Susan Lovell, Dr. Peggy Whitson (Retired NASA astronaut and 2019 Women in Space Science Award honoree), Cynthia Ballew (2019 Women in Space Science Award Celebration Event Chair)
The star-spangled career of retired NASA Astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson—a biochemist who holds a world’s record in spaceflight and the luncheon’s honoree and keynote speaker—shone at the recent 17th annual Space Science Award Celebration hosted by the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium. Dr. Whitson, who with 655 days in space holds the US record, brought the 400 guests gathered recently at the Drake Hotel to their feet to applaud her record-breaking career and her remarks on how to influence the future through perseverance, teamwork and cooperation.
2019 Women in Space Science Award Celebration luncheon event program
Cynthia Ballew (2019 Women in Space Science Award Celebration Event Chair), Meg Sauer (Adler Planetarium Women’s Board President), Meghan McCabe (2019 Women’s Board Scholar Award Recipient), Dr. Michelle Larson (Adler Planetarium President and CEO), Dr. Peggy Whitson
Meg Sauer, Women’s Board President, and Luncheon Chair Cynthia Ballew, also presented Meghan McCabe, a high-school senior active in the Adler’s Youth Leadership Council, with the Women’s Board Scholar Award.
Linda Celesia is the Women’s Board founder, and Pradip Patiath serves as Chair of the Adler Board of Trustees.
Dr. Peggy Whitson greeting members of the Adler Planetarium’s Youth Leadership Council the night before the Women in Space Science Award Celebration in the Adler Planetarium’s Grainger Sky Theater.
Speer Academy student, Yireisy Mancera asks Dr. Peggy Whitson a question during the Q&A portion of the event.
Following Dr. Whitson’s address, she engaged in a spirited discussion with Adler’s President and CEO Dr. Michelle B. Larson to the guests’ delight. The evening before young pursuing STEM careers in the fields of science, technology engineering, and math met with Dr. Whitson to discuss their emerging careers.
Adler Planetarium’s Youth Leadership Council members pose with Dr. Peggy Whitson during an intimate gathering the night before the Women in Space Science Award Celebration luncheon.
Cynthia Ballew told us how the awards celebration began:
“We created the Women in Space Science award because we recognized the serious problem of the “leaky pipeline” of young women in the physical sciences, which can begin as elementary school and results in a drastic under-representation of women at the highest levels of these disciplines.
Moneeka Taylor, Laneah Allen, Endya Black, student attendees from Rowe Clark Math & Science Academy
“We were very excited about the concept of highlighting role models for girls in the sciences, so launched this award, now in its seventeenth year, to honor and celebrate incredible women who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of space science and tell their success stories as inspiration to the next generation!
Dr. Michelle Larson and Dr. Peggy Whitson
“We have honored some of the brightest and most influential leaders in the world, from actual rocket scientists to astronomers who have made discoveries that have changed the face of science, from record-setting astronauts to pioneers in private space exploration – all with deeply inspiring stories.”
Alma Carrasco, Jade Diaz, and Blanca Casillas, United Scrap Metal (Gold Sponsor of the Event)
Adler Planetarium Women’s Board President, Meg Sauer and Adler Planetarium Women’s Board Member, Susan Kirshner
2019 Women’s Board Scholar Award Recipient, Meghan McCabe and her father, James McCabe
Jenna Dombroski and Amy Arend, United Scrap Metal (Gold Sponsor of the Event)
Heiji Choy Black and Ashley Netzky
Adler Planetarium Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Amy Carbone
2019 Women in Space Science Award Celebration luncheon tablescape
2019 Women in Space Science Award Celebration luncheon crescent Moon dessert
Images courtesy of the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board.. Photography by Carasco Photography.
For more information visit adlerplanetarium.org