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Science Center Celebrates Women Innovators in its 2015 Class of the Innovators Walk of Fame

The University City Science Center announced the second class of its Innovators Walk of Fame at the Nucleus 2015: Celebrating Women Innovators event on October 15th at 3601 Market Street.

Launched in 2013, the Innovators Walk of Fame shines a light on the diverse tradition of discovery and innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region and the groundbreaking contributions made to the scientific and entrepreneurial communities that have revolutionized the local, regional and global landscape.

The 2015 class of the Innovators Walk of Fame honors and celebrates the female innovators who transformed the world with their ideas, inventions, and creativity. The evening included a presentation inducting into the Innovators Walk of Fame a group of influential women whose grit, determination and vision have left a legacy for future generations.

“We wanted to ensure that the Innovators Walk of Fame reflects the diversity of the local, regional and global communities in which the Science Center operates. This celebration of innovation, diversity and impact are at the core of each class of honorees,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Because of this group of extraordinary women, the world is surely a better place.”

A Selection Committee reviewed nominations from the innovation community and made recommendations to the Science Center’s senior management team.

2015 Innovators Walk of Fame Honorees:

Medicine: Rebecca J. Cole

Rebecca J. Cole, a Philadelphia native, overcame gender and racial obstacles to become the second African American woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. Dr. Cole graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1867—just two years after the Civil War ended. Dr. Cole went on to practice medicine in South Carolina before returning to Philadelphia where she pioneered access to medical care and legal services for impoverished women and children by opening a Women’s Directory Center. Sponsored by Drexel University.

Science: Stephanie Kwolek Stephanie Kwolek invented the technology behind Kevlar, a virtually bulletproof fiber that has saved the lives of countless first responders and military personnel. Five times stronger than steel, Kevlar is a groundbreaking material best known for its use in bullet-proof vests. Today it can also be found in products ranging from space suits to storm shelters. An industrial chemist at DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, during the 1960’s, Ms. Kwolek was one of the few women in her field at the time.

Community Engagement: Judith Rodin

A pioneer and innovator throughout her career, Judith Rodin was the first woman named to lead an Ivy League institution and is the first woman to serve as The Rockefeller Foundation’s president. While President of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rodin spearheaded groundbreaking programs that engaged the campus with the surrounding community and provided a model that is replicated by other universities nationally and internationally. Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania.

Social Impact: Judy Wicks When Inc. Magazine named Judy Wicks one of America’s 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs, they said “she put in place more progressive business practices per square foot than any other entrepreneur.” Her West Philadelphia restaurant, White Dog Café, became a leader in the local food movement and grew a national reputation for community engagement, environmental stewardship, and responsible business practices. A founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and co-founder of the International Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Wicks is an activist and a pioneer who is dedicated to building a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable, and locally based economy. “Business is beautiful,” Wicks says, “when it’s a vehicle for serving the common good.”

Technology: Women of ENIAC - Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Jean Jennings Bartik, Frances Elizabeth Holberton, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Frances Bilas Spence, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum

In 1946, six brilliant young female mathematicians, working secretly for the U.S. Army’s World War II efforts at the University of Pennsylvania, programmed the first all-electronic, programmable, general-purpose computer, the ENIAC. No programming tools or language existed at the time. Yet, Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Jean Jennings Bartik, Frances Elizabeth Holberton, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Frances Bilas Spence, and Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum learned to program without manuals or courses, using only logical diagrams. When ENIAC debuted in 1947, it ran the ballistics trajectory programmed by the six women in mere seconds and changed the world. Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania.

The physical installation of the Innovators Walk of Fame, presented by Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, A BioMed Realty Company, will open this fall in Innovation Plaza, a new pocket park located within uCity Square along 37th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.

Innovators Walk of Fame promotional partners for 2015 include the African American Chamber of Commerce; American Heart Association; Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia; Association for Women in Science, Philadelphia Chapter; Association of Women in Forensic Science; Delaware BioScience Association; Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, Drexel University; Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; Drexel University; Economy League; Flying Kite; Fox Rothschild LLP; GlobalPhilly; Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Inspiring Women in STEM; Network of Women with Careers in Technology; Pennsylvania Bio; Philadelphia Science Festival; Professional Women’s Business Network; Technically Philly; Technology Forum of Delaware; Temple University Fox School of Business and Management’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI); UD Horn Program in Entrepreneurship; Wharton Entrepreneurship; WHYY (NewsWorks); The Wistar Institute and Women’s Way.

About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center has a history as the oldest and largest urban research park in the U.S. Today, after 50+ years of operations, we are in the midst of a dramatic change that will further impact Greater Philadelphia’s role in the innovation ecosystem, as we join forces with Wexford Science + Technology, a BioMed Realty company, to expand our footprint. In September 2015, we announced a new brand for our campus: uCity Square - a true mixed-use community comprised of office and lab space for companies of all sizes as well as residential and retail locations. Together with Wexford, we’re creating a community of ingenuity where bright minds will flourish and thrive. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing