Math, the last part of STEM, and the base to a lot of the aforementioned fields is another field with a shortage of women. If you think about it, all of the other fields use Math in some way, so there are more female mathematicians out there, but not necessarily with that title.
The Pullman Foundation has 228 female Mathematicians in the Pullman Scholar Community, 12% of our women in STEM. Each decade there have been fewer and fewer math majors, but they’re doing exciting things. This week, you’ll meet Pullman Scholar Alumna Kristen Schreck who is teaching calculus with 3D printing at Saint Xavier University and Pullman Scholar Sarah Dickey who shares her love of Math.
If you’re in Math and would like to share your experience or organizations that support your career, please contact Katie Desir .
Pullman Scholar Julissa Garcia, University of Illinois at Chicago, Class of 2018, interviews Pullman Scholar Alumna Valarie King-Bailey, University of Wisconsin- Madison, ’82, and CEO of OnShore Technology, about being a CEO, how to be a success & more! This is the third episode of a three-part series focusing on female engineers. To listen to other podcasts, click here.
Pullman Scholar Julissa Garcia, University of Illinois at Chicago, ’18, interviews Pullman Scholar Alumna Valarie King-Bailey, University of Wisconsin- Madison, ’82, and CEO of OnShore Technology, about how she found engineering, what it means to be an engineer & more! This is the first episode of a three-part series focusing on female engineers.
“You better do something that will get you a good job,” Jeanne Hultquist’s parents told her. She narrowed her career options to being a doctor or an engineer and ultimately decided to go the engineering route. In the fall of 1978, with the help of the Pullman Foundation Scholarship, she pursued her mechanical engineering degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with honors. So, how did Jeanne go from the “E” to “T” in STEM? At some point along her college journey, she realized she didn’t like mechanical engineering. Before Jeanne put her cap and gown on for graduation, she was thinking about a new career.
Without hesitation, Jeanne switched from engineering to business, and her risk paid off. She received her MBA from the University of Chicago in 1984 and moved to California’s Silicon Valley without knowing a single person. Shortly after arriving in California, Jeanne joined Apple as a marketing programs manager, technical markets in 1987, working to grow the company’s presence with businesses and their engineers. Her unique combination of technical skills and business knowledge made her perfect for the job; she understood what engineers did and how their businesses worked.
“I have no regrets that I got an engineering degree,” says Jeanne. “I was a practicing engineer for less than 24 months, and I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to do it. It may have suited my intellect, but it did not suit my personality.”
As a people person, Jeanne enjoys the interactions of marketing the products she believes in more than designing and building them. Her background in the technical field makes it easier for her to understand the evolving field of technology and have a better affinity with women technologists.
Jeanne is currently the Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, and Alliances for the Anita Borg Institute, a non-profit organization founded on the belief that women are vital to building technology the world needs. Before joining the organization, she worked at other well-known consumer technology companies such as Plastic Logic and Speck Products.
She may have switched from the “E” to “T” in STEM, but now Jeanne is helping the Anita Borg Institute celebrate the accomplishments of women technologists, and inspiring a new generation of them to pursue their dreams.
Her choice to leave engineering led to her success in the technology field. But, she ultimately credits her success to being willing to take risks. “It was up to my work ethic. Up to my drive,” says Jeanne. “And, it was up to me to find my opportunities and to recognize doors opening. And, to always be open to them. Take those risks.” Now she’s helping young women technologists do the same.
Jennifer Munoz, a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University, shares her love of science as a biochemistry major and nutrition minor.
Being a Biochemistry major at Case Western Reserve University is very challenging, yet rewarding at the same time. It allows me to combine my love of both biology and chemistry, and I get to learn so many great things; which also encourages me to look forward to taking every required class no matter how challenging it may be.
One of the things I love most about taking science classes is connecting my lessons to the real world. For example, in organic chemistry we learn about reaction mechanisms and how organic molecules react with one another, how certain medicinal drugs are synthesized, how the specific structure of a molecule gives the spicy flavor in chili peppers, and depending on whether a molecule has a single, double, or triple bond how it will react. Learning how the world works in the classroom is phenomenal.
I also absolutely love the lab component of organic chemistry! We apply the concepts we learn during lectures in an actual lab setting. We think critically about how the reactants will react with each other and which products are produced. One of my favorite labs this semester was synthesizing azo dyes. Every student was assigned a modified aniline compound and an azonium salt. With all the different combinations possible, the lab was filled with almost every shade of the rainbow!
I am also a part of Alpha Chi Sigma, the only professional chemistry fraternity. It is a great community to be a part of because we volunteer at different elementary schools and events. We spread the appreciation for chemistry by promoting events such as Science Olympiad, which allows kids to be enthusiastic scientists!
When I graduate I want to attend medical school and learn even more about how the human body works. After that, I would love to help people lead longer and healthier lives!
Even though studies show both genders have the same abilities in science, a 2016 study from Colorado State University says women are more likely than men to get discouraged by a particular math class and give up on their dream of a career in science. Pullman Foundation women in science are challenging that statistic, though! There are almost 1,400 female scientists in the Pullman Scholar Community (72% of all our STEM majors).
Our Pullman Scholars and Alumnae are neuroscientists, nurses, chemists, research associates, cytogenetic technologists and more! They are a part of the 35.2% of female chemists, 11.1% of female physicists and astronomers, and 48% of female biological, agricultural, and environmental life scientists nationwide. They are the ones that want to find cures, learn how the world works, are treating our families, and trying to save the environment.
Science courses and labs are notorious for being difficult, but we have 30 current female Pullman Scholars (75% of all our female STEM majors) taking them right now and maintaining their 3.0+ GPAs. This week you’ll meet some of them and learn about some of the organizations they are a part of or follow. Science on!
Read Life as a Biochemistry Major here.
Read Life as a Biology Major here.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Foundation will be focusing on one “letter” of STEM each week of March. You will get to know several of our Pullman Scholars and Pullman Scholar Alumnae in STEM and learn more about their contributions to the fields.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; industry fields that make up 6.2 percent of the nation’s employment force (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 2017). That may seem like a small percentage, but these fields are crucial to the U.S.’s global competitiveness and innovation. STEM fields influence our health, economics, infrastructure, technology, and more. So why is it that women who comprise 47% of the U.S. workforce only represent 25.8% of STEM careers?
There are many factors, but at the Pullman Foundation, we work to ensure our scholars have the resources and role models to pursue their dream careers. As a matter of fact, throughout the years, the Foundation has supported nearly 2000 women who pursued or are pursuing degrees and careers in STEM, roughly 14% of the scholars the Foundation has supported throughout the years. Forty percent of current female Pullman Scholars are pursuing careers in STEM, and 75 percent of our STEM females are in science majors! We’re extremely proud that they’re pursuing challenging fields like neuroscience and biochemical engineering.
Please contact Katie Desir, Manager of Communications, if you are a current scholar pursuing a degree in a STEM field or Pullman Scholar Alumni whose career is in STEM. She is available at 312.422.0444 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to know more about you!