Women Scientist of the Month

MAY 2019

Sally Ride
Born on May 26, 1951 in Encino, California, Sally Ride was the eldest daughter of Dale, a political science professor, and Carol, a counselor. With parents that encouraged her to explore, Ride attended Stanford University before applying to NASA and becoming only one of six women selected to become an astronaut. 
On June 28th, 1983, Ride went on her first mission to space aboard Challenger, where she helped launch and retrieve two communication satellites. The mission lasted six days, but she would return to again just over a year later on October 5, 1984. This time she used the shuttles robotic arm to clear ice and adjust an antenna. 
 Post-NASA, Ride spent devoted much of her life to encouraging girls to get into science. She co-founded Sally Ride Science, which provides K-12 programs and professional development for teachers.

APRIL 2019

In 2018, BethAnn McLaughlin became a public figure in the #MeToo movement in science by using her twitter voice to call out the inequality and sexism she has seen both in and out of the workplace. She has since started a website, Me Too STEM, where women can share their stories of harassment. Me Too STEM is now moving to become a non-profit to provide resources to graduate students and postdocs who have been sexually harassed. 
After learning that a scientist accused of 40 years worth of sexual harassment was still in good standing with the National Academy of Science (NAS), Dr. McLaughlin launched a petition to urge NAS to remove members who have sanctions for sexual harassment. She has since created a separate petition for the American Academy of Sciences to remove honors from proven sexual harassers - which was successful in the fall. Outside of official academies, Dr. McLaughlin has been successful in getting the popular RateMyProfessors.com website to remove it's 'hotness ranking' system.

MARCH 2019

FEBRUARY 2019

Mae Jemison, Ph.D.
Dr. Jemison was introduced to science by her uncle at a young age.  She quickly progressed, enrolling at Stanford university when she was 16 years old. After graduating with degrees in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies, she went to Cornell university to earn a Doctorate of Medicine. Dr. Jemison volunteered in Cambodia at a refugee camp and served in West Africa in the Peace Corps. In 1992 she became the first African American women to enter space aboard the Shuttle Endeavour, as a mission specialist. 
Her current work involves improving  healthcare in Africa and advancing technology in developing countries.

JANUARY 2019

Early Life Born in northern Italy to a Sephardic Jewish family, her father was an electrical engineer and mathematician and her mother was a painter. The traditional views of her father almost kept Levi-Montalcini from attending college, but he eventually supported her as she went to school to become a doctor. Due to Mussolini’s ‘Manifesto of Race’, which barred Jewish people from academic and professional careers, she lost her position as a laboratory assistant at the University of Turin. In response, Levi-Montalcini set up a laboratory in her bedroom to study the nerve growth in chicken embryos. This laboratory moved with her as she fled with her family to Florence to survive the Holocaust. Nobel Research In 1946, she became a research fellow at Washington University in St. Louis where she worked for 30 more years. During her time there, she isolated the nerve growth factor (NGF), for which she later received a Nobel Prize with Stanley Cohen. Humanitarian Work With her twin-sister, Paola, Rita went on to form the Rita Levi-Montalcini Non-Profit Foundation, which supports young African women’s education at all levels.

DECEMBER 2018

Born and raised in England in the Lyme Regis region, now known as Jurassic Coast. Her father was an amateur fossil collector and introduced Mary to the pastime. When she was 12, she helped unearth the first ichthyosaur, a marine reptile. After the death of her father she would sell her findings to help support her family. Oftentimes she sold her discoveries to paleontologists and scientists of the time though they rarely if ever recognized her work. Mary's discoveries of rare and bizarre fossils became evidence for extinction and revolutionized the field of paleontology and how we understand evolution.

NOVEMBER 2018

Youyou Tu is the 2015 Nobel prize winner in physiology or medicine for her work in developing a unique malaria therapy. Fevers were traditionally treated in China with sweet wormwood. After studying traditional herbal medicines, Youyou Tu extracted artemisinin, an organic chemical which inhibits the malaria parasite. Its derivatives have helped save and improve the lives of millions of people.

OCTOBER 2018

Donna Strickland

SEPTEMBER 2018