Fellows Shining a Light in STEMApril 24, 2013
“Lux et veritas”: light and truth. Yale University’s motto has an extra ring to it these days as its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) administrators have gained attention for some high-level appointments.
Megan Urry is chair of Yale’s physics department and the newly elected president of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Her work sheds light on the darkest of phenomena: black holes. The AAS is gaining a longtime leader in the field as its new president. But Urry is not simply committed to her study of black holes or the advancement of astrophysics at Yale. She is also an outspoken advocate for including women in leadership roles in STEM fields and she is not afraid to ask, publicly and often, Why so few?
T. Kyle Vanderlick is in her second term as dean of the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science. She was reappointed after a successful first term growing the engineering program and presence at Yale. “Though rarely described this way, engineering is the bridge between the sciences and humanities. Simply put, engineers apply scientific principles to advance the human condition,” she said in a message to the school. Under Vanderlick, the Yale engineering program has grown to nearly 500 graduate and undergraduate students. By connecting engineering to the betterment of humanity, Vanderlick is educating a new generation of scientists and citizens.
Powerhouses in their respective scientific fields, Urry and Vanderlick are also AAUW fellows. Urry was a Selected Professions Fellow in 1990, when she also won a postdoctoral fellowship from the Space Science Institute. Vanderlick is a 1987 American Fellow with a doctorate degree in chemical engineering specializing in the study of membranes. When not running Yale’s engineering school, Vanderlick focuses on research that goes below the surface of cells to examine the membrane level. We are proud to see that these women’s bright careers have only grown brighter.
So today we think about lux et veritas. We thank two fellows who are shining light on the study of science and engineering, making the world brighter for women in STEM, and showing that AAUW fellows are true powerhouses.
Oh, and Yale — that’s some impressive faculty you have there, if we do say so.
Megan Urry’s 1990–91 Selected Professions Fellowship was sponsored by the Annie Jump Cannon Research and Projects Grant endowment.
This post was written by Fellowships and Grants intern Emily McGranachan.