Science Club for Girls ED returns to a career in politics after a record-breaking year

March 8th, 2017

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces Lonsdale Koester’s departure as Executive Director of Science Club for Girls (SCFG). Ms. Koester has shepherded our organization’s mission to serve girls from underrepresented communities with great skill, passion and creativity. We send with her our fondest good wishes as she returns to politics as Policy Director for the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign of Jay Gonzalez.

Under Ms. Koester’s inspiring leadership SCFG has flourished. In 2016, SCFG reached over 1200 girls in grades K-12, an increase of 24% in one year. During this same time, the number of scientists mentoring our diverse young women grew an impressive 32%. At our most recent Catalyst Awards, Ms. Koester oversaw a 20% rise in solicited donations.

Ms. Koester says: “It has been an incredible privilege to be part of SCFG’s journey these last two years.  We have done some amazing things together, the most important of which is always the day-in, day-out work of inspiring the next generation of diverse girls and women in STEM.  I’ve gotten to take model rockets in my pocketbook into corporate presentations at world-class pharmaceutical R&D facilities, and to roll up my sleeves and dissect clams with 4th and 5th graders.  The best days, and there have been many, have included all of the above.  I’m so grateful to our board, staff, volunteers, donors, families, and the entire SCFG community for the opportunity to help push this work forward.  I look forward to continuing to support this organization and its mission in every way I can as it keeps growing.”

Board Chair, Uche Amaechi, remarks, “Lonsdale has been instrumental in increasing SCFG’s impact and capacity for future growth. She oversaw the expansion of our offerings to serve more girls, through more programs, at more sites, in more towns, all while improving infrastructure, systems, and reporting capabilities. Lonsdale also collaborated in the growth and strengthening of our board. The Board and staff at SCFG will all miss Lonsdale and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”

Over the next few months, SCFG will be conducting a comprehensive search to find the new permanent Executive Director. During this transition period SCFG is delighted to announce that Martha M. Walz has been appointed Interim Executive Director of SCFG. Ms. Walz’s distinguished career in politics and the non-profit and corporate worlds has included serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and as Vice President of Development for Jumpstart for Young Children. As a Massachusetts State Representative, Ms. Walz represented the 8th Suffolk District for 8 years. She has a long record of advocacy for education and gender equity and we are excited to make her a part of the future of Science Club for Girls.

“Science Club for Girls has an enviable record of success, which I am honored to build upon. Thanks to the extraordinary work of SCFG’s staff and volunteers, the organization is poised to serve more girls than ever before. Scientific advances profoundly change our world, so I am excited to help unleash the talent and creativity of girls who have so much to offer us,” said Ms. Walz.

“I’m excited to have Marty join us as Interim Executive Director. Marty’s track of achievement and impact gives me confidence that she will provide excellent support, stability and leadership to the organization as we move into our next stage of growth,” says Amaechi.

About Science Club for Girls:
Science Club for Girls (SCFG) has been providing free, fun after school programs for girls in STEM for over 20 years; what began as one kindergarten club in 1994 is now serving 1,200 girls in grades K-12 annually in Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline and Lawrence, led by over 200 volunteer mentor scientists. 80% of SCFG participants come from racial or socio-economic backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM fields. SCFG’s mission is to “foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in STEM for girls, particularly from underrepresented communities, by providing free, experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” For more information, please visit http://www.scienceclubforgirls.org

PRESS CONTACT:
Terina-Jasmine Alladin, Science Club for Girls, 617-391-0361, ext. 112; talladin@scienceclubforgirls.org

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