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For her landmark work in melding girls into women of scientific promise, Dale McCreedy ’78 recently received the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award.

The $10,000 award is given annually to recognize an individual, program, or organization that encourages the advancement of women in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer science, and technology.

During her 14-year tenure as director of gender and family learning programs at Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, McCreedy has pioneered two landmark initiatives, Girls at the Center and National Science Partnership for Girl Scouts and Science Museums. Both help girls “become enthusiastic and confident science learners.”

Recognized by the Department of Education, NSP focuses on leadership training and has revolutionized the Girl Scout program by educating troop leaders in seven areas of science. The training enables scout leaders to provide technical instruction in areas not covered in previous years.

“Only five percent of badges were earned in science prior to the implementation of the NSP program,” says McCreedy. Thanks to NSP, many more science-related badges are awarded each year.

The foundation of GAC is family relationships. Girls are encouraged to participate in hands-on science workshops with family members, and activities packets are designed to promote interaction at home.

McCreedy is co-author of Girls At the Center: Girls and Adults Learning Science Together, a guidebook for educators and youth group leaders.

She says the most challenging aspect of her work is “getting others to become advocates for girls and getting people to feel comfortable with science learning.” Her reward is “seeing the interesting ways each group uses the resources we develop.”

Awarded a lifetime membership by Girl Scouts of America, McCreedy serves on a number of advisory boards and panels.

A biology graduate, McCreedy earned a master’s in education at the University of Pennsylvania. She credits Lafayette with providing her a rich science experience. “I really benefited from the teaching education semester,” she says. “It was a wonderful combination of opportunities. I would not be certified in education if I did not have the opportunity to student teach while pursuing my interest in biology.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles