BPS Members Making a Difference Beyond the Lab: Karen Fleming

Society members make a difference in their communities in many ways.  BPS member Karen Fleming a faculty member and undergraduate program director in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, has taken on the barriers facing women in science, and decided to do something about it on her campus. 

Know a member making a difference in their community that should be featured here?  Let us know. We would like this to be the first of a series!


Pictured, (Left to Right), all of Johns Hopkins University: Dominic Scalise, graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering and Women’s of Hopkins Exhibit team member; Erin Gleeson,  Project and Events Specialist, Office of Instituional Equity; Gail Kelly, one of the Women of Hopkins; Ron Daniels, President; Karen Fleming; and Jeannine Heynes, Director, Office of Gender Equity.*  Photo Credit: Will Kirk, homewoodphoto.jhu.edu

Role Models.

We hear it over and over again—the need for diverse role models so that diverse students can see themselves succeeding in science. This includes gender.  Women often are underrepresented on panels, at conferences, and as recipients of prestigious awards.  BPS member Karen Fleming decided to do something about it.

Fleming, along with a handful of other JHU staff and graduate students, formed a committee, successfully sought institutional funding and support, and put together an exhibit entitled “Women of Hopkins.” The purpose of the exhibit was to highlight the many successful women that have graduated from the university and been pioneers in their fields, especially for current students.   Nominations were accepted and vetted by the committee, resulting in a photographic exhibit of 23 Hopkins graduates, displayed on the walls of Hopkins buildings. The women highlighted represent many different fields-not just science—and include Bonnie Basler, Bernadine Healy, Carol Greider, Mary Guinan, Nitza Margarita Cintrón, and Florence Sabin.  The project also includes a Women of Hopkins website, which has a biography for each woman included in the exhibition, as well as a presence on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, giving the project greater visibility.

*Women of Hopkins team members not pictured are:  Anna Coughlin, graduate student in chemical and biomolecular Engineering; Jeff Gray, Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Valerie Hartman, instructional designer at JHMI.


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