Leading the way for women in STEM
In spring 2022, Wellesley completed the ambitious reimagining of the Science Complex, the most significant capital project the College has undertaken in the past 100 years. The new Science Complex represents a critical investment in our students, our faculty, and our future.
As an institution that consistently ranks first among liberal arts colleges for the number of women graduates receiving Ph.D.s in science and engineering, and that benefits from a strategic location near a national hub for the life sciences, Wellesley is poised to change the culture for women, and particularly for women of color, in STEM.
Celebrate the opening of the new Science Complex
To mark the opening of our newly transformed Science Complex, Wellesley is convening a half-day series of events to celebrate the power of STEM on Monday, October 3, 2022.
At 2 p.m. ET, join the livestream below for opening remarks by President Paula A. Johnson and Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, followed by a keynote speech from Reshma Kewalramani, CEO and president, Vertex Pharmaceuticals. A panel discussion focused on changing the culture of STEM with leaders from higher education, government, life sciences, and technology will follow at 3 p.m. ET.
Reshma has dedicated her career to improving the lives of patients, including the last 15+ years through the development of new medicines. She joined Vertex in 2017 and, in collaboration with the executive committee, board of directors, and everyone at Vertex, she leads and executes the company’s strategy and ambitious mission of transforming the lives of people with serious diseases.
She earned her medical degree, with honors, from the seven-year medicine program at the Boston University School of Medicine and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and her fellowship in nephrology through the MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital combined program.
Reshma is passionate about developing and supporting the next generation of scientists and giving back to her community—serving as a member of the board of directors of the Biomedical Science Careers Program, an organization dedicated to supporting underrepresented students to pursue a career in STEM. She’s also a member of the Boston University School of Medicine Dean’s Advisory Board, the MGH Board of Trustees, and the Ginkgo Bioworks board of directors.
Representative Jake Auchincloss is serving his first term in Congress, where he is the Vice-Chair of the Financial Services Committee and a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His areas of focus include infrastructure, housing, the life sciences, and energy policy.
Jake was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of a surgeon and scientist. They taught him to be a lifelong learner. From the moment he could read, he loved American history.
After graduating from Harvard College, Jake joined the Marines. He commanded infantry in Afghanistan and special operations in Panama. He’s now a major in the reserves.
When he returned home, Jake continued service as a three-term city councilor in Newton. His favorite part of being a city councilor was constituent services and communication. While serving in the public sector on nights and weekends, Jake led product development at both a Fortune 100 insurance company and a cybersecurity startup. He has degrees in economics and finance from Harvard College and MIT Sloan.
Jake lives in Newtonville with his wife, Michelle; their son, Teddy; their daughter, Grace; and their Labrador Retriever, Donut.
Dr. Dana Im is a board-certified emergency physician, who serves as director of quality and safety in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and leads emergency medicine-related quality improvement and patient safety initiatives at Brigham, including those involving the care of patients with behavioral health emergencies. As director of behavioral health, she oversees the Behavioral Health Observation Unit, a dedicated observation area for behavioral health patients awaiting evaluation, treatment, and disposition in the emergency department (ED) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her grant-funded work includes conducting qualitative analysis of patient and staff perception of behavioral health emergency care provided in the ED setting, creating systems-level de-escalation strategies, and implementing antiracism and trauma-informed simulation-based interdisciplinary de-escalation training programs across multiple EDs. Her research interests also include implementation of interventions to convert boarding time into treatment time for patients with behavioral health emergencies.
Dr. Im graduated from Wellesley College in 2010 with a major in neuroscience and a minor in women’s and gender studies. After Wellesley, Dr. Im received a master’s of philosophy degree in public health at the University of Cambridge in England, supported by the Wellesley College Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Scholarship for Foreign Study and the University of Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholarship for Graduate Studies. She received a joint medical degree and master’s degree in public policy at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Gleitsman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. She completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she served as a chief resident during her last year of residency.
Nergis Mavalvala is the dean of the MIT School of Science and the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics. Her research focuses on the detection of gravitational waves from violent events in the cosmos that warp and ripple the fabric of space-time. She is part of the team that in early 2016 announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, ushering in a new era in astrophysics. Mavalvala has also conducted experiments in the optical trapping and cooling of mirrors to enable observation of quantum phenomena in macroscopic objects. She is the recipient of a 2010 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Mavalvala earned a BA in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College and a PhD in physics from MIT.
Discover the new Science Complex
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) helped Wellesley College to achieve the most ambitious building project in its modern history: transforming an outdated science center into an inviting, integrated, and flexible complex. New buildings feature state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, the most distinctive elements of the existing center have been carefully preserved and renovated, and the surrounding landscape has been restored. The finished Science Complex positions Wellesley to continue and advance its leadership in inclusive STEM education for women.
This celebration will continue throughout the year with speakers, events highlighting the role of science and technology in confronting some of our greatest challenges, new programming from Career Education, and opportunities to learn about Wellesley’s leadership in the sciences.
Project Handprint Symposium: Health and Climate Justice, hosted by the Frost Center for the Environment.