Dr. Laurie Leshin, Director of JPL, to Receive THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation 2024 Woman of the Year Award
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LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2024 ~ Dr. Laurie Leshin, a distinguished geochemist, space scientist, and Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will be honored as the 2024 Woman of the Year by THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation. The annual luncheon, which celebrates women who are leaders and trailblazers in STEM fields, business, or academia, will take place on Thursday, April 25th at the Jonathan Town Club in Los Angeles.

As the first woman to serve as Director of JPL in its 87-year history, Dr. Leshin is a true pioneer. She also holds the role of Vice President and Bren Professor of Geochemistry and Planetary Science at Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA. In her position at JPL, Dr. Leshin oversees research in Earth and space science as well as technology development for more than 40 active space missions focused on Earth science, astrophysics, and planetary science.

With an impressive career that includes leadership roles in academia and senior management at NASA, Dr. Leshin continues to make significant contributions to the field of planetary science. She is also a member of NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover science team.

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Dr. Leshin's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Arizona State University and master's and doctoral degrees in geochemistry from Caltech. Her achievements have been recognized with numerous awards such as NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal and Distinguished Public Service Medal. She has also received the Nier Prize from the Meteoritical Society for her outstanding research in meteoritics or planetary science.

In addition to these accolades, Dr. Leshin has been honored by having an asteroid named after her - asteroid 4922 Leshin by the International Astronomical Union.

The Woman of the Year luncheon is not only a celebration of Dr. Leshin's accomplishments but also serves as a major fundraiser for THE MUSES to support youth education programs at the California Science Center. The proceeds from the luncheon will go towards funding educational programming for children from underserved communities who are historically underrepresented in STEM fields. This includes scholarships to Hands-On Science Camp, Young Curators after-school enrichment programs, and Community Teen internship opportunities at the Science Center.

Individual tickets for the luncheon are priced at $180, while sponsorships for tables of 10 start at $1,800. Those interested in attending or obtaining further information can contact Michelle Conrad at 323-465-1261. The event promises to be a celebration of Dr. Leshin's achievements and a step towards promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.
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