February in Review

Yale Women in Leadership Conference

Smithsonian Science Education (SSEC) Director, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, served as a presenter at the 10th Annual Yale Women in Leadership Conference. More than 600 female undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and community members gathered at Yale University Law School on Wall Street Saturday February 3, 2018 for an all-day conference organized by the Yale Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). The conference brought females together to engage in a vital conversation regarding how women can empower themselves and engage with Women Leaders from across the country in Education, Technology, Politics, Business, Performing Arts, and others, sharing experiences, counsel, and words of empowerment.


2017 launched the WiSTEM2D (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design) Initiative, that partnered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) with SSEC.  The mission of WiSTEM2D is to engage hundreds of girls and boys (grades k-8) in experiential STEM2D learning and career opportunities.  Each event planned by schools/districts in collaboration with J&J employee volunteers and the SSEC is uniquely designed to meet the needs of the students.  For example, in Hillsborough, NJ, 120 middle school students heard J&J employees talk about their work and career paths, and then the students participated in a simulation of the phases, trials and challenges, a new drug must go through before it is available on the market.  In February 2018, 150 6th grade students in Branchburg, NJ, led by J&J employee volunteers, will also learn about STEM2D careers and then discover if they have a genetic trait for the bitter taste of PTC.

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About the Author

Kate Echevarria
Human Resources Liaison



Kate Echevarria is the Human Resources Liaison for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. She is responsible for handling recruitment, internships, performance management, and all aspects of human resources at the Center. She was previously the Executive Office Manager at SSEC for 10 years. Prior to SSEC, Kate was in human resource management having worked for an international hotel chain, the U.S. Government, and a science non-profit.