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Adler Women's Board Announces 2012 Women in Space Science Honoree

France A. CĂłrdova

France A. CĂłrdova

The Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium will present the 2012 Women in Space Science Award to Dr. France A. Córdova, president of Purdue University, on May 2, 2012. She is the 11th president of Purdue University and the first woman to lead the institution.

The Women in Space Science Award is given annually to outstanding women in science or technology who have made a lasting impact on space science. Through this honor, the Adler Women’s Board hopes to inspire young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“Each year the Adler’s Women’s Board selects a woman who exemplifies the characteristics that lead to academic and professional success to serve as a role model for girls,” said Teri Montes, Women in Space Science Award Celebration chair. “Dr. Córdova is a science educator who has distinguished herself as a national leader in post-secondary education.”

Dr. CĂłrdova is a former NASA chief scientist and a Senate-confirmed member of the National Science Board. She was unanimously confirmed by Congress as a citizen member of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and was recently elected chairperson for a three-year term.

The Adler Women’s Board will present the annual Women in Space Science Award to Dr. Córdova on May 2 at a luncheon and presentation to be held at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. On the afternoon of May 2, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Adler, Dr. Córdova will meet with 250 middle school girls from Chicago Public Schools. These students have been hand-selected by their teachers based on their interests in science. They will be encouraged to engage Dr. Córdova in conversation about her education, career path, and field of work. Following the presentation, Adler educators and scientists will facilitate hands-on activities. This is an opportunity for students to apply science and technology in a fun, learning environment. To encourage the girls to participate fully, the afternoon program is not open to the general public.

Previous WISS honorees include Astronaut Colonel Pamela Melroy, Dr. C. Megan Urry, Dr. Heidi Hammel, Dr. Vera C. Rubin, Astronaut Barbara Morgan, Astronaut Joan Higginbotham, Astronaut Commander Eileen Collins, the Mercury 13, Dr. Kathy Sullivan, and Dr. Jill Cornell Tarter.

Chairing the 2012 WISS celebration is Teri Montes and Co-Chair Lisa Jozwiak of Chicago. Members of their committee include: Women’s Board president Nancy Temple, Cynthia Ballew, Elaine Cottey, Courtney Pitt, Pamela Pohl, and Meg Prendergast of Chicago; Donna Beering of Wheaton; Linda Celesia of Oak Brook; Sarah Fritz of Wilmette; Caroline Becker Joss of River Forest; and Lisa Lewis of Oak Park.

The lead sponsor of the Women in Space Science Award Celebration is Lockheed Martin Corporate Engineering & Technology and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

Sponsor tables (of ten) for the 11:00 a.m. luncheon at the Union League Club begin at $3,000; individual tickets are available for $125 per person. For further information, please go to or call 312-322-0523.

About the Women’s Board
The Adler Women’s Board is a diverse group of leaders who endorse the museum’s leading-edge science education initiatives and seeks to inspire scientific curiosity and literacy among young people. Past president Linda Celesia of Oak Brook founded the Women’s Board in 2002. Since then, the Board has grown to include more than forty business, civic, and philanthropic leaders and has raised $4.1 million in support of the Adler’s vision to inspire the next generation of explorers. In 2011, the Women’s Board raised more than $1 million through the Women in Space Science Award Celebration and the Celestial Ball to support the Adler’s education outreach programs.

About the Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium – America’s First Planetarium – was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. A recognized leader in public learning, the Adler inspires young people – particularly women and minorities – to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Scientists, historians and educators at the museum inspire the next generation of explorers. Learn more at

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