Pharmacy Professor Picked as Top Ambassador in STEM

Photo of Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova in a laboratory
UK College of Pharmacy professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova has been named a top ambassador for a program dedicated to furthering women in STEM.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 19, 2019) – A University of Kentucky professor has been named a top ambassador for a program dedicated to furthering women in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.

Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, Ph.D., professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been selected as one of the 125 American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN® Ambassadors, a national initiative by Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

“We firmly believe that IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world,” Lyda Hill, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, said. “The goal of IF/THEN® is to shift the way our country – and the world – think about women in STEM and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”

In this role, Garneau-Tsodikova will connect with students in person and through various media platforms, including popular YouTube channels and network television shows. The Ambassadors are contemporary role models who represent a diversity of STEM-related professions in the United States, from entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia.

Before coming to UK, Garneau-Tsodikova’s journey in science started in Quebec, Canada, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Université Laval. She then continued her education at the University of Alberta and Harvard Medical School. In her lab at UK, Garneau-Tsodikova is combining the expertise gained during her study by leading a team of chemists, biochemists and microbiologists to address the ever-growing problem of antimicrobial resistance.

“Throughout Garneau-Tsodikova’s tenure at UK, she has been a leader in her field and an incredible asset to our college,” said Kip Guy, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy. “We’re proud of her work and especially proud that she has received this prestigious honor.”

In October, Garneau-Tsodikova and the other AAAS IF/THEN® ambassadors will participate in the IF/THEN® Summit in Dallas. They will learn from each other and receive resources and coaching in science communication and effective STEM storytelling.

“AAAS is deeply committed to advancing education and opportunities for girls and women in STEM,” said Margaret Hamburg, chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. “This partnership enables us to reach more deeply into STEM education and help advance STEM careers for women and girls. It will help us to elevate the voices of women working in STEM fields and to inspire the next generation of girls and women in science.”

AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors were selected through a rigorous selection process. Candidates were evaluated for overall excellence with a focus on contributions to their STEM-related field, commensurate with their career stage; demonstrated experience and abilities in STEM communication and public engagement via media, classroom, and public programs; and commitment to inspiring middle-school girls to be the next generation of STEM pioneers. The IF/THEN Girls Advisory Council, comprised of more than 150 10-18-year-old girls from around the country, also participated in the Ambassador selection process.

For a complete list of Ambassadors, go to