Bottomly Becomes the First College President to Receive the Science Club for Girls' Honor

November 14, 2012

Science Club for Girls (SCFG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free educational programs for young women in eastern Massachusetts, will honor Dr. Kim Bottomly, president of Wellesley College and renowned immunobiologist, for her commitment to promoting women and underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award Celebration will be held at Microsoft’s NERD Center at Kendall Square in Cambridge on November 14 from 5:30 – 8:30. The event also showcases Science Club for Girls participants and their projects.

“It gives me great satisfaction to receive this award from an organization that is effectively leveling the science and engineering playing field for young girls,” said Bottomly. “As a scientist who found my passion and launched into my career because I happened to walk into a very inclusive lab with a supportive mentor, the intentional work of Science Club for Girls' program rings true to me: A woman’s success in science should not be based on luck.”

The Science Club for Girls Catalyst Awards honors individuals and institutions that have demonstrated commitment and contributed significant effort to make science, engineering and technology a truly universal enterprise. Honorees are leaders in creating change from systems down to individual levels. Proceeds from the award event support Science Club for Girls’ mission to increase girls’ confidence and literacy in STEM through hands-on explorations led by mentors in these fields.

“Dr. Bottomly is a true catalyst for women’s success in science,” said Dr. Connie Chow, executive director of the Science Club for Girls. “Her championship of salary equity, parental leave, and new mentorship structures for scientists in academia has set an example for other institutions, and her current leadership forges a new, welcoming reality for women scientists-in-training,” Dr. Chow continued.

A lifelong scientist and educator, Bottomly has received numerous distinctions for her contributions to research and education. She is the first scientist to lead Wellesley College and a strong proponent of women’s leadership in science—and in civic and political participation. In her role as a leader in science and education, Dr. Bottomly has focused her efforts to bring about institutional changes that have the potential to make a difference for all women. In 2009, Bottomly was elected to one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and center for independent policy research, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and serves as a member of the Women's Committee of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biologists. Prior to her inauguration at Wellesley, President Bottomly was the deputy provost for science and technology and diversity at Yale, and served as chair of the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Association of Immunologists.  A Montana native, Bottomly earned her doctorate in biological structure from the University of Washington, where she also earned a bachelor's degree in zoology.

Bottomly is married to Wayne Villemez, a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. From an earlier marriage to the late Charles Janeway, she has two daughters, a stepdaughter and twin granddaughters.

Bottomly will be honored at the Catalyst Award event along with Museum of Science President Ioannis Miaoulis and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a Takeda Oncology Company (represented by CEO Deborah Dunshire) at the 5th annual Catalyst Award Celebration and Benefit. Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle, a neuroscientist, founder, and former Ms. Massachusetts, will be the emcee.  

Science Club for Girls is a nonprofit organization that has 18 years of experience delivering free programs to more than 1,000 girls in K-12 grades, especially those from underserved communities in Boston, Cambridge, Lawrence, Newton, and Fitchburg. Science Club for Girls was selected by Root Cause as a Social Innovator in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education and Outreach, and is one of six recipients of the national 2010 MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award for their work in STEM and middle school. Learn more about Science Club for Girls online.