A scientist-educator who brought the “Mighty Mice in space” into Connecticut classrooms is the winner of the Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation award in the Large Business Innovation and Leadership category.
Sarah Wojiski, Ph.D., director of education at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn., has taught biology and genetics in a variety of classroom settings for more than 20 years. At JAX she provides STEM educational programming to a variety of learners including high school students, college students, teachers and new-career scientists.
Last winter, when special “Mighty Mice” from JAX were aboard the International Space Station for a study of the effects of microgravity on muscle mass, Wojiski partnered with an honors biology class at Weaver High School and an introductory biology class at Kinsella Magnet School, both in Hartford, to involve the next generation of future scientists in the research.
Charlie Wray, Ph.D., JAX vice president for education, describes Wojiski as “an integral, hard-working member of our team, who also serves as an active mentor to the students and colleagues that she has met throughout her career. She finds tremendous value in the importance of good mentorship and is happy to keep in touch with those she has counseled with over the years. I am honored to have Sarah on my team, working with us at JAX.”
Best known as a nonprofit biomedical research institution, JAX has incorporated education and training throughout its 91-year history. Today JAX offers an array of programs for future and career scientists. Wojiski focuses on academic-year and summer programs for high school and undergraduate students interested in research, a professional development program for high school STEM teachers, and training programs for recent college graduates and pre- and postdoctoral students.
Wojiski was selected as one of 10 Women of Innovation winners from 50 finalists, representing more than 150 nominees. The Large Business Innovation and Leadership award recognizes achievement in an organization with more than 500 employees.
The Women of Innovation program, presented by the Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc., recognizes women innovators, role models and leaders in science and technology professions.