Ellen Weaver Ph.D., 1925-2011Excerpted from the 2010 NCC Awards Banquet Newsletter Article by Kelly Harradine
Ellen Weaver, PhD, in whose honor one of the awards is given and former National Awis president (1992-1993) came to the (talk) event with her granddaughter at her side. She shared a story that reflected on how far woman in science have come since her days as a professor at San Jose State University. As one of her first scientific accomplishment, Ellen developed a way to measure chlorophyll and thus productivity in oceans. In 1979 she was asked to join a group from Scripps on a research cruise to the Antarctic to measure chlorophyll. At the last minute, she was told that she could not join the trip because the "funding agency" does not allow women on ships. The following year she traveled to Washington and sat down with a person from the funding agency who then blamed the "coast guard" for baring her from working on the ship. Thanks to her efforts, the next year Ellen was allowed on the trip. Coincidentally, the day after the banquet the US Navy removed the ban on women to work on submarines.
Excerpted from NCC Awards Program
Ellen Weaver, PhD, is a Past-President of National AWIS. After receiving her B.A. in Chemistry from Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University, she worked as an analytical chemist for the Manhattan Project and Standard Oil of Ohio and Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA. She returned to school, earning her M.A. in Biological Sciences from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Genetics from UC Berkeley. Dr. Weaver worked for several years on the genetics and mechanism of photosynthesis before joining the faculty of San Jose State University.
In addition ot her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Weaver has served San Jose State as Director of the SJSU Foundation and as Interim Executive Vice Preident. Retiring from teaching in 1991, she served two additional years as Associate Dean for Development in the College of Science. Dr. Weaver has been an officer and director of many professional societies and organizations including Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Mills College Science Advisory Board, Associated Western Universities, Institute of Marine Resources, the Sea Grant COmmittee and the American Socity of Plant Physiologists.
Dr. Weaver has been a board member and President of the Sempervirens Fund, a conservation organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving natural land and scenic vistas in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and thereby extending Big Basin and Castle Rock State Parks. Dr. Weaver also served on the board of The Textbook League, which works towards the improvement of secondary texts in science, history, social sciences, geography, and health. Dr. Weaver was an early member of AWIS, serving as membership chair for 1971-1975. She was Naional AWIS president from 1992-1993. Dr. Weaver was elected an AWIS Fellow in 1996.
The Nothern California Chapters of AWIS recognize Ellen Weaver by giving an award in her name to an outstanding female scientist who is early in her career and who takes time to help others.
Sherrie Fasola Wilkins Ph.D., 1942-2010Excerpted from NCC Awards Banquet Program
Sherrie earned a BS and MS in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education, and a Ph.D. in microbiology, from UCSF. Her careers include certified nurse practitioner, scientist, executive, entrepreneur, and consultant in health care and biotechnology at Stanford Medical Center, UCSF, Genentech, and Cytokinetics. She served as president and board member of Wilkins and Wilkins International Inc.
Sherrie is a former President of the Palo Alto Chapter. She founded the Recognition Awards, with the first Judith Pool award to Ellen Weaver, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Palo Alto chapter and secured our first corporate sponsorship from Genentech. She was co-PI on the Sloane Foundation grant to the Palo Alto chapter to initiate a mentoring program and co-chair of the first NCC-AWIS conference “Women in Bioscience: Opportunities in the Nineties” held at Stanford and the AWIS-GWIS conference held at UC Davis. During preparation for the Women in Bioscience conference, she got her first breast cancer diagnosis.
She lived with breast cancer from 1992 and metastases from 2003-2010. She was a strong proponent of providing needed support through education and service to those with breast cancer and to women in science through her affiliations with societies and non-profit organizations. Sherrie volunteered at Breast Cancer Connections and became a project leader and co-program developer of outreach programs for underserved women in the community. Before, during, and after her active service for AWIS Sherrie spent countless hours mentoring, counseling and advising women in science about career possibilities and choices. She shared her experience and insights by speaking extensively on mentoring and leadership for women in science.
Judith Pool. Ph.D., 1919-1975Excerpted from NCC Awards Banquet Program
Judith Pool, Ph.D. was very active in promoting opportunities for women in the field of medicine and science. She was the first co-President of AWIS, formed in 1971, and the founder and first chairwoman of the Professional Women of Stanford Medical School. Dr. Pool was an exceptional scientist, making major contributions in two areas. In the field of physiology, she was the first to measure the membrane potential of single cells. Dr. Pool was highly regarded in hematological circles, both nationally and internationally, for her work on blood coagulation. She published extensively in the field Contributions included assays of coagulation factors, in vitro synthesis of coagulation factors, studies of the anti-coagulant coumadin and antibody inhibitors of factor VIII. Dr. Pool also developed a method to purify factor VIII cheaply and easily from plasma, greatly improving the lives of hemophiliacs.
In 1972, Dr. Pool was promoted to professor, making her one of the first two women to attain this position at Stanford Medical School. It was in part her struggle for recognition at Stanford that led her to co-found AWIS. In addition to her significant contributions to science and to women, she also raised three children. Judith Pool died of cancer in 1975, at the age of 56.