Upton, NY -- Janet Dowdy of Sayville, Long Island, has won the 1997 Renate W. Chasman Scholarship for Women. The $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually by Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), a not-for-profit organization at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The goal of BWIS is to promote the advancement of women in the scientific professions.
This May, Ms. Dowdy graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook with a B.S. in pharmacology. Next term, she will begin studies at the Robert Byrd Health Sciences Center, West Virginia University, where she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology. Her goal is to do research.
After graduating from Bayport-Bluepoint High School in 1982, Ms. Dowdy became a licensed hairdresser, married, and had two daughters. She was a stay-at-home mother until 1988, when she went to work as a beautician.
"Although my job helped support the family, it was not fulfilling," Ms. Dowdy said. "I wanted a job that I would enjoy a career that would be challenging, interesting and allow me to contribute to society."
She then sought career counseling at the U.S. Department
of Labor and discovered that her aptitudes and interests led her toward
pharmacology. Ms. Dowdy decided to enroll at Suffolk County Community College
in 1992. She graduated with an associate's degree in 1995 and enrolled at
SUNY Stony Brook. While attending college, she also worked part-time.
Ms. Dowdy commented, "Balancing the demands of being a mother, wife, part-time employee, and full-time student has been difficult, but the rewards have been monumental. My career goal is to become a research scientist, while providing a positive role model for my children."
The Chasman Scholarship is named after the late Renate Chasman, a renowned physicist who worked at Brookhaven. The scholarship is intended to encourage women to pursue careers in the sciences, engineering or mathematics. Since its inception in 1986, the award has been presented each year to a re-entry woman one whose college education was interrupted, but who has returned to pursue a degree on a half-time or greater basis.
Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic
and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences
and in selected energy technologies. Brookhaven is operated by Associated
Universities, Inc., a nonprofit research management organization, under
contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.