Announcing our 2017 Catalyst Award Winners!

Each year, the Science Club for Girls community comes together for the Catalyst Awards, which recognize outstanding leadership in advancing the mission of Science Club for Girls to foster excitement, self-confidence and science literacy for girls.

“For more than two decades Science Club for Girls has provided girls from underserved populations with the support, mentorship and community essential for increasing awareness, interest and persistence in the STEM fields. In a way, SCFG has become a “catalyst” for our girls’ engagement with STEM. The Catalyst Awards are an opportunity to reflect on our organization’s achievements and celebrate the trailblazers—the catalysts for change, if you will—who make our work possible,” said SCFG Board Chair, Uche Amaechi.


About the Honorees:

We are excited to announce the 2017 Catalyst Award winners, and encourage you to join us in celebrating their achievements on November 2, 2017.


Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Bhatia is the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, and a member of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology – both part of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. She is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, an Institute Member of the Broad Institute, a Biomedical Engineer at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and has been elected to Brown University’s Board of Trustees.

Trained as both a physician and engineer, Bhatia leads a laboratory dedicated to leveraging miniaturization tools from the world of semiconductor manufacturing to impact human health. She has pioneered technologies for interfacing living cells with synthetic systems, enabling new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics and drug delivery. Her multidisciplinary team has developed a broad and impactful range of inventions, including human micro livers which model human drug metabolism, liver disease, and interaction with pathogens. Her work has been profiled broadly such as in Scientific American, the Boston Globe, BBC News, TED and TEDMED, Popular Science, Huffington Post, Forbes, PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW, the Economist, and MSNBC. As a passionate mentor and advocate for diversity in science and engineering, she has been the recipient of the Harvard Medical School Diversity Award and the Harvard-MIT Thomas McMahon Mentoring Award.


Shirley Leung

Shirley Leung is a columnist and associate editor for The Boston Globe writing on everything from the intersection of business and politics to gender issues in the workplace. She is also a WGBH news contributor appearing on “Boston Public Radio,” “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Greater Boston.” She is also a regular guest on New England Cable News.

Shirley has been a two-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary. Her columns have earned her many fans – and trolls on Twitter — which probably explains why Boston Magazine wrote this about Shirley: “Love her or hate her, you had to read her.” Previously, Shirley was the Globe’s business editor, where she oversaw its award-winning coverage of the 2008 financial crisis. Prior to the Globe, Shirley was a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Princeton University, Shirley started her career at her hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun. She lives in Milton with her husband, who is also a journalist, and two young sons.


Dr. Pendred Noyce

Dr. Pendred (Penny) Noyce is a doctor of internal medicine and was a founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation, whichsunsetted in 2015. She served for nine years as a co-Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Project PALMS, dedicated to improving K-12 science and mathematics education across Massachusetts. For twenty-five years at the Noyce Foundation, she turned her efforts to improving math and science education nationwide. A major part of that work, which continues through a nonprofit called STEM Next, was to build the field of after-school science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Currently, Penny leads Tumblehome Learning, which publishes books, mostly fiction, based on science for young people.

Dr. Noyce serves on the boards of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, Maine’s Libra Foundation, and the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She also serves on the the AAAS Public Outreach Committee. Among the eleven books she has written for young people, her collections of biographies of women in science, Magnificent Minds and Remarkable Minds, have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books by the National Science Teachers Association and Children’s Book Council. Penny has five grown children, four of whom are pursuing careers in science and medicine.


About the Catalyst Awards Event:

The Science Club for Girls 10th Annual Catalyst Award Celebration will be held at District Hall in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District on Thursday, November 2nd from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Proceeds from the event support Science Club for Girls’ mission to increase girls’ curiosity, confidence and community connections in STEM through hands-on explorations led by mentors in these fields. The Catalyst Awards are generously sponsored by Sanofi Genzyme, Dell EMC, Shire, Pfizer, IBM, Biogen, MIT, Alexandria Real Estate, Merck, and District Hall. Event details and sponsorship opportunities can be found here. Tickets may be purchased here.

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