STEM Women You Should Know About

The following women were submitted via social media to SWE Magazine as potential “Women Engineers You Should Know.” While they are not engineers, their many contributions in STEM fields are noteworthy. In keeping with the spirit of celebrating everyday heroes whose achievements deserve wider recognition, we are acknowledging them as “STEM women you should know about.”
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Gloria Twine Chisum, Ph.D. – An experimental psychologist, Dr. Chisum developed protective eyewear for pilots operating in extreme conditions. She headed the environmental research group for the U.S. Navy, consulted with all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense, and is the first African-American woman to have served on the board of trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jane Hinton, DVM – In 1941, Dr. Hinton co-developed Müeller-Hinton agar, a microbiological growth medium that is commonly used today for antibiotic susceptibility testing. During World War II, she worked as a technician in the laboratory of renowned microbiologist Hildrus Augustus Poindexter, M.D., Ph.D. In 1949, she received a veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, becoming one of the first African-American women veterinarians.

Zelma Maine-Jackson – A member of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Maine-Jackson began her career as an exploration geologist, searching for uranium in the Rockies. Receiving a master’s in economic geology, she turned her focus to cleaning up nuclear waste, helping decontaminate critical groundwater sources, and serving as an advocate for communities impacted by hazardous waste. She is also dedicated to saving sea turtles in her native South Carolina.

Vivienne Malone-Mayes, Ph.D. – Consistently overcoming barriers to her education, Dr. Malone-Mayes was one of the first African-American women to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics, and the first African-American faculty member at Baylor University. Ironically, Baylor refused her entry to its Ph.D. program, so she went to The University of Texas, after which she was hired by Baylor. She spent her career there, retiring in 1994.

Madison Maxey – The founder of Loomia (formerly The Crated), Maxey integrates fashion design with flexible circuits and materials engineering to create second-generation wearable technology. Maxey was awarded a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship, which allowed her to leave Parsons School of Design after one semester to launch a design studio. She has partnered with fashion designer Zac Posen to design a programmable LED dress, among other achievements.

Jessie Price, Ph.D. – A veterinary microbiologist, Dr. Price worked as a research specialist at the Cornell University Duck Research Laboratory on Long Island, where she discovered life-threatening diseases killing ducks and waterfowl. She received a National Science Foundation grant to present her research at the 9th International Congress for Microbiology, held in Moscow in 1966. By 1974, she had developed two vaccines that were adopted for commercial use.