skip to content

TWU’s first Celebration of Science showcases ‘Women in Science’



TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart, her late husband Ray Poliakoff and their dogs Georgette and Honeybear
Photo credit: Ronda DuTeil
Cutline: TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart, her late husband Ray Poliakoff and their dogs Georgette and Honeybear.

DENTON — Three female scientists at the forefront of their fields are the keynote speakers for Texas Woman’s University’s inaugural Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Celebration of Science, March 1 on TWU’s Denton campus.

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program; Shana O. Kelley, Ph.D., a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Toronto; and Kimberly Orth, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology at the UT Southwestern Medical Center are the guest speakers at the event, which celebrates “Women in Science.”

“Nothing is more important to our future than exploring the boundaries of science,” TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart said. “TWU educates outstanding scientists and science teachers of tomorrow, and I cannot imagine a more appropriate topic than ‘Women in Science’ for our first Celebration of Science event.”

Chancellor Stuart established the Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Celebration of Science Series in 2011 with a $200,000 gift to the university. Through a commitment of two decades of funding, the Celebration of Science Series intends to provide the opportunity for the Departments of Biology and Chemistry/Biochemistry to develop a sustained program of promoting and celebrating the wonders, truths and mysteries of science.

The Celebration of Science Series will continue annually through 2032. Although events will vary from year to year, the intent always will be to engage current TWU students and faculty, alumni, K-12 students in Denton and others in the community.

The day-long event includes an interactive forum with students, “Women in Science: Challenges and Promises,” a luncheon with the speakers and TWU students, a symposium, “Women in Science: Research at the Interface of Biology and Chemistry,” and a reception. Most activities will take place in the Ann Stuart Science Complex.

During the afternoon symposium, Dr. Birnbaum will present “NIEHS and the Future of Environmental Health.” Dr. Kelley will present “Using Nanotechnology to Diagnose Disease.” Dr. Orth’s presentation is titled “Black Spot, Black Death, Black Pearl: The Tales of Bacterial Effectors.”

Both Dr. Ann Stuart and Mr. Ray Poliakoff, wife and husband, were first generation graduates of public higher education, and both often said it was their education that enabled them to pursue the opportunities that enriched their lives.

Dr. Stuart, a professor of English, loved the quest of learning, the pleasure of reading, and her career in education both as a teacher and as an administrator.

Mr. Poliakoff served in a reconnaissance intelligence unit in Europe during World War II and was twice wounded in combat. After the war, he graduated from law school and spent the majority of his professional career working with various national and international concerns and individuals in coal, oil, gas, and other natural resource ventures and concessions in the U.S., Alaska, Canada, Europe, Australia, the Mid-East and the Far East.

They both gave generously to create opportunities for young people to pursue their goals.

Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of Media Relations

page updated 10/2/2014 10:59 AM