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Recognizing Women who Mentor December 6, 2010

Posted by Connie Chow in Events, General Post, women in science.
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The saying goes that behind every successful man is a woman. This may be true, but underlying the efforts of Dr. Joanne Kamens and Dr. Tayyaba Hasan is the conviction that behind every successful woman is a mentor. Someone who is part nurturer, part champion, part guru, part sponsor. These were roles that came naturally to these women.

On November 10th, ~150 guests, sponsors, girls and families attended the Catalyst Award Ceremony and Benefit to recognize and celebrate the relentless efforts of these two remarkable women. But before we gave them the podium, meteorologist Mish Michaels shared her story,and interviewed a panel of our girls.

   

Keynote speaker Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, from MLSC, described the challenges that women in science, especially female entrepreneurs continue to face in advancement and in obtaining capital–before she took on a tangram challenge, amongst other puzzles, brought to us by Dr. Penny Noyce (of the Noyce Foundation) and her crew including the Mistress of Metaphor!

Using a few of the games from Dr. Noyce’s book, our special guests Yvonne Spicer, Ronnie Maffa, Mandy Pant, Sandra Glucksman (all MHT Women to Watch awardees) showed their competitive spirit by leading teams to use their thinking and coordination skills. All in the spirit that science and engineering are fun, and collaborative.

Finally, we presented the awards. We didn’t only acknowledge that Dr. Kamens and Dr. Hasan are pioneers in scientific exploration and have forged solid reputations for themselves in the fields of RNAi therapeutics and photomedicine, respectively. Their professional success is driven by their scientific curiosity and dedication to creating inventive cures for recalcitrant diseases. But these are not the only qualities that make them worth aspiring to. They are also driven the need to give back and to change the status quo.

They took the initiative to facilitate interpersonal dialogue (mentoring circles) and create institutional mechanisms (postdoctoral associations) whereby women and girls of this generation and the next can thrive in the sciences and in their chosen professions. Read more about their accomplishments here. We are honored to honor them.

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Interested in joining our Catalyst Award nominations and event committee? Sign up here.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting this event and our programs!

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