Researcher Wins a Prestigious Fellowship for Women Scientists
Ania Bleszynski-Jayich, a postdoctoral fellow in physics, is one of five American women who have been honored by L’Oréal U.S.A. with a 2008 Fellowship for Women in Science.
Bleszynski-Jayich has developed new techniques for creating the extreme conditions necessary to accurately test a prediction of quantum mechanics which, although theorized years ago, has been challenging for scientists to measure.
Her experiments will measure a property called “persistent current” that produces unexpected magnetism in normal metal rings. She will work to improve sensitivity of the current detectors so that systematic measurements of the currents can be made.
“Basic research has led to so many important advances,” she says. “I will be so excited when my research, which explores the world of quirky quantum mechanics, will someday be part of a positive impact on society.”
The prestigious L’Oréal U.S.A. Fellowships For Women in Science, now in their fifth year, support postdoctoral women scientists who are undertaking cutting-edge research.
“Woman scientists are making amazing progress, forging ahead and overcoming obstacles as they dispel the gender stereotype that women are not equipped to excel in the sciences,” says Laurent Attal, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal U.S.A. “L’Oréal U.S.A. is proud to help foster and recognize the success of women scientists at all levels. We believe the world needs science, and science needs women.”
Awardees each receive $40,000 for independent scientific research. In addition, recognizing that funding is just one of several components necessary to help women build successful careers in the sciences, the L’Oréal U.S.A. Fellowships for Women in Science also offer opportunities for professional development and for networking with accomplished women leaders in corporate, academic, governmental and scientific fields.
Bleszynski-Jayich, who has been a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Yale professor Jack Harris since 2006, did her doctoral work at Harvard University. As an undergraduate at Stanford, she pursued a double major in mathematics and computational science, and physics, winning the award for best honors thesis in physics.
In addition to being recognized for her work as a scientist, she has also been honored as a star collegiate tennis player; she was named most outstanding sophomore athlete at Stanford and selected as an NCAA All-American for four years.
Since the L’oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science international program’s inception in 1998, 52 laureates and 120 international fellows have been recognized. National fellowship programs have also been established in 35 countries and have awarded fellowship grants to more than 340 young women researchers.