"The program developed by Dr. Woodruff has had amazing impact and is truly transformative," said LaBonne, a member of Northwestern's diversity committee. "It should be used as a model for how universities across the country can address the pipeline problem by helping to educate and excite students from underrepresented groups about science from an early age."
Of the 90 students who have participated in the Women's Health Science Program from the Young Women's Leadership Charter School in Chicago, 18 are seniors in high school, 70 are attending college and two have received undergraduate degrees. Of those attending college, 51 percent are pursuing science majors.
WSHP has grown beyond Chicago through Woodruff's efforts. Similar informal education programs based on the Chicago model have been running in San Diego, Oregon and Philadelphia. Plans also are underway to expand the program to other Chicago high schools.
Woodruff, a reproductive endocrinologist, researches female reproductive health and infertility and is chief of the division of fertility preservation at the Feinberg School. She also leads the Oncofertility Consortium, a national a team of oncologists, fertility specialists, social scientists, educators and policymakers to translate her research to the clinical care of women who will lose their fertility due to cancer treatment. In addition, she has been an advocate for sex and gender inclusivity and study in basic science, translational studies and clinical trials.
President Obama honored nine individuals and eight organizations as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
"Through their commitment to education and innovation, these individuals and organizations are pl
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