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Winning With Women Wednesday: A Woman With a Lasting Legacy – Clare Boothe Luce Impacting Future Women Leaders in STEM

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Winning With Women

Today is Winning with Women Wednesday and this week we had a post submission from, Jessica Thomulka, who is a Chemistry Intern here at MILSPRAY™ which demonstrated how one woman has had the ability to make an impact on her life. The importance of today’s blog is to show that we need more women signing up to make an impact in the lives of others. Equally important is the need for all of us to amplify the positive experiences from our coaches and mentors that have assisted in our journey to success.

I will always remember the day that I decided to study chemistry because I was met with both excitement and apprehension from my parents and advisors. They were elated because I made a decision to study what I love, but they were scared because they knew I would have to overcome great obstacles as a woman in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.

Today, I thank all of the women in STEM who have come before me, since they have made these obstacles a little smaller. If you are looking for great examples from history, some of the women who pioneered the STEM field included: Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale, and while it is hard to top the impact these women have had on STEM, I would like to dedicate this post to Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), a woman whose foundation has made it possible for young women to pursue their dreams in STEM.

Did you know Luce was not a scientist herself? She was a playwright and diplomat, and she is known for being the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut. Through her worldly experiences she was able to sympathize with underrepresented women because her field was also male-dominated.

In an interview with a local newspaper she said, “The purpose of the Clare Boothe Luce Fund shall be to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach in science, engineering, and mathematics. I select such fields of endeavor in recognition that women today have already entered the fields of medicine, law, business and the arts, and in order to encourage more women to enter the fields of science”. Luce saw an opportunity to help underrepresented women in STEM and her legacy continues to live on through the women receiving funding from the Clare Boothe Luce Foundation.

The foundation currently awards grants to thirteen educational institutions for full-tuition scholarships and the university I attend, Seton Hall University, is one of them. I would like to stress that I would not be where I am today if it was not for the generosity of Clare Boothe Luce. The scholarship has lifted the burden of paying for a private education which has allowed me to dedicate all of my time to fully submersing myself in STEM. I am proud to continue Clare Boothe Luce’s legacy and look forward to future generations of women joining the STEM field.

Are you looking for ways to be engaged in the STEM community, here are 3 organizations to start you off on the right foot:

1. American Chemical Society (ACS) Women Chemists Committee: Click Here

  • They provide scholarships for early to mid-career women, hold symposiums for women, and publish literature related to careers in chemistry.

2. Scientista: Click Here

  • Scientista is the largest network of campus women across STEM disciplines. They aim to empower pre-professional women in STEM.

3. American Association of University Women (AAUW): Click Here

  • AAUW has programs for research, STEM education, and global connections. In 2015, they have awarded $3.7 million in fellowships and grants to women in STEM.

Jessica ThomulkaJessica Thomulka is a Research and Development, Chemistry Intern at MILSPRAY. She currently attends Seton Hall University and will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with honors next spring. At MILSPRAY she has assisted on many R&D projects including the migration of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to the new Globally Harmonized System Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

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