UVa CHARGE Program

What’s it like to hear swimming bacteria?

How can we develop the electronics to turn lights into WiFi?

How do you re-engineer cancer cells in order to cure them?

What’s it like being a woman in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field where you might be the only woman?

The Voices & Visibility: (Re)Imaging Women in STEM exhibits explore the answers to these questions through:

  • An online exhibit (still available)
  • Two gallery exhibits on Grounds, one at the Chemistry Building and one at Clarke Hall, March - May 2017
  • These exhibits were further amplified by a Voices & Visibility speaker series featuring pioneering women STEM scientists.

Join us online for an amazing look at women STEM scientists at UVA. The exhibit features photographic and narrative portraits of women STEM faculty at UVA and juxtaposes this with a history of women attending UVA and the recent conversations about women in STEM taking place on social media and inspired by books such as Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

(Re)Imaging Women in STEM Online Exhibit


Join us online for an amazing look at STEM scientists. The exhibit includes both photographic and narrative portraits.




(Re)Imaging Women in STEM Gallery Exhibits March 13 to May 15 2017

Clark Hall Mural Room & the Chemistry Building Lobby & Mezzanine

The (Re)Imaging Women in STEM exhibition at UVA engageS with local and national histories through a collection of visual and narrative portraits of women faculty at UVA who work in STEM departments. The photographic portraits consist of twenty-eight photographs of women STEM faculty while the narrative portraits are based on a series of oral histories conducted with a different set of women STEM faculty members. Together, these portraits not only make these women and their work visible, they reveal how these women pioneers—often the first and sometimes still the only woman in their departments—have navigated, inhabited, and begun to transform the gender-segregated worlds of STEM and the academy at UVA.


Voices & Visibility Speaker Series, Spring 2017


April 13, 2017 5:30-6:30
Jill Hruby, PhD
Clark Hall, room 107

Business Insider hails Sandia's Jill Hruby as the second most powerful woman engineer of 2017.  Please don't miss the opportunity to hear this amazing talk.

Jill Hruby has been the director of Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) and president of Sandia Corporation since July 2015. Sandia Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, which operates Sandia for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has principal sites in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, an operating revenue of about $2.8 billion, and more than 10,000 employees.

In 2010, Hruby came to Sandia’s New Mexico site after 27 years at Sandia’s California location to become vice president of the Energy, Nonproliferation, and High-Consequence Security Division, and leader of Sandia’s International, Homeland, and Nuclear Security Program Management Unit.  Hruby joined Sandia in 1983 and did research in thermal and fluid sciences, solar energy, and nuclear weapon components. During her career, she has been engaged in nanoscience research, hydrogen storage, mechanical component design, thermal analysis and microfluidics.

Hruby earned her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and her master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, both in mechanical engineering. She has authored numerous publications, holds three patents in microfabrication, and won an R&D 100 Award in solid-state radiation detection. In 2016, the Society of Women Engineers presented Hruby with the Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award in celebration of her rise to a leadership role and her dedication to creating a nurturing environment for women in the workplace.  More about Jill: http://www.sandia.gov/about/leadership/jill_hruby/

It is Sandia's mission to maintain the reliability and surety of nuclear weapon systems, conduct research and development in arms control and nonproliferation technologies, and investigate methods for the disposal of the United States' nuclear weapons program's hazardous waste. Other missions include research and development in energy and environmental programs, as well as the surety of critical national infrastructures. In addition, Sandia is home to a wide variety of research including computational biologymathematics (through its Computer Science Research Institute), materials sciencealternative energypsychologyMEMS, and cognitive science initiatives. Sandia formerly hosted ASCI Red, one of the world's fastest supercomputers until its recent decommission, and now hosts ASCI Red Storm, originally known as Thor's Hammer. Sandia is also home to the Z Machine. The Z Machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It is operated by Sandia National Laboratories to gather data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons.


April 20, 2017 5:30-6:30
Wendy Cieslak, PhD
Clark Hall, room 107

As Principal Program Director for Nuclear Weapons Science & Technology, Wendy was responsible for the programmatic stewardship of the technical foundations necessary for Sandia to perform its primary mission into the future. Her immediate preceding job was as Materials Science & Technology Division Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Cieslak began her technical staff career performing basic and applied corrosion research of metals, followed by about a decade of research and development in lithium battery technologies. For her work in this field, she was named a fellow of ASM, International. Altogether, she enjoyed a 30-year national laboratory career after earning her PhD and BS in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A graduate Hertz Foundation Fellow, Dr. Cieslak has been active in supporting the Foundation through interviewing, mentoring, and championing education in gender schema that has served to mitigate gender bias in the Hertz selection process. She pioneered the establishment of part-time employment at Sandia in 1989 so that she could continue her career while raising her daughters, and she continues to work toward positive culture change at the Laboratories. Wendy performs regularly as a violinist in the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra and informal chamber ensembles.


March 28, 2017 5:30-6:30
Jill Tietjen
Thornton Hall, room E316

Jill Tietjen is an author, speaker and electrical engineer.  After 40 years in the electric utility industry, her professional focus is now on women’s advocacy, worldwide.  She blogs for The Huffington Post, speaks nationally on the accomplishments of women, nominates women for awards, and continues to write books (8 published to date), following in the footsteps of her bestselling and award-winning book, Her Story:  A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America (written with Charlotte Waisman).  She is a frequent keynote speaker as her positive energy and her ability to relate to the audience result in inspired and energized listeners.  The recipient of many awards, her induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 remains one of her most treasured. 

An Outside Director on the Board of Directors of Georgia Transmission Corporation of Tucker, Georgia, Jill is also Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Merrick & Company of Greenwood Village, Colorado.  She served as National President of the Society of Women Engineers in 1991-1992.  A licensed professional engineer, Jill is a graduate of the University of Virginia (B.S. Applied Mathematics – minor electrical engineering) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (MBA). 

Jill Tietjen's book, Her Story, will be available for sale and signatures.

More about Jill's most recent book:
HER STORY:  A TIMELINE OF THE WOMEN WHO CHANGED AMERICA HarperCollins. Read about speaking engagements, appearances on television and radio and get more background at www.herstoryatimeline.com


April 6, 2017 5:30-6:30
Betty Shotton
Clark Hall, Room 107

Guest Lecture: Defying Gravity: Successfully Entering the Real World as Women in STEM

Betty Shotton is a nationally recognized leadership and motivational speaker. She is dedicated to elevating leadership and professional perspectives above the routine towards innovation and possibility. She encourages her audiences to move beyond limitations and get to work on increasing their capacity to work with purpose and passion. With 35 years as a CEO and entrepreneur she has been and continues to be passionately committed to elevating human potential in the pursuit of common purpose. Betty is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she was in the first class of women to be admitted, breaking a 140 year old tradition of an all-male university. She went on to receive her MBA, and headed to the corporate world, joining Philip Morris USA as an Organizational Consultant. After a few years she left to follow her calling as an entrepreneur. From high end resort real estate to aviation, she has started and led six companies, one of which went public in 1998 and is known today as ResortQuest International, a part of Wyndham Worldwide. Betty has been a pioneer for women in business, an avid aviator, a proponent for conscious capitalism and a mentor and coach to hundreds of aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. Betty is also on the Board of Advisors for The Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy. More about Betty and Liftoff Leadership: http://liftoffleadership.com/



Voices & Visibility: (Re)Imaging Women in STEM is a University of Virginia (UVA) CHARGE project in collaboration with faculty members; photographers Tom Cogill, Deirdre Davie, and Dan Addison; curator Kimberly D. Jacobs; and the Chemistry and Environmental Science Departments, among others. The exhibition received support through UVA CHARGE from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program Grant No. 1209197 and from UVA’s IDEA Fund.




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If you would like more information about UVA CHARGE, please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

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