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Women in STEM: stories of Resilience, Spirit and Success

Author: Dawn Heimer, Editor, Modern Women in STEM

Note: to commemorate International Women’s Day we kick off our Women in STEM series.

So many STEM books for young girls are history books, showcasing luminaries like Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin. But there are living, breathing, real-life examples of women who are succeeding in STEM – whose contributions aren’t decades old!  Female role models in STEM are right here, right now.

Inspiring women leaders in STEM have come together to contribute to a collective memoir that will soon be published.  They have passionate stories that describe their perseverance, spirit, brilliance, success, commitment, personal transformation and growth through words and photographs.

They have chosen to contribute for the following reasons: they believe their life experiences are inspirational to young girls, sharing their story advances ideas that they care about, they want to highlight the important work they have accomplished and they want to elevate their field of study.

My 10-year-old daughter and I were frustrated with the quality of STEM books for young girls.  As a woman in STEM and an abstract photographer, I was looking for a way to highlight the amazing STEM women I work with every day.  We are often invisible.  You bump into us every day, but don’t realize the extraordinary scientific work we do because we look just like everyone else and don’t always have a forum to tell our stories. 

I hope to change that with a Women in Stem series on the Your Say blog and in my upcoming work. Here’s a snapshot of some of the contributors you’ll see beginning on March 29, 2021:

Christina Goethel, Ph.D. candidate, originally from the USA. Christina’s pursuit of her dreams despite early financial hardship showcases her resourcefulness and determination. She provides the ingredients for “becoming the person you dare to be.”

Lola Adeyemi, Medical Doctor and Entrepreneur, originally from Africa. Recently named to the Forbes 1000 upstart entrepreneurs changing the American dream. As a sickly child with a chronic disease and after the death of several family members, she was inspired to become a physician: “My suffering helped me solidify the belief that our lives are meant for helping others.” She went on to obtain post-graduate degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities. She runs a healthcare startup, Magna Carta Health in Nigeria, and launched another business to help advance the skills of girls and women called Mentoring Her.

Erika Ebbel Angle, Founder and CEO, originally from the USA. While still in college, Erika started an award-winning, non-profit organization, Science for Scientists, that sends scientists into classrooms to teach students. Erika is also the CEO and co-founder of Ixcela: The Internal Fitness Company.

Eva Suarthana, Medical epidemiologist and Adjunct Professor, originally from Indonesia. Eva has traveled the globe in pursuit of her education. Her bravery is truly inspiring: “…the adventurous blood from my father was in me and my young spirit was excited to explore the world…” In 2012, the European Respiratory Society Task Force adapted her work on medical surveillance to detect work-related asthma. Key themes: Courage, education, and emigration.  

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