Friday, October 17, 2008

Oprah Magazine Honors Women Promoting Science to Girls

Last spring, O, The Oprah Magazine honored 80 "trail-blazing" women as winners of their White House Leadership Project Contest. The November issue of O has profiles of those winning women, three of whom devote themselves to promoting science to girls. The winners:

D├ęborah Berebichez grew up in Mexico City. She studied mathematics despite being discouraged by family and friends, and earned a PhD in physics from Stanford in 2004. She then moved to New York as a postdoc in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia. According to the article in O, she has left academia, and currently works as a consultant for the financial risk analysis firm MSCI Barra. In her spare time she has been making videos that present science to girls in a fun and friendly format. She hopes that the her series, The Science Of Everyday Life, will eventually be turned into a television show.

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Tanya Moore has a BS in mathematics from Spelman College, a Masters from the Mathematical Sciences Department at Johns Hopkins University, and PhD in biostatistics from UC Berkeley. She currently heads the Chronic Disease Prevention Program for the City of Berkeley Public Health Department.
In 2003 she established the Infinite Possibilities Conference, a math conference for minority women and girls. The first conference was held in 2005 at Spelman College. According to an article in the Oakland Tribune:

"Tanya Moore was a clear winner for all the judges," said Liz Brody, news director at the magazine, said in a statement. "We saw that she'd risen above a difficult childhood to excel against all odds, as an African-American woman, in the field of mathematics, which had us right there. But the reason we chose her was that her vision of encouraging minority women in the mathematical sciences was bold — and so needed in this society. And the fact that she'd already taken concrete steps to do this with her Infinite Possibilities Conference demonstrated the kind of leader we were looking for."

Moore is also on the board of Building Diversity in Science.

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Jennifer Stimpson has a MA in chemistry. She currently teaches high school chemistry at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center in Dallas. She developed a K-12 chemistry education program called "Get a KIC Out of Science!", where KIC stands for Knowledge in Chemistry.

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The three women met for the first time at the June conference.
"We're women, we're minorities, we're scientists, and we don't have that geeky look," says Stimpson, "so here's our message: You can be black, Hispanic, or Asian, you can wear Manolos, you can be fly, hip, and dynamic and be a scientist. When a 12-year-old thinks you're cool, that's like getting a million-dollar check."
Original Article: "Chemistry is Hot! Meet 3 Science Rock Stars" O, Nov. 2008.
List of all 80 winners.

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4 comments:

Mimi said...

This is fantastic. Yay to O for this article.

BrownSugar said...

"We're women, we're minorities, we're scientists, and we don't have that geeky look," says Stimpson, "so here's our message: You can be black, Hispanic, or Asian, you can wear Manolos, you can be fly, hip, and dynamic and be a scientist. When a 12-year-old thinks you're cool, that's like getting a million-dollar check."

This is really great! Women honouring and lifting other women. O Magazine / Oprah, kudos!

paul said...
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abby, the hacker chick blog said...

This is wonderful! How inspiring, thanks for sharing this.