Please meet Jennifer Rossi, Co-Chair of Science Club for Girls’ Board of Directors.
Jennifer earned her PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Brown University, and, over the past 20 years, has been involved in the founding, launch, and successful exit of numerous startups in the life science industry. She has also spent time with the acquiring corporations, leading integration processes while building marketing teams and commercial strategies for success. She recently launched Operation-All, a company that supports early stage companies.
We were thrilled to have Jennifer join our Board of Directors in April 2023 and step right into a leadership role! Please read on to learn more about Jennifer's background, life experiences, and dedication to Science Club for Girls’ mission.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in a suburb west of Cleveland and moved to the East Coast for graduate school. Though the East Coast is very much my home now, I have also lived in Southeast Ohio, London and the Philadelphia areas. I enjoy watching all types of sports (my favorite being hockey), spending time with my family (husband Ben, 14 year-old daughter Georgi, dog Scarlett and cat Loki). We enjoy traveling, especially internationally, and being outdoors. I would have a houseful of animals if I could. We have a great group of friends in our neighborhood of Charlestown that we love to hang out with. You can generally find us at the Brewers Fork restaurant. I also spend time at other non-profits as a Trustee of the USS Constitution Museum and Board Member of Charlestown Youth Hockey.
What can you share about your path and finding success in your chosen field?
Strong mentors have very much been a part of my journey. Much of the reason I chose pre-med and biology for undergraduate school is due to Gary Uhl, my biology and AP biology teacher at Westlake High School. I then worked for, and learned a ton from, Dr. John Kopchick when I did research in his lab at Ohio University during both undergraduate and graduate school. These experiences really solidified my love of the field so my career path was very much due to these influential adults when I was growing up. During my doctoral work, I learned a lot about taking constructive criticism, thinking outside the box, and leaning on your inner grit! Being a start-up life sciences executive over the years, I credit much of the success of the start-ups I have been part of to good people, good technology, and LUCK!
What obstacles have you had to face?
I have a neuromuscular autoimmune disease which was particularly difficult to deal with as a teenager. It made me much more resilient, but also the experience of being at the hospital with others who were suffering from conditions much worse than mine made me really appreciate how lucky I was. The experience helped me to have a positive attitude and be thankful for each day.
Why do you enjoy the work you do?
I love working with people, mentoring and growing businesses. My favorite roles have always been so enjoyable because of the amazing people I have worked with, particularly at Biocius and Kerafast.
What stands out as a meaningful lesson you have learned thus far?
I have learned from some very amazing mentors, supervisors, and colleagues that you do not have to throw people under the bus to be successful. The most successful and happiest people I know give credit where it is due, take responsibility, and lead by example. I try to remember this as best as I can!
Why are you passionate about SCFG?
The mission of SCFG very much resonates with me as, although I loved science as an elementary student, I was not really encouraged to pursue science until many years later, and I really had no idea what the options were (other than pre-med) until I was in college. It was there that I realized all of the opportunities in the STEM fields. I very much see the value of learning this earlier and bringing much more diversity to the field. I feel that every child should have the opportunity to follow their passions and know that they can do anything!
Why did you decide to join SCFG’s Board of Directors?
Of course the mission is incredibly important to me, but additionally, the members of the Board are an impressive group of men and women. They bring great perspective and diversity. I have learned so much already! It's a group I am honored to be a part of.
Thank you, Jennifer, for your leadership contributions to Science Club for Girls and for the deep passion and vast expertise you bring to our organization.