The P.E.O. Record September-October 2022 (public)


Julianne Rolf NOMINATING CHAPTER: D, West Hartford, Connecticut SCHOOL: Yale University FIELD OF STUDY: Chemical and environmental engineering DEGREE: Ph.D.


Chelmsford, Massachusetts SCHOOL: Harvard University FIELD OF STUDY: Clinical psychology DEGREE: Ph.D.

Julianne Rolf’s goal has always been more than earning a degree. In her commencement speech at the University of California, Riverside (B.S. in environmental engineering, summa cum laude), Julianne challenged her fellow graduates to do what scares them most. In taking her own advice, she moved to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar before starting graduate school at Yale University. Julianne has sought research opportunities throughout her studies, focusing on improvements to the water treatment process. She seeks a Ph.D. in chemical and environmental engineering, noting that over two billion people lack access to safe drinking water, leading to the preventable deaths of approximately 3.4 million people, mostly children, annually. Water scarcity forces communities globally to use unconventional water sources like hypersaline groundwater, seawater and even wastewater that require better treatment via desalination, and that is where Julianne’s research lies. She intends to work for an environment-focused think tank to address climate change and clean water access as environmental justice. Julianne has received a Yao Ming Charitable Fund Named Scholar Award.

Shirley Wang’s athletic career gave her empathy for the stresses leading to mental health issues, and her love of math led her to an innovative approach. Growing up as a competitive figure skater, she noticed the ways in which her fellow skaters coped with the intense pressures of that sport. She wondered why some responded to these stressors adaptively, while other engaged in maladaptive behaviors such as restrictive eating or self-harm. Her scientific interest was driven by a curiosity to understand how to predict and prevent these behaviors, knowledge that she has already shared in an impressive number of publications and presentations. Shirley holds a B.A. in psychology from the College of New Jersey (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Harvard University. Her long-term career goal is to become faculty at a large research institution and establish herself as an independent, federally funded researcher in computational clinical psychology. Shirley has received the Wilma Leonard Turner-Anne Marie Turner Endowed P.E.O. Scholarship.

RAISING THE Educational Bar at Cottey College by P.E.O. Foundation Board of Trustees

With the undesignated

One of the benefits of a Cottey education is having access to instruments and equipment that give students better exposure to activities in their field of study. The spectrometer will be well utilized by students planning to pursue careers in medicine, the biomedical sciences, chemistry and other affiliated areas. Experts in these fields routinely use spectroscopy to help make diagnoses, understand complex biochemical interactions and evaluate chemical systems. Allowing our students to train on the spectrometer before enrolling in graduate school or moving into the workforce provides them a better understanding of

spectroscopy and helps them develop the broader skills of attention to detail and critical thinking needed by scientists and medical professionals. In addition to the spectrometer, the undesignated funds distribution last year was able to assist Cottey in funding new bleachers in the Hinkhouse Center, new flooring in the Raney Dining Room and classroom furniture/technology in the Center for Women’s Leadership. With your generous support to the undesignated funds, the Foundation continues to “raise the bar” in its mission to help women reach for the stars.

fund distribution in 2021, the P.E.O. Sisterhood was

able to fund a new 90-MHz

nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer for Cottey College. This was a top priority for the science

department as they recognize the importance of keeping their instrumentation at a high level and their current instrument was one of the oldest of its type currently in operation.


September–October 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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