Simmons Welcomes Political Leaders for STEM Discussion

November 16, 2015

STEM at Simmons

A message from President Helen G. Drinan

This morning, I am thrilled to be welcoming House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III, along with several esteemed guests and partners in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – to the Simmons campus for a roundtable discussion on women and STEM education. 

This is a return trip for Leader Pelosi who was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Simmons in 2004. Congressman Kennedy is an outstanding new leader in Congress whom we in the Commonwealth are proud to claim as our own. 

This morning, Congressman Kennedy and Leader Pelosi will lead an interactive conversation on how we can increase the number of women pursuing careers in STEM professions – specifically exploring the federal, state, and local efforts underway to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in STEM. 

You can follow along as @SimmonsCAS live-tweets from the event, and join the discussion on Twitter using #SimmonsSTEM.

I will welcome our guests and then share the pioneering mission of our founder John Simmons: to educate women to earn an independent livelihood and a meaningful life in a profession of their choice. That mission has broader reach than most might know. One of my favorite STEM stories from early Simmons is that of Louise Giblin, who earned a BS in Science in 1917, and only one year later was co-publishing her research on infant feeding. Her research and continued experiments throughout the early 20th century were vital to the development of the infant formula Similac. 

Another Simmons STEM pioneer was Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, a graduate in the class of 1920, who proceeded to Tufts Medical School and to a career as a distinguished physician, public health innovator, and civil rights activist.

Today, Simmons students follow in the footsteps of their illustrious alumnae sisters. They are partners in their faculty mentors’ research, and are often published before they graduate. They work with local institutions to expand their knowledge and gain access to additional labs. Many go on to graduate school and become leaders in their fields.

For more than a century, we at Simmons have focused on advocating and supporting more women in the STEM pipeline through their doctoral degrees and beyond. Louise Giblin gave up her pursuit of a doctorate in chemistry to raise a family. Dorothy Boulding pursued her medical and social activism at great sacrifice to her personal life. By showcasing their efforts and achievements, and those of our faculty, trustees, and staff, we model for our students the balance and discipline necessary to fulfill professional goals.

We are proud to continue the mission of educating and retaining the next generation of female leaders in the STEM fields and to welcome these two distinguished leaders to our campus.

Helen Drinan formal signature