promotional film, an image by Norman Rockwell, etc.), it was artist J. Howard Miller’s representation of Rosie the Riveter on the “We Can Do It” poster he designed for the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in 1942 that has become the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter and her can-do attitude.  As an organization, we aim to inspire girls to take a similar “We Can Do It” approach to STEM, and hope you will support girls in STEM by funding our modern adaptation of the symbol that, some argue, changed a generation.

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Jeanne Gang- American Architect

Jeanne Gang Architect Studio Gang Chicago, IL Age: 47 http://www.macfound.org/fellows/4/

Jeanne Gang,  (born March 19, 1964, Belvidere, Illinois, U.S.), American architect known for her innovative responses to issues of environmental and ecological sustainability. She employed sustainable-design techniques—such as the use of recycled materials—to conserve resources, decrease urban sprawl, and increase biodiversity. She is perhaps best known for her. Aqua Tower, an 82-story mixed-use skyscraper in downtown Chicago that, when completed in 2010, was one of the tallest buildings in the world designed by a woman.

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Ruth Patrick- a Pioneer in Science and Pollution Control Efforts

Ruth Patrick

Dr. Ruth Patrick, an adviser to presidents and the recipient of distinguished science awards, was one of the country’s leading experts in the study of freshwater ecosystems, or limnology. She achieved that renown after entering science in the 1930s, when few women were able to do so, and working for the academy for eight years without pay.

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