Women tackle firefighting’s risks and rewards

Women are making major contributions to fire departments across the United States, achieving new milestones in a field traditionally dominated by men. In February, three women with the  Washington Township Fire Department in Ohio  became the department’s first all-female crew to answer a fire call. In September 2020, five women with the  Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Department  achieved a similar milestone, working an all-woman shift for ...
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Barbara Watson paved the way for women and Black diplomats

By Noelani Kirschner Diplomat Barbara Watson achieved historic firsts during her time at the State Department. But firsts were familiar in her family. Watson was the child of New York’s first elected Black judge, James S. Watson, and Violet Lopez Watson, a founder of the National Council of Negro Women. Watson’s cousin Colin L. Powell ...
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Black women who changed our world

Many of the modern conveniences we rely on each day come from the accomplishments of African American women. Black women inventors helped shaped the way we watch movies, conduct online meetings, and even heat and secure our homes. They succeeded in developing new technologies despite obstacles, such as resistance to developing their products and other ...
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Katalin Karikó’s research led to COVID-19 vaccines

By Lauren Monsen For more than 40 years, biochemist Katalin Karikó researched synthetic messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid), or mRNA — a genetic code. Her path was not easy. She left her native Hungary in 1985 and settled in Philadelphia with her husband and 2-year-old daughter. But while she landed teaching positions, her grant applications to ...
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Meet 6 women pioneers of American diplomacy

The United States has been sending diplomats around the world since the 18th century. For the last 100 years women diplomats have been among them. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has emphasized that diversity and inclusion is a priority of the Biden administration. “Diversity and inclusion make us stronger, smarter, more creative and more ...
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African American trailblazers in diplomacy

African Americans’ contributions to U.S. diplomacy began in the late 19th century, when abolitionists Ebenezer Bassett and, later, Frederick Douglass were appointed as chiefs of mission to  Haiti  and the Dominican Republic. Since then,  African American diplomats  have served with distinction all over the world. Ralph Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for negotiating an Arab-Israeli ...
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Black artists have always been an essential part of American culture

By Noelani Kirschner Black women in the arts have long formed the backbone of America’s cultural landscape. As Americans were reminded at President Biden’s inauguration, young Black artists such as poet  Amanda Gorman  are emerging and sharing their vision for the future with the world. For  Black History Month , we look at past and present defining figures in music, literature and ...
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Honoring America’s ‘First Lady of Physics’

The U.S. Postal Service is honoring a Chinese-American scientist for her significant contributions to nuclear physics, a field largely dominated by men. Born in China in 1912, Chien-Shiung Wu immigrated to the United States and became “one of the most influential American nuclear physicists of the 20th century,” the post office said  in a November statement  announcing plans to ...
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Exploring science with a new generation of girls

From mountaintops to the depths of the seas, American women scientists are tackling global problems. In the past, there were very few women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs, but today women hold nearly 3 in 10 of those jobs. The United Nations has designated February 11 the International Day of Women and ...
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Why science fairs matter in America

In the United States, high school science fairs are an important forum for students to explore what they’ve learned in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while competing with their peers and flexing their creativity. Science fairs help students apply what they’ve learned in STEM subjects in an innovative way. The students start with their ...
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Meet the next astronauts to land on the moon

By  Noelani Kirschner The newly announced members of the Artemis Team — the next astronaut missions to the moon — reflect the diversity of and range of opportunity in the United States. Of the nearly 20 astronauts announced, half are women and people of color. NASA announced its latest selection of 18 elite astronauts — all of ...
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Diversity is an essential component of the U.S. diplomatic corps

By Noelani Kirschner American diplomats represent U.S. values abroad and embody a core tenet of American life: diversity. In the United States, anyone — regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background — can become a diplomat and represent America abroad as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. One of the many ways the ...
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Americans we lost in 2020

By   Lauren MonsenD. Thompson In recent days, many thousands of American families have faced holidays without loved ones who succumbed to COVID-19. Also in 2020 many notable Americans died — whether of COVID or another cause — who left an imprint on the world. David Dinkins — the first African-American mayor of New York City, who died ...
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U.S. Navy appoints first woman to command an aircraft carrier

Captain Amy Bauernschmidt will become the first woman in U.S. history to command a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. In 2016 Bauernschmidt was the first woman to serve as executive officer of a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. Bauernschmidt  graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy  in 1994, the same year  women began to serve on combat ships  and planes. She logged more than 3,000 hours of flight ...
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Promoting women in science and tech boosts prosperity

The United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea are committed to promoting opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including computer science, to advance equality and economic growth. U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley E. Currie said that tackling the persistent challenge of underrepresentation of  women in STEM  is vital to improving societies. ...
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NASA names a building for a pioneering African American (July 8)

NASA names a building for a pioneering African American (July 8)   NASA has renamed its Washington headquarters to honor Mary W. Jackson, the first female African American engineer to work for the agency. Jackson was among four African American women recently awarded  Congressional Gold Medals  for their contributions to early space flight. Jackson and her colleagues were also ...
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