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Science Research & Engineering Program Testimonials

Mission Statement  I  How to Join  I  SREP At a Glance  I  SREP in the News Achievements I  NewsHour Feature

Those familiar with the groundbreaking initiative that places high school girls in professional laboratories at world-class institutions are impressed with the outcomes achieved by Hathaway Brown's
Science Research & Engineering Program. 

My experience conducting research at a university with the SREP program helped me to gain confidence in my skills and abilities outside of the safe Hathaway Brown environment. This experience was invaluable when I started my own university studies and was on my own for the first time. My decision to pursue a degree in engineering was largely driven by the experiences I had working on biomechanical engineering research at Case Western Reserve University through the SREP. Though I no longer work in engineering, the skills that I learned, particularly related to logic, problem solving, and analytics, have helped me to pursue my passion of encouraging businesses to engage with the rural poor as part of core business practices.

Alexandra Breedlove HB ’02, BA Emory University; BSc Georgia Institute of Technology; Senior Manager at KPMG; Tanzania Country Representative, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

I believe strongly that it is very important to encourage young women to participate in science and engineering research, for they are under-represented in these disciplines. Hathaway Brown is uniquely doing just that.

Chung-Chiun Liu, PhD, Wallace R. Persons Professor of Sensor Technology and Control, CWRU School of Engineering; HB SREP Mentor

The science and engineering research program was a wonderful opportunity to participate in the life of a lab at the Cleveland Clinic. Although I haven't worked with semiconductor processing since, it was great to be exposed to the life of a research lab. It's also very exciting to see how the research of my mentor, Dr. Shuvo Roy, is now contributing toward the development of a small-scale artificial kidney. I joined the nanomembrane project in his lab in its early stages, and it's exciting to see that the challenges we had then with making the membranes porous have been overcome.

Elena Yudovina HB ’04, BA Harvard University; MASt/Ph.D. University of Cambridge; Systems Analyst and Developer for software systems

Prizes are fun, but even more than that, the practice of beginning and completing a large body of work, of being in a real-life work environment, and of being an “expert” in a field are totally invaluable. Not too many students have that chance.

Ingrid Zippe HB ’13, Brown University ’17

The students arrive in the laboratory not only with enthusiasm but with a solid background in math and science. Most importantly, they arrive with a well-developed ability to reason, hypothesize, and question. They definitely are not just a pair of hands. Their SREP teachers make a special effort to pick mentors and laboratories that not only give the girls responsibility, but also—to the greatest degree possible—independence.

Michael Maguire, PhDProfessor of Pharmacology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology, CWRU School of Medicine; HB SREP Mentor

HB's Science Research & Engineering Program and its relationship with NASA has been a model for other schools to follow. It has caused positive change through inspiration and hands-on technical involvement, not only for the students, but also for NASA.

Bruce A. Banks, Electro-Physics Branch Chief (retired), NASA Glenn Research Center; HB SREP Mentor

The Hathaway Brown Science Research & Engineering Program is a truly exceptional effort. HB students are uniformly gifted, motivated, and able to work in a group setting. It truly sets a standard for the rest of the nation.

Christopher Coburn Vice President of Innovation at Partners HealthCare, former Executive Director of CCF Innovations at Cleveland Clinic; father of Caroline HB ’06, Georgetown ’10; and Bridget HB ’12, Georgetown ‘16 

As parents, we have discovered that we can trace all of our daughter's many successes to her high school career at HB. The Science Research & Engineering Program was a fantastic opportunity for her and it laid the foundation for where she's taken her career.

Scott and Susan Brown Parents of Abby Brown '02, Managing Nurse Practitioner, Cleveland Clinic Critical Care Transport Team, 2015 National Patient Advocacy Award winner —Association of Critical Care Transport

I majored in anthropology in college thanks to the exposure I had at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. I’m working now at a biomedical research and development firm in Denver, Colorado. Although I'm not an engineer by training, the exposure I had to the world of biomedical engineering through my project helped prepare me for my job (which is a blessing in an often difficult job market). Although I haven't dealt with human and non-human primate spine studies, I recognize that the SREP was an amazing experience that really applies the HB motto of ‘We learn not for school, but for life.’

Leah Elsmore HB ’08, BA Bates College; Master’s in Public Health student, Colorado School of Public Health; Business Development Coordinator and Quality Engineer Assistant

The Hathaway Brown Science and Engineering Program is the most serious and most impressive program of its kind that I have heard of. Talented high school freshmen with a commitment and a passion for science or engineering research are matched with a laboratory, and this association is maintained throughout high school including during the three intervening summers. Each year, each student presents a poster describing their research, and most give very interesting and knowledgeable presentations. Furthermore, they make important contributions to their laboratory's research progress. I have been extremely impressed by the program.

Richard Zigmond, PhD, Professor, Departments of Neurosciences and Pathology, Case Western Reserve University; HB SREP Mentor

SREP was vital in exposing me to scientific research at an early age. It made it easy to start working in a lab once I began college, as I came with skill sets normally seen in upperclassmen or graduate students. It also continually opened doors as many future employers found it impressive that I had been working in an academic lab from such an early age. Patty Hunt's vision and belief that the best way to ultimately have more women in science was by creating opportunities for girls to participate in scientific research was seemingly obvious, but was really forward thinking. On an individual basis, my involvement in this program directly affected my career path as an adult. However, the true legacy of this program will be the generations of women who are or will become leaders in science and technology because of their involvement in SREP.

Bonnie Gurry HB ’02, BS Columbia University; MS California Institute of Technology; MBA New York University; Technology Licensing Officer, Columbia Technology Ventures

On the interview trail for pediatric residencies, I am continually asked about the research I did through the SREP —now 10 years ago! My early focus on childhood development and the clinical research skills I developed in high school had a profound effect on the career I am now pursuing as a pediatrician. When I look back on my time at HB, I see what a tremendous impact Patty Hunt’s mentorship and support of scholarship had on my life, and I am so grateful. Ten years since graduating, I feel like I am living proof that at HB, we were taught to learn not for school, but for life.

Maya Wolpert HB ’06, BS Stanford University; MD University of California, Davis ’16

I think one of the things I enjoyed most about my SREP experience is that it helped nurture my curiosity about why the world is the way it is. My supervising scientists at both NASA Glenn and Case Western Reserve University provided experiences that helped me value what Richard Feynman called ‘the pleasure of finding things out.’ And in some way, I think that curiosity and joy in learning have animated my studies since. I think the SREP experience was also an incredible way to build confidence. At West Point, there were only 12 cadets in my class of 911 students who majored in physics, and I was one of only two women. The experience of learning challenging material and conducting independent research in high school made me confident that I would succeed in a difficult major. This may be as much a tribute to HB as the SREP, but I also felt like the cultural expectation that women can and do excel in fields that are traditionally male-dominated like science and math also gave me confidence that has served me well as an Army officer. Looking back, I am very appreciative of the fantastic experiences I had through the SREP and the incredible people who were outstanding mentors.

Anne Hammerstrom Stark HB ’01, BS West Point; MPhil and Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University and the University St. Andrews; Helicopter Pilot, U.S. Army; Harvard Law School student

The SREP empowered me to channel my innate questioning into directed research. It exposed me—at an extremely early age—to genetics research in a large research university setting and enabled me to understand how research questions get conceptualized and actualized. The SREP leadership team helped me figure out how to choose a research endeavor that was tied to a family friend’s illness and thereby begin to understand the bench-to-bedside trajectory. The experience no doubt shaped my pursuit of training in clinical medicine and also my academic training in anthropology; though I ended up a social scientist rather than a bench scientist, my development of research inquiry skills originated with the SREP.

Amy Saltzman Porter HB ’01, BS Princeton University; MD/PhD Harvard University; Pediatrics Resident, Cleveland Clinic

I graduated from MIT with a degree in Biology and then received a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford, where I completed a Master's degree in Radiation Biology. I am now an MD/PhD candidate at Harvard Medical School in the Health Sciences and Technology Program. I'll be completing my MD at Harvard and my PhD at MIT. Working in a Cleveland Clinic lab in high school exposed me to the excitement of scientific discovery and laid the foundation for me to develop a true passion for research. I attribute so much of what I have done and the opportunities I have been afforded to the SREP program. It helped me reach my highest goals and set me on the path I'm on today.

Catherine Koch HB ’10, BS MIT; MSc and Marshall Scholar at Oxford University; MD/PhD candidate at Harvard Medical School and MIT

It is without a shadow of a doubt that I am pursuing an academic research career because of my experience working at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Jane Grande-Allen as part of the SREP. I am exceptionally grateful that both Patty Hunt and she took a chance on me at the age of 13, and allowed me to explore my own curiosity and creativity. While other girls had ballet or violin or another traditional extracurricular activity that they excelled at, mine was being able to investigate phenomena in a research setting. There is probably no other school in the world where I would have been able to realize my potential. Because I was not the perfect student with exceptional grades, quite frankly I probably would have fallen through the cracks elsewhere.

Kyra Sedransk Campbell HB ’03, BS MIT; Ph.D. University of Cambridge; U.S. Patent-Holder for an artificial mitral heart valve; Professor at Imperial College, London

The SREP absolutely had an effect on my life. (It) gave me a background in research that is very uncommon in high school graduates. Participating in competitions such as the Siemens radically improved my public speaking and my ability to write technical papers, and I have several publications and a lot of experience that will help me get research jobs in the future. (On HB’s PEACE Team, Catherine conducted space flight experiments at NASA Glenn through the SREP)

Catherine McCarthy HB '07, Brown (neurosciences)

My SREP experience had a big effect on me. I wasn’t really interested in science until high school and, although I didn’t start until my junior year, working in a chemical engineering lab in high school further influenced my decision to major in chemical engineering in college. I also learned from the experience that I did not want to only do lab work for the rest of my life but that there are many outlets for chemical engineers. In addition, it has been a good conversation topic during interviews. Now I am applying to get my masters in chemical engineering and then planning on working in industry. I would definitely not be where I am today if I had not been a part of the SREP at HB. (Jane worked in a fuel cell lab in the Chemical Engineering department at Case through the SREP.)

Jane Chisholm HB ’05Johns Hopkins (chemical engineering)

The SREP experience was my first introduction to the world of scientific research (as there are no scientists in my family) and my professional life has since been dominated by the pursuit of a career in scientific research. (Emily conducted BioMEMS research (Biological Microelectromechanical Systems), aka, developing micro and nano systems for use inside the human body, at the Cleveland Clinic through the SREP)

Emily Marcenkevicius HB ’02Pomona '06 (molecular biology), Weill Cornell Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

My SREP experience had a big effect on my life after HB. The exposure to science outside the classroom through my SREP experience helped me realize my love for science and aided in the decision of my college major of chemical engineering. The opportunity I had to do research through the SREP also helped me earn an undergraduate research position at Notre Dame. The research and analytical skills I began to develop through my SREP experience and continued to build upon thoughout college have been an asset in my current job. (In the SREP, Caitlin conducted mechanical engineering research at Case School of Engineering, and also conducted theoretical astrophysics research in the Case Physics Department.)

Caitlin Fogarty HB ’03University of Notre Dame '07 (chemical engineering); United States Patent Office Patent Examiner

My SREP experience definitely had an effect on my life after HB. I really give this program credit for being the beginning stepping stones for my future career in medicine. I am in the BA/MD program at Brown University, and it is surprising to me how little research the undergraduates at Brown in this program conduct while in the undergraduate portion of the program. I think that HB’s SREP has well prepared me for the future research positions as well as other positions in the medical field. (In the SREP, Joanne designed and made Microelectrochemical Biosensors to detect live and heart disease in the Case Chemical Engineering lab of Dr.C.C Liu)

Joanne Wang HB ’07Brown (BA/MD program)

 The SREP prepared me for advanced science and math courses and gave me research experience early on which gave me an advantage as I entered college. (In the SREP, Ashley conducted math based genetic bioinformatics research in the Hematology/Oncology Department at the Cleveland Clinic.)

Ashley Drieir HB ’07Yale (biomedical engineering)

SREP helped me understand the professional researcher’s life at such a young age that I was able to determine my future plans such as college and major choice with a great deal of concrete knowledge. I also understand the importance of perseverance, accountability, and accuracy to a greater extent now. (In the SREP, Claire conducted fuel cell research in the Chemical Engineering Department at Case.

Claire Pavlak HB ’08Emory (Emory Scholars Award)

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