Stories of Inspiration, Innovation & Collaboration
Members from around the globe offer their perspective on how the Academy has influenced them.
Published May 17, 2017
With the Academy ringing in its 200th year, we invited Members to join in the celebration by sharing their memories of Academy inspiration, innovation and collaboration. Read on to hear from individual Academy Members, in their own words, about their experience being part of the World’s Smartest Network®!
Günther Witzany, PhD (Telos-Philosophische Praxis; Bürmoos, Austria)
In 2008, I organized an innovative meeting on “Natural Genetic Engineering and Natural Genome Editing” in Salzburg, Austria, with the leading experts in this field. I was so glad and excited that the proceedings were published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Vol. 1178). Additionally, the follow-up meeting in 2014, “DNA Habitats and Their RNA Inhabitants,” took place here in Austria and resulted in another Proceedings published in Annals (Vol. 1341). Imagine: A freelance philosopher from a little town in Austria organized two meetings with the leading experts and the Proceedings were published by the New York Academy of Sciences. Incredible, isn’t it?
Sophie Gribben (1000 Girls, 1000 Futures participant; Scotland, UK)
I was a 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures mentee (I am now returning as a senior mentee), and my time in the program has allowed me to create a wonderful network of amazing girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). I come from a small town in Scotland where the only women in STEM I knew were my teachers, and there was very little information about STEM careers other than mechanics or electricians. Joining this global program really opened my eyes to the world of STEM and has allowed me to become an ambassador to my younger peers. Attending the Global STEM Alliance (GSA) Summit in New York was one of the coolest things I've done, especially getting to meet my mentor in person! The Academy and the GSA have opened so many doors for me, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
Watch this video featuring Sophie and her mentor Jacqualyn.
Vinamrita Singh, PhD (Ambedkar Institute of Advanced Communication Technologies and Research; Delhi, India)
I have only been a part of the Academy for a bit less than a year, however, my experience with it has been way beyond what I could have imagined. During this year, I got a chance to mentor Junior Academy teams on their STEM projects. It was certainly not a one way exchange of knowledge, rather I learned a lot from these young minds, as well. So many innovative ideas and projects! I also got a wonderful chance to participate in PepsiCo’s “Journey Through Science Day,” which has expanded my outlook on possible career choices. I am proud to be an Academy Member.
Oluwafemi Funmilola Adebisi (National Space Research and Development Agency; Abuja, Nigeria)
The New York Academy of Sciences has impacted my life in diverse ways. One of the ways is by my selection as a mentor in the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program where I had the opportunity to work with two mentees. I have also had the opportunity to be part of diverse events such as the program’s STEM Pro Series, STEM Book Club, and Professional Development Webinars. Through these events, I’ve met several people that have impacted my life. And I am happy because I have also impacted others through the activities, posts, and discussions that I have participated in. I am mostly joyful for touching the lives of my mentees. In all, these activities have made me a better educator and researcher. Long live the Academy!
Oussama Amir (Junior Academy student; Casablanca, Morocco)
Before I knew the Academy, my efforts [in STEM] were restricted to my studies at school and a few activities that I did in my spare time. After signing up for the Junior Academy program, I met new people just like me: young, passionate, and open-minded teens who like to give their lives to research and innovation for the good of humanity.
Watch this video featuring Oussama with his Junior Academy teammates, who, together, won the 2016 Food Loss & Waste Challenge.