Tuesday, March 7, 2023
For Immediate Release
Wade Institute Board Members Share
Their Experiences as Women in STEM
Quincy, MA – The Wade Institute for Science Education supports equitable, inclusive, and accessible science, technology, and engineering learning experiences for all students! Our professional learning programs immerse educators in inquiry-based learning experiences that connect them with STEM resources, including individuals and organizations working to advance science. Enthusiastic educators who love science and who share their enthusiasm with their classes can inspire a love of learning and an interest in science careers in their students.
In an effort to support educators seeking to connect their students with inspiring STEM stories about real world scientists during Women’s History Month, we are recognizing some of our own Women in STEM who are making history through their present actions. These Wade Institute Board members are actively working to advance science and science learning!
Photo courtesy of Kathy Zagzebski
Kathy Zagzebski, Executive Director, The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Kathy has over 13 years of experience both participating in and leading Wade Institute professional learning programs and over 28 years of hands-on experience in wildlife rehabilitation and animal science. She holds an undergraduate degree from Augustana College and a graduate degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Kathy has been involved in many marine science and community-oriented professional organizations that support STEM education and the pipeline to STEM careers, and has presented alongside the Wade Institute at the World Marine Mammal Conference.
Kathy is an advocate for ocean conservation and marine science education. Her work with marine life includes the Marine Mammal Center in California, the Georgia Coastal Management Program, the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Hawaii, and the National Marine Life Center in Massachusetts. At the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, she rescues, rehabilitates, researches, and teaches about sea turtles. Kathy is also a proud member of the International Sea Turtle Society.
Kathy has witnessed the Wade Institute change and adapt to stay current about educational trends and says the organization has “continued to develop new ways to help teachers become better STEM educators. She encourages educators to inspire a love of science in their students by teaching about topics personally of interest to them.
Obi Onochie, Ph.D., Lab Director, Harvard Medical School MEDscience
Obi holds a premedical degree from the University of Chicago and a Medical Sciences Master’s degree as well as a Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology doctorate degree from Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Her experience includes hands-on medical research and biotechnology and medical science educational programming. Nonprofit volunteer opportunities and professional networks such as the American Association for Science Education keep her continually engaged in real world science conversations and lifelong learning.
Photo courtesy of Obi Onochie
At HMS MEDscience, Obi empowers students to envision themselves in STEM careers through immersive, hands-on, inquiry-based medical science experiences that connect them to real world scientists. Many of the students she works with represent underserved populations. “I want students from diverse backgrounds to see that STEM is a possibility for them,” she says. Obi has witnessed increases in students’ comfort asking questions, in their self-confidence as scientists, and in their interest in seeking science mentors.
Obi is excited to become part of the Wade Institute’s long history of promoting equitable science education by providing educators with hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based professional learning opportunities and STEM community connections that enable the engagement of all students in science learning.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Gwosdow
Andrea Gwosdow, Ph.D., Founder and President, Gwosdow Associates Science Consultants, LLC
Andrea Gwosdow, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of the science and medical communications consulting firm Gwosdow Associates Science Consultants, LLC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Antioch University and received her Master’s degree in Physiology and Doctorate degree in Physiology and Endocrinology from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Andrea’s experience includes medical research, science and legal communications, and science education. Her research focus was on how stress from extreme temperatures can affect the body and how stress interacts with the immune system.
Andrea co-directed the Massachusetts General Hospital and James P. Timilty Middle School Partnership that provided opportunities for students, their parents, and their teachers to enhance their medical science knowledge, gain STEM skills, and explore STEM careers. “We changed the kids’ trajectories. We showed them there were a variety of careers beyond what they had planned [as options for themselves].”
As part of the American Physiological Society’s outreach program, Andrea organized and taught Physiology Understanding (PhUn) at the Boston Children’s Museum and communications workshops for scientists seeking to share their findings with broader audiences beyond the science community. She is also a contributor to a Massachusetts Society of Medical Research’s What A Year program (www.whatayear.org) that provides middle and high school students with information about cutting edge research. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Medical Writers Association.
Andrea looks forward to contributing her science expertise to support the work of the Wade Institute. Through her service, she hopes to “further improve STEM education and to get kids more interested in STEM.”
Promoting Equity in Science Education
Every individual connected to the Wade Institute has contributed to our STEM story! Through partnerships and collaborations, the Wade Institute has connected thousands of educators with over 100 nonprofits, museums, aquaria, nature centers, science centers, technology centers, cultural organizations, corporations, and more with the goal of advancing equitable science education for all learners. These educators then bring their new knowledge and resources to their classrooms to engage students in science learning experiences that may spark their interest in STEM. The Wade Institute, its collaborating partners, its presenters, and its educators become resources for one another to share teaching insights and lessons learned from practical implementation of inquiry-based investigations.
We are continually working to broaden representation of STEM experts in our programs, seeking partners, board and committee members, and staff who hold Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) as essential values, and expanding our understanding of current DEAI best practices in order to connect educators with relevant resources that will enable them to engage all their students in equitable science learning. Board members enable us to enhance our programming by bringing their unique expertise to the Wade Institute. Please join us in welcoming Kathy Zagzebski, Obi Onochie, and Andrea Gwosdow to our Board of Directors!
The Wade Institute for Science Education specializes in providing inquiry-based, hands-on, minds-on, science, technology and engineering professional development for K-12 teachers and informal educators. For more information, visit www.wadeinstitutema.org or call 617-328-1515.