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AAUW-NM Announces First Mission In Action Award

on May 2, 2017 - 6:31am

Dr. Tinka Gammel, left, representing the New Mexico Network of Women in Science in Engineering receives the Mission in Action Award from AAUW-NM Awards Chair Sheila Portillo at AAUW’s annual state convention Saturday evening in Los Alamos. Courtesy/AAUW-NM


AAUW-New Mexico has announced that the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering (the Network) is the first recipient of its Mission In Action Award.

Awards Chair Sheila Portillo presented the award Saturday evening at AAUW’s annual state convention in Los Alamos to Dr. Tinka Gammel, a LANL scientist and long-time active Network member. A dozen current and former Network members were in the audience to celebrate.

The award honors individuals or organizations that support and further the mission of AAUW in the state of New Mexico. The Network was founded in the late 1970s by Sandra Zink and Georgia Fritz, women scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a group of women faculty from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. This organization has supported women and girls in STEM fields for almost 40 years, decades before the term was created.

The Network sponsors many statewide activities for which they received this award. The Network judges at both regional and state Science Fairs and the Super Computing Challenge, giving monetary prizes to female high school students. Through the years, the Network has given more than $20,000 in prizes to deserving young women in New Mexico.

Since it’s beginning the Network has organized and supported multiple Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conferences for mid-school girls around the state. The mission of EYH is to inspire girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in STEM. The conferences provide STEM role models and hands-on activities, empowering girls to see themselves as future participants in STEM-related careers. Over the years the Network has often partnered with AAUW and other groups to provide more than 100 EYH conferences, in places as diverse as Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Silver City (now in its 25th year) Los Alamos, Albuquerque, White Sands and Las Cruces.