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Contemporary Alumni

"Because there are a lack of women at all levels of education and careers in engineering and sciences, there is inherently a lack of female role models for junior female members of the STEM community. Without support and guidance from other women, both at junior and senior levels, many women may find engineering and sciences to be inhospitable disciplines.  It is important that women include in their career plan opportunities to reach back to the next generation of women engineers and scientists."

~ Dr. Shobha Bhatia

Dr. Nina Fedoroff


Commander Eileen Collins



An open letter to our sister alumni ...

Highlights of Some of Our Contemporary Alumni

Nina Vsevolod Fedoroff (born 1942) Dr. Fedoroff is the Willaman Professor of Life Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor in the Biology Department and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State. She is known for her research in life sciences and biotechnology. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff to be her Science and Technology Adviser in August 2007. She received in 2006 the National Medal of Science in the field of Biological Sciences, the highest award for lifetime achievement in scientific research in the United States. Dr. Fedoroff is a leading geneticist and molecular biologist who has contributed to the development of modern techniques used to study and modify plants. She completed undergraduate work at Syracuse University, graduating summa cum laude with a dual major in biology and chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Rockefeller University in 1972.


Eileen Collins (Born 1956) received her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University in 1978 . She earned a master of science degree in operations research from Stanford University in 1986; and a master of arts degree in space systems management from Webster University in 1989. In July 1999, then U.S. Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins became the first woman to both command and land a space shuttle. The shuttle Columbia touched down with Collins at the helm in a tricky nighttime landing at the Kennedy Space Center. It was only the 12th nighttime landing in shuttle history! Collins retired on May 1, 2006 to pursue private interests, including service as a board member of USAA.

20th Anniversary of Eileen Collins piloting Space Shuttle Discovery in SU News

Ms. Donna Francher received a bachelors of science degree in biology from Syracuse University. After graduation, she spent four years interning at the SUNY Upstate Medical center and has since become a leader in pharmaceutical research in oncology. She helped found the Women in Oncology group, and was chosen as the keynote speaker at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference in 2004.


Dr. Anne O’Brien teaches courses in environmental, analytical and instrumental chemistry at LeMoyne College. Her research specializes in air sensitive synthetic techniques for the design of coordination compounds that react to the world’s great waste product, CO2. The goal is to transform this ubiquitous source of carbon into useful organic products. Dr. O’Brien received her doctorate at Syracuse University.