Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day and My Two Science Heroines

Ada Lovelace Day, 24 March 2010, is an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. Ada Lovelace Day aims to redress the balance by encouraging people to highlight the women who have inspired them.

When I originally thought of this post, I immediately thought of one of my bestest friends. But then, while I was putting together the blog, I realized I almost forgot another extremely important woman, whom without her today would not be possible. My Mom! 

First, Megan. Not only was she the maid of honor in my wedding, she is also one of the smartest, scientific ladies I know. Her experiences and ambitions are impressive to say the least. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she pursued her love of science and microbiology by working in the pathogen laboratory at Nestle's primary assurance quality facility in North America, or as we all fondly called it "The Chocolate Factory." From there she moved onto a university in Chicago where she worked in the Toxicology Research Laboratory. Now she is working at another university in the Department of Neuroscience working to find the cure for Alzheimers. (I may not be able to speak technically or scientifically about all of this, but she is literally working to save the world.) Now she is currently trying to determine which lucky school will have her while she pursues her PHD. Did I mention she ran her first marathon and qualified for Boston? Yep, something surely spectacular here. 

My Mom. What can be said about Jane? Talk about another amazing woman in the sciences. As a nurse she is on the side of science that not only uses the head but also the heart on a daily basis. Growing up, she was constantly studying for different tests to stay on top of her work and also pursuing other areas to learn and also teach her peers.  The compassion and joy my mom has always showed in both her work and in life, in general, is contagious. Not only has she been pursuing (or been pursued for?) bigger roles at work, she has also been involved in the very cool move from paper charts to digital medical records. As she has been working in one system for longer than she may care to admit, she is learning and teaching this new system with grace. She is timeless and brilliant. I should probably mention she also has a couple of marathons under her belt, as well. Yep, that's my Mom. 

I have to admit that I always shied away from the sciences and technology. When I finally took my dreaded science requirements in college, I actually loved them! Too bad it was in my 4th year and I was about to graduate. Otherwise, who knows what I might be doing today!  

Thanks Mom and Megan for being inspiring women in the sciences

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