Three Stanford students and one postdoctoral scholar have been selected to the first class of IF/THEN ambassadors for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For the next 18 months, each will provide support and mentorship to young girls interested in pursuing STEM fields.
Graduate students Catie Cuan and Dorothy Tovar, postdoctoral scholar Helen Tran and undergraduate Erin Smith are among 125 women – from a pool of 700 applicants nationwide – selected to serve as ambassadors. Each is an innovative leader in her field and, with financial support, will participate in events, programming and media campaigns to encourage young girls to pursue their interests in STEM.
The ambassadors recently attended the IF/THEN Summit in Dallas, Texas, where they participated in a full-body scan that produced life-sized 3D-printed statues of the ambassadors – the largest collection of statues of women. Ambassadors will also work with Bay Area Girl Scout troops, appear on the network television series Mission Unstoppable about women working on cutting-edge STEM projects and participate in media campaigns.
The IF/THEN initiative is based on the idea that if women in STEM fields are supported, then they can change the world. The program is supported by a $25 million commitment from Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies. It is also a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.
Catie Cuan is a 2018 EDGE-STEM Fellow.