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Thirty-Two Women in STEM Honored at UW’s Own It! Awards

November 29, 2021
group photo of women
Thirty-two women were recognized at the University of Wyoming’s sixth annual Own It! Awards ceremony Nov. 15. Those pictured in the back row, from left, are Erica Belmont, Courtney Rainbolt, Deanna Lind, Makayla Loveland, Annie Bergman, Shawna McBride, Kristin Di Bona, Michelle Mason, Alexandria Williams and Lindsey Freeman. Those pictured in the front row, from left, are Katelin Scheuerman, Jenna Crouse, Ellen Keaveny, Claire Campion, Kelsey Ruehling, Taylor Hatcher, Mercedes Cassidy and Megan Candelaria. (Megan Candelaria Photo)

Thirty-two women were recognized at the University of Wyoming’s sixth annual Own It! Awards ceremony Nov. 15.

Sponsored by Wyoming’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, Own It! strives to recognize women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at UW. The celebration serves to help increase the visibility of an often-overlooked group in STEM, which can be fundamental in encouraging women to participate in science.

“Because the last two years have been more challenging, the planning committee decided to honor all 32 nominees for their contributions to and achievements in STEM,” says Megan Candelaria, associate director of the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium.

Female faculty, staff, students and a community member -- with connections to multiple UW colleges and departments -- were recognized at the awards ceremony.

Winners, listed by category, department or major, and hometowns for students, are:

Overall: A woman who is deserving of celebration

-- Erica Belmont, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

-- Annie Bergman, Wyoming INBRE program manager.

-- Megan Candelaria, associate director of the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium and an assistant research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-- Mercedes Cassidy, zoology and physiology, Burns.

-- Madison Crawford, zoology and physiology, and Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Newcastle.

-- Lindsey Freeman, an assistant lecturer in the School of Teacher Education.

-- Alexandra Howell, mechanical engineering, Morrill, Neb.

-- Deanna Lind, animal science, Castle Pines, Colo.

-- Michelle Mason, physics and astronomy, Clayton, Calif.

-- Kelsey Ruehling, zoology and physiology, Three Rivers, Calif.

-- Simone Runyon, an assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

-- Katelin Scheuerman, chemical engineering, Worland.

-- Jacqueline “J.J.” Shinker, a professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

-- Lauren Shoemaker, an assistant professor in the Department of Botany.

-- Alexandria Williams, chemical engineering, Burns.

Research: A woman who has made significant contributions to her field of research

-- Jenna Crouse, chemical engineering, Casper.

-- Kristin Di Bona, co-founder and CEO of Wyonics.

Service: A woman who demonstrates service, leadership and mentoring among her peer group

-- Lauren Biehle, a clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy.

-- Claire Campion, zoology and physiology, Rochester, Minn.

-- Ellen Currano, an associate professor in the Department of Botany.

-- Julia Dickie, chemical engineering, Cheyenne.

-- Cassidy Enloe, chemical engineering, Big Horn.

-- Hannah Jang-Condell, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-- Makayla Loveland, zoology and physiology, Parker, Colo.

-- Shawna McBride, director of the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium and a senior research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-- Courtney Rainbolt, chemical engineering, Newcastle.

-- Teaghen Sweckard, computer science, Buffalo.

-- Gunjan Tomar, petroleum engineering, Laramie.

Teaching: A woman who inspires teaching and learning among her community

-- Christina Knox, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

-- Lindsey Mitchell, wildlife and fisheries biology and management, and environment and natural resources, Colorado Springs, Colo.

-- Leena Myran, a clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy.

Posters

-- Biehle, “Power of peer mentoring: multifaceted mentorship for women in pharmacy.”

-- Campion, “Hello darkness my old friend: Influence of light on Bombus impatiens reproductive success.” 

-- Taylor Hatcher, “Does ion channel expression underlie differences in bumble bee cold tolerance?,” Casper.

-- Ellen Keaveny, “Body size and condition predict timing of spring emergence for queen bumble bees,” St. Louis, Mo.

-- Williams, “Ethylene Synthesis by Genetically Modified Rhodococcus opacus PD630 on Synthetic Human Urine.”

Highlighted Accomplishments

-- “Phoebe the Photon Explores the Universe,” a children’s book written and illustrated by Mason.

-- Wyonics, a small business in Laramie, recently won a Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop an instrumentation platform for micro to nanomanipulation and analyses. The business is owned by Di Bona, a former UW postdoctoral researcher.

For more information and to see highlights of each featured woman, visit www.wyomingspacegrant.org/wimse/own-it-2021/.

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