Arts & Academia


If you are attentive to the daily life happenings in the society, you will likely observe that people are always left in awe and amazement whenever a person puts to work their human creative skills and imagination. No doubt, humans possess limitless creative potentials, which when sufficiently harnessed can proffer solution to the day to day issues they encounter. On the other-hand, life problems will continue to linger until the solutions to life issues becomes clearer to the younger generation.

Today, under the Arts and Academia category of Amazons Watch Magazine we will be examining a heroine who perceived the power of creativity as a problem-solving technique. The tale of Magda Mostafa continues to serve as a source of inspiration to all those whose motive for being successful is to provide solutions to the perturbing issues of life. Magda Mostafa was born and raised in Canada and later came to reside in Egypt where she received her B.Sc, Msc. and PhD in architecture from Cairo University. 

A careful examination of Magda Mostafa’s life will reveal that every step or action she made about life was very intentional. Since Magda was passionate about architecture, her doctoral dissertation studies centred on architectural design for children with special needs and sensory dysfunctions, with a focus on autism; this was to assist her have a full grasp on how she could fulfil her aspiration of assisting children with autism. 

Mostafa began developing the architectural design guidelines for individuals with autism in 2002 when she was asked to design Egypt’s first educational facility for children with autism and was surprised to find that there were no architectural guidelines for designing buildings that would suit the needs and behaviours of such children. 

For Madga, she always put her best foot first whenever she encountered challenges and had stained her hands with the practice of ensuring that every problem she faced recorded its last. It was this dogged attitude that helped her create the first set of architectural design guidelines worldwide for individuals with autism. 

Her ground-breaking index outlines seven architectural design criteria that allow individuals with autism to focus better and improve their skills. Mostafa’s guidelines have already been applied to the design of schools like the Advance School for Developing Skills of Special Needs Children in Katameya, Cairo and are currently planned to be incorporated in the design of educational facilities in India and Canada.

As an architect, most of her designs elaborately showcased the social responsibility of the country so much so that her designs are referred to as socially responsible designs. Madga Mostafa’s definition of Architecture was quite different from the norm as she believed architecture to mean the conscious negotiation between an intent or activity carried out within a socio-cultural and physical context. Everyone who attempted to view architecture through the eyes of this great female architect will understand that the core function of architecture is to serve the society. 

She is currently working as a special needs design consultant for the government and private sector projects in Egypt, the Gulf and Europe, as an associate at the Cairo based architectural firm Progressive Architects. She is an associate professor of architecture at the American University in Cairo and a special needs design associate at progressive architects.

Being in her own space and ensuring she made a significant impact with all she knew how to do; won her some accolades. For her contribution to special needs she was nominated for the 2005 UNESCO Prize for Research and Training in Special Needs Education for Children. Being active in the Architectural Competitions commission of Union of International Architects , in 2008 she was successfully nominated as President of the Union of International Architects’ International Student Competition Jury. She also sat as the UIA Representative to the Jury for the Lebanese Ministry of Culture’s “House of Arts and Culture” Design Competition, prepared by GAIA-Heritage, held in Beirut in 2009.

Her accomplishment was seen more in the strategic approach which she adopted to raise upcoming youth who will easily follow her footsteps through to a successful path.  To enable her achieve this goal, Magda Mostafa published in the field of Architectural Education her award-winning paper “Thinking Outside the Box- Addressing and Enhancing Visual/Spatial and Active Learning Skills in Architectural Education”, which was granted the International Award for Excellence in the Design Field in 2008. She presented this paper and conducted a plenary session at the Design Principles and Practice Conference, held in Berlin in February 2009.

Being the only female Egyptian architect on a list of 50 most Influential architects in Middle East and North Africa, it is no exaggeration that this top-notch female architect had crossed all limiting factor known to her field. Magda Mostafa had mastered the act of using her skills as a weapon of tackling difficult situations. 




The South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA), an annual celebration of women in science and technology, coordinated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) took place on the 23rd of August, 2018 in Limpopo. The awards profile women scientists and researchers who serve as role models for younger women, and encourage and reward younger women who have begun their careers as researchers and scientists.

The theme for the 2018 SAWiSA event was “100 Years of Mama Albertina Sisulu: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.

Prof. Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi

Professor Mavhandu-Mudzusi is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Studies and the Chairperson of the Research Ethics Committee of the College of Human Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Venda.

Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi’s main research objectives centers on the reduction of new HIV infections, and the improvement of the quality of life of people living with HIV in rural universities. Integral to these objectives is the work that Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi does in advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) students. This shift has led Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi to develop an advocacy, care and support model for LGBTIQ students, and a management model for staff and students living with HIV. The implementation of these models has assisted in economically empowering both women living with HIV, and homosexual and gender non-conforming women in the changing world of the workplace.

With an NRF C3 rating, Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi is the author of 29 peer-reviewed publications, a book chapter, and 23 peer-reviewed conference papers. She is involved in a multi-country and multi-university project entitled “Destabilising Heteronormativity in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) institutions of Higher Education”. Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi is the principal investigator in a collaborative cross-national research project with the University of Liège, and Alliant International University, on the attitudes of heterosexual university students towards same-gender marriage and parenting. Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi has successfully supervised 3 PhDs and 15 Masters students and is currently supervising 10 Ph.D. and 10 Masters students at UNISA, in addition to mentoring 2 doctoral students in the new Generation of Academics’ Programme (nGAP) at Sefako Makgato and Limpopo Universities.

A professional nurse, registered with the South African Nursing Council, Prof. Mavhandu-Mudzusi is a Make-up Art Cosmetics AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative Fellow of the University of Columbia, University of California (Los Angeles) and Human Sciences Research Council. She is the guest editor for two journals, as well as a reviewer for several international and local journals and conferences.

Professor Colleen Downs

Winning the natural sciences category was Professor Colleen Downs. She is currently a full professor of Zoology in the School of Life Sciences, and a University Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Pietermaritzburg campus. Prof. Downs holds an NRF SARChI Research Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KZN and the E. Cape. She holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Natal, now UKZN.

Prof. Downs is a terrestrial vertebrate biologist with broad and interdisciplinary research interests. These include conservation, ecology, physiology, and behaviour of terrestrial vertebrates (herps, birds, and mammals) in unpredictable environments and with changing land use. Prof. Down’s other interest is science education, particularly problems experienced by Biology students and development of strategies to address such problems. Her other contribution has been in the development of research capacity, particularly at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Prof. Downs is the author of over 264 international peer-reviewed publications and 6 book chapters.  Prof. Downs has established a strong interdisciplinary research group at UKZN, and currently supervises 15 Ph.D. and 16 MSc students, and mentors 5 postdoctoral fellows. She has successfully supervised 35 Ph.D. and 46 MSc students. Prof. Downs has also supervised exchange students from Reunion, Konstanz, John Hopkins Liverpool, and Amsterdam Universities.

Professor Tricia Naicker

Professor Tricia Naicker is University of KwaZulu Natal’s youngest Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences and Academic Leader (HOD) for the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prof. Naicker completed her Ph.D. in an area (asymmetric organocatalysis) that was the first to be explored in Africa.  Prof. Naicker’s fully published thesis and academic efforts won her the 2011 DST Women in Science doctoral fellowship. Her research outputs endorsed the prestigious Oppenheimer postdoctoral award, which she pursued at Aarhus University, Denmark under the guidance of world-renowned leader Prof. KA Jorgensen (H- index 90); Prof. Naicker was the first candidate from the African continent to be accepted into this esteemed research facility.

She was appointed as a senior lecturer at UKZN in 2013. Based on her specialized expertise and being the pioneer in the field, the highly-ranked Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit at UKZN commenced collaboration with her as the first women to join their team. After a short time, Prof. Naicker has become a principal investigator in the unit and took over the leadership of the synthetic division for drug discovery.  She has thus far secured more than R5M in funding as main/co-applicant and has graduated 10 MSc and 4 Ph.D. students as main/co-supervisor. She is currently supervising 5 MSc’s, 3 Ph.D.’s students and mentoring 3 postdoctoral fellows. Prof. Naicker currently has a remarkable 72 international peer-reviewed publications. In addition, she serves as an editor for the South Africa Journal of Chemistry. She maintains the importance of active research by the mentorship of younger academics/postgrads by initiating collaborations (local and international) with emerging researchers as well as school learners to further their studies. Her current research interests are focused toward method development in organic synthesis of biologically important intermediates/drugs within the field of antibacterials.
This work has led to a patent of innovative new molecules targeting drug-resistant bacteria which is currently a severe global epidemic.

The DST is also committed to ensuring that the next generation of scientist and researchers are well trained and supported. The annual awards include categories that reward outstanding student talent.

The star performers included

Miss Keneilwe Hlahane

Keneilwe Hlahane obtained her BSc Geology degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).  Miss Hlahane further went on to complete a BSc Honors degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is currently enrolled as a Masters student in GIS and Remote Sensing at the same university.

Miss Hlahane’s MSc research forms part of the Earth Observation National Eutrophication Monitoring Project which is led by CyanoLakes (Pty) Ltd and funded by the South African Water Research Commission.  Miss Hlahane’s Master’s project focuses on Monitoring Eutrophication using GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing in the Vaal River, Gauteng. Eutrophication is a water pollution problem that deteriorates water quality. Miss Hlahane’s research is important because it aims to find new methods of studying the water quality in rivers, and the study will present new methods of monitoring water quality using data obtained from remote sensing satellites. She has presented preliminary results of her MSc dissertation to the Rand Water Board and the Water Research Commission (WRC).  She has also assisted as a GIS intern in a project assessing the Acid Mine Drainage pollution at Tweelopiesspruit, Westrand, South Africa.

Miss Hlahane has been awarded the GIS ESRI Young Scholar Award 2017 for South Africa. As the winning young scholar, Miss Hlahane presented her research at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, United States of America, July 2017. She represented Esri South Africa at a special exhibition at the conference for leading students from around the world who have shown excellence in research associated with using GIS Esri software

Miss Hlahane has published and contributed to a book chapter entitled Management and Mitigation of Acid Mine Drainage. Miss Hlahane’s work has also been published in Science Today magazine, in an article “Every drop counts, watching water from space”. The article was selected as part of the best postgraduate science writing 2016 competition.

Miss Hlahane has also been awarded student conference scholarships to present her MSc work at the International Symposium of Remote Sensing of the Environment, Tshwane, South Africa in May 2017.

She was awarded a scholarship to participate in a summer school by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) 2016, together with scholars from various universities such as the University of Copenhagen, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. The course presented sustainable water management in Africa. Miss Hlahane has also been awarded several student conference scholarships to present her MSc work, at the International Symposium of Remote Sensing of the environment, Tshwane, South Africa in May 2017.

Early Life
Shirley Ann Jackson is a prominent physicist and university president who was born on August 5, 1946, in Washington, D.C. to George Hiter Jackson and Beatrice Cosby Jackson. Growing up, her mother would read her the biography of Benjamin Banneker, an African American scientist and mathematician who helped build Washington, D.C., and her father encouraged her interest in science by assisting her with projects for school. The Space Race of the late-1950s would also have an impact on Jackson as a child, spurring her interest in scientific investigation.
She attended Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C., where she took accelerated math and science classes. Jackson graduated as valedictorian in 1964 and encouraged by the assistant principal for boys at her high school, she applied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was among the first African American students to attend MIT, and in her undergraduate class, she was one of only two women.

Her Early Academic Career
Shirley Jackson found strength in academic work and immersed herself in research, recording her equations in a large artist’s sketchbook that dwarfed the standard notebooks used by other theoretical physicists.
By 1973, she had completed a doctoral degree in particle physics, the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics in MIT’s history. Her dissertation described a new way to model complex collisions. The thesis, titled ‘the Study of a Multi-peripheral Model with Continued Cross-Channel Unitarity’, under the supervision of James Young, the first African American tenured full professor in the physics department at MIT. In 1975, the thesis was published in Annals of Physics.

In 1974, after receiving her degree, Jackson was recruited as a research associate in theoretical physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab. At Fermilab, she studied medium to large subatomic particles, specifically hadrons, a subatomic particle with a strong nuclear force. Throughout the 1970s, Jackson would work in this area on Landau theories of charge density waves in one- and two-dimensions, as well as Tang-Mills gauge theories and neutrino reactions. Shirley Jackson served as visiting science associate at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland and worked on theories of strongly interacting elementary particles. In 1975, she returned to Fermilab and was simultaneously elected to the MIT Corporation’s Board of Trustees.
She became a member of the MIT Corporation in 1975 and is now a lifetime member. “I understood universities from the point of view of oversight and from the point of view of the faculty, in terms of how to organize research.”
In 1976, she accepted a position at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, where she switched research areas and focused on the electronic properties of two-dimensional condensed matter systems. “Shirley was very intelligent mathematically and made the transition successfully to a new field, which is not something too many people do,” says Patrick Lee ’66, Ph.D. ’70, a colleague at Bell Labs and now a professor of physics at MIT. “It gives you an idea of her flexibility and breadth of interest.”

While she was at Bell Labs, Shirley collaborated with Lee and others on research related to charge density waves, which describe how electrons organize themselves within layered crystals. The group was interested in how these electrons behave in areas where one layer of a crystal meets another. They focused in particular on how electrons cluster in repeated patterns, “with a particular kind of bunching effect,” as Lee puts it. They also modeled how these bunching patterns would change with variations in temperature—and how those changes would affect the properties of the material.

In 1991, she served as a professor at Rutgers while working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In 1995, she was appointed by President Clinton to the chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 1997, she led the formation of the International Nuclear Regulators Association. In 1998, Shirley was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame; the following year, she became the eighteenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She remains an advocate for women and minorities in the sciences and, since 2001, has brought needed attention to the “Quiet Crisis” of America’s predicted inability to innovate in the face of a looming scientific workforce shortage.

Recognition from President Clinton
Her great work did not go unnoticed. In 1994, she got a call from the White House; President Bill Clinton wanted her to serve as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She accepted, even though it meant giving up her tenured position at Rutgers and spending the work week away from her husband, physicist Morris Washington, and their son, Alan, who was just starting high school. As head of the NRC, Shirley developed and implemented regulation for assessing risk at the country’s nuclear power plants. Her approach took advantage of sophisticated computer modeling—much of it pioneered at MIT—to make probability-based judgments about the likelihood of various problems. For instance, if a power plant operator wanted to make physical changes to the plant or operate it differently, regulators could more accurately predict the relative risks of those changes. Victor McCree, who joined Jackson’s staff at the commission in 1996 and is currently its executive director for operations, says the new approach was “probably the most significant philosophical and practical change in the history of the NRC.”

Shirley also led international efforts to promote nuclear safety, working in places including post-apartheid South Africa and the countries of the former Soviet Union. “My first year as chairman, I went to Chernobyl and that focuses the attention.” Nearly a decade after the 1986 accident, the site still had high radiation levels emanating from the destroyed reactor and radioactive contamination in a broad area around the plant. She and her team “helped the Ukrainians figure out what to do and how to seal this thing up,” helping to train regulators and inspectors in the region. She also oversaw the creation of the International Nuclear Regulators Association, which supports nuclear regulation around the world.

Her Later Academic Career
Sequel to her stint at the NRC, she returned to academia in 1999 as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. As the sixth person to serve as president in 14 years, she aimed to transform RPI into a world-class technological research university. She was ready, having already served on the boards of Rutgers and MIT.

Her efforts to reshape the university met with relative difficulties. In 2006, she prevailed in a vote of no confidence by a small margin. She said the faculty was concerned about tighter criteria and higher expectations for promotion and tenure, among other things. In a separate struggle, her administration suspended the faculty senate in 2007. The Board of Trustees had asked the Senate to amend its constitution to limit its membership, resulting in an impasse; the Senate was then reconstituted in 2012.

From 2009 to 2014, she served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for President Obama; in 2014 she became co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, serving until early 2017. In these positions, she led a study on advanced manufacturing in the United States and got involved with issues of national and global security, cyber-security, and digital technology.“She has a broad view of how science and technology can assist our country and the world,” says Gates, who served with Jackson on PCAST. In 2016, President Barack Obama gave her the ‘National Medal of Science’ award.

In 2017, Standard & Poor’s lowered the university’s long-term bond rating from A- to BBB+, citing its high debt burden and low level of available resources. But RPI maintains an A3 bond rating with Moody’s, and her plans to shore up the university’s finances with a capital campaign launched this past fall. The new campaign follows her successful Renaissance at Rensselaer campaign, which had risen to over $1 billion by 2008 in support of her vision for RPI, known as the Rensselaer Plan.

Shirley Ann Jackson was described as a ‘national treasure’ who defied a lot of odds to acquire all her achievements. She is a rare gem and will forever be remembered in the world of scientific academy. She gave words of encouragement to students, including one who worried that maybe she was there because of affirmative action. “If you are here, a door opened for you,” she told the student, noting that doors open for many reasons. “What happens now is a function of what you do.”

Usually, when embroidery is mentioned, we think of the different fabrics that are usable and the intricate designs that go on these fabrics to produce an entirely stunning piece of cloth.

For Jordanian sisters, Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail, incorporating embroidery with sculpture has become their very unique medium to create exquisite and elegant pieces. Their works which has incorporated a blend of Contemporary and Traditional Arabic basics to all their designs has taken the world of sculptural architecture by surprise.

Founded in 2010, Naqsh Collective has grown into a collection of furniture and household pieces combining new and cutting-edge technology with an architectural feel in their inspiration to give their designs “soul”.

The sisters, each with the work strengths have put their talents together to create all their designs; Nisreen is an Architect by training which gives her the knowledge and view on how to merge art and design seamlessly, while Nermeen has a degree working as an excellent Graphics designer. Both sisters with their respective backgrounds work together to create pieces that have been featured at so many exhibitions and events. In a statement, Nermeen said “Nisreen is an architect and I am a graphic designer so we somehow complement each other when we make one piece. Like you see her lines and you see my chaotic world of shapes that come together and form something”.



In most designs created by the sisters, there is always an element of their heritage embedded in it to give it a feel and vibe that relates with the Arabic culture. Before settling for the widely known embroidery designs, the sisters had earlier tried to work using Islamic patterns and calligraphy. For them, working with embroidery is more expressive and can be replicated or adapted to reflect the intent of their designs.

For Nermeen, she is excited by how much the art of embroidery has moved from India through to Pakistan, Jordan, and Syria, with each stop incorporating its patterns and motifs into the designs. This is why they are particular about the Naqsh Collective because it showcases the rich Arabian heritage with a modern twist on a contemporary medium like furniture.

The collection, Wihdeh Collection as designed by the sisters uses embroidery to create low table units cut from stone and marble to give it beautiful and stunning finishing. For the tables, a large amount of materials for the sisters’ home country is used like the basalt to tell a long-lasting story of Arabic history whilst reflecting the spirit of unity.

Nisreen always tells people she takes a piece of Jordan whenever she travels, referring to the massively abundant Jordanian stone, Basalt. The stone is quite rare across the world but exists in large amounts in Jordan and very common during the Roman period to build large amphitheaters and columns.

Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail are proud of their heritage and are always enthusiastic when they have to work a new design; it means they can work on a piece that will showcase the rich history of Jordan in its designs. Art for them is expressive, and their chosen media helps them to show how they feel about their heritage.


Twitter: @naqsh_d_h


When stories of successful women in architecture are shared in Africa, there is no doubt that Olajumoke Adenowo will be considered an important figure. A woman of substance who has thrived on her passion for design, Olajumoke has made a name for herself in the African society.

She was born in the city of Ibadan, South West Nigeria in 1968. Guided by her mother, Professor Olufunmilayo Oloruntimilehin, an expert in the field of criminology, she built her passion and abilities in a onetime “Male – dominated” profession, irrespective of the prevalent socio-cultural norms and values at the time.

Being privileged to visit Europe with her parents during her younger years, she was intrigued by what she saw at the historical sites in Europe which left a mark in her heart. She made a decision to build a career in designing.

Olajumoke had her secondary school education at the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Oyo, and proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) – Nigeria, for her Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture.

She was fourteen when she began her undergraduate course at OAU and at nineteen; she earned her Bachelor of Science in architecture, she also obtained an M.Sc from her Alma Mater OAU.

She is an alumnus of the Yale School of Management, Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme and the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain.

Her career in architecture began shortly after she obtained her M.Sc., working as an associate architect at Towry Coker Associates, before long she moved to Femi Majekodunmi Associates as a full-time architect. While working at Femi Majekodunmi Associates she leverage on the platform, to develop herself, known for her enthusiasm and attitude of readiness for the job. She devoted time and energy to building the firm’s status and promoting the Nigerian culture through uniqueness voiced from her work.

Olajumoke’s passion for her job was an aura that was noticeable and glaring to the eyes of all which led her to greater achievements in life. At the age of 23 she was given the opportunity to design her first building and in the same year many other opportunities opened up for her.

She was tagged the “face of architecture in the Nigeria” and is also the brain behind the designing of the iconic structure of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja which catapulted her career to its peak. Having achieved quite much in her career, she decided to spread her tentacles into the entrepreneurship world. She had worked with other firms and was faithful in another man’s business but she considered having her own firm.

After much consideration, Olajumoke moved to establish her own firm – AD Consulting in 1994. AD Consulting is an interior design and architecture firm whose projects covers both private and public facilities design.

AD Consulting has handled the designing and constructing of over 70 outstanding projects including governments, private and multinational companies such as L’Oréal International, Guaranty Trust Bank in West Africa, and Coco-Cola International. Olajumoke also ran an oil and gas firm, Advantage Energy, and a property management firm.

She is also the founder of Awesome Treasures Foundation, which she established with the aim of meeting the demands of national development via raising transformational leaders who would spur inventions and innovations in all areas of life.

The establishment of Awesome Treasures Foundation attracted a name to her which is the first female pioneer of interdenominational, denominationally independent Christian Ministry in Africa.

Olajumoke is not just a model but a trailblazer to the African women society. Following her track record of achievements in a patriarchal continent like Africa, she has been recognized with various awards including the International Alliance for Women World of Difference 100 Award, the Rare Gems 2007 Award, which is awarded by the Women’s Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF).

Olajumoke is happily married to Olukorede Adenowo and they are blessed with two sons.

Phyllis Wise is one of the very special women in academia who has made history and smashed stereotypes as a result of her exceptional works of science. Speaking of exception, she remains the first woman and the first Asian American to serve as president of the University of Washington (UW).

Wise is the daughter of two excellent educationalists, who left China to the United States to pursue their education in 1938 before the World War 2 began. She was born and raised in New York City, her parents were education enthusiasts and they instilled educational enthusiasm in her.

Wise’s father had an MD from Beijing Union Medical College and a doctorate degree from Northwestern University. Her mother who was an educationist also graduated with a nursing degree from Yenching University, Beijing, and on getting to the US she pursued a teaching nursing education degree at Columbia Teacher’s College.

Growing up as a young child she was surrounded by lots of scientific activities performed by her father who was a neuroscientist. Often times Wise was taken to her father’s lab to watch him as he experiments, this explains how she got so attached to Science at a very tender age.

Wise grew up to love education and her parents were her backbone. Although her father had wanted her to become a medical doctor, Wise took another path to the top and she has fulfilled her parent’s expectations for her.

She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Swarthmore College in 1967, and in 1969 she obtained her master’s degree and then pushed forward for a doctorate in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1972.

Wise became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan for two years (1972–1974). She was awarded honorary degrees from Swarthmore College in 2008 and the University of Birmingham in 2015.

In 2008, the Puget Sound Business Journal named her one of its 2008 Women of Influence.

However, it hadn’t been all rosy for Wise; she had her struggles and difficulties climbing up the ladder. Especially being a woman and an Asian American, all eyes were on her to see how far she could go.

But Alas! She moved upward and even forward at every point in time.

Wise took her very steps in education from1976, when she was appointed Assistant Professor of physiology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Moving forward, in 1993, she was appointed a professor of physiology and chair of the department at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

In 2002, she became Dean of the College of Biological Sciences at University of California-Davis, holding also the rank of Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior in its College of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Physiology and Membrane Biology in its School of Medicine.

As she continued her journey in the academic sector she was made Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington in 2005.

Her outstanding record catapulted her towards academic leadership when need be that an interim president was required, so she took the position of the President of UW and she served from 2010-2011. One of her most profound accomplishment at the University of Washington was the establishment of the College of the Environment which she led during her service. The College brought together several previously abandoned programs and gave them a place in the university priorities and budget allocations.

When the university board found a permanent president, Wise was placed back as the Provost and Executive Vice President.

But during the same period, she was offered the position of Chancellor at one of the largest public universities in the United States─ the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Vice President of the University of Illinois with an annual budget of $1.5 billion, $400 million in research expenditures, 42,000 students, and more than 1,800 tenure-track faculty members.

Wise resigned as the School Chancellor in August 2015, having served for almost five years.

Her works in science focus principally on the effect of hormones on the feminine brain during the process of development, adulthood, and aging. Her research uncovered the diverse actions of estrogens on the brain, including its protective effects after stroke injury. She was funded by the NIH for 32 consecutive years during which she received two 10-year MERIT awards, and led center and program project grants.

Dr. Wise is author or co-author of over 200 articles and research papers in endocrinology.

She is known and celebrated for her outstanding research work in the field of science up till date, she also has a record of great philanthropic works including; donating all her compensation from serving as a board of director in Nike to student’s scholarships.

Being exception in providing value in various aspects of life is what passionate people love to do, adding beauty to life’s untapped resource and making a masterpiece out of it. Great people strive to become masters and expertise in their field of work, leaving marks and footprints for all too see and copy.

Doing what you love to do is not enough but understanding what you do and the ability to control your work is perfect. Having a perfect understanding of your skills is an open door to excellence.

Tatiana Bilbao Spamer is a Mexican architect who has distinguished herself in her field based on her unique passion that calls her attention to creativity drawn from environmental curiosity.

Tatiana’s love for architecture can be traced down her linage. She was born in 1972 in Mexico City, into an architect’s family. She had a robust vision towards bringing to life her passion and she followed through until it became a reality.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urbanism from Universidad Iberoamericana. She once worked with Urban Housing and Development Department of Mexico City as an advisor for Urban Projects to the minister from 1998-99. Working at the Urban Housing and Development Department of Mexico City steered an interest to make an impact in public space and urban development.

At first, she started out with two partners and they create a studio but they parted ways after four years and some months and then the studio was closed down.

As a result of the urban situation of Mexico, Tatiana pushed forward to establish the Tatiana Bilbao Estudio in 2004.

Tatiana Bilba Estudio focuses on cultural and economic development which is inspired by Tatiana’s multicultural and multidisciplinary office.

The Tatiana Bilba Estudio concentrates on understanding the structure and natural characteristics of the environment in order to translate its inflexible attributes into beautiful designs, using resources to create spaces in order to humanize them as a contribution to global capitalism which leads to cultural and economic development.

Her studio was the first step in her journey to fame and prosperity. Her first recognized work was the exhibition pavilion in Jinhua Architecture Park that was completed in 2007.

The project was the best amongst a Chinese led exhibition coordinated by Ai Weiwei (a Chinese artist) who selected a group of young architects from around the world to design and develop a large park organized by a network of pavilions and located in the shore of the Yiwu River, close to Shanghai.

She has created diverse works which include the Botanical Garden in Culiacán, a master plan and open chapel for a Pilgrimage Route in Jalisco, a Biotechnological Center for a Tech Institution, a sustainable housing prototype that is built with 8,000 USD, and a funeral home.

Most importantly, her efforts in the development of Mexico’s sustainable housing has been really exceptional, this has brought about recognition from many angles.

The various recognitions among others incudes the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture Prize in 2014, she was named the Emerging Voice by the Architecture League of NY in 2009, Recipient of the Kunstpries Berlin in 2012.

She is not only pursuing her dreams but also pursues development through her unique impact.