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Podhradsky statue featured at Smithsonian

February 14, 2022

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky (right) poses with her family with her life-size statue,  which will be featured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. for Women’s Futures Month.
Dr. Ashley Podhradsky (right) poses with her family with her life-size statue,  which will be featured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. for Women’s Futures Month.

A life-size statue of Dr. Ashley Podhradsky is one of 120 featured at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., for Women’s History Month in March. Podhradsky is the Vice President for Research & Economic Development at Dakota State, and an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador.

The Smithsonian’s Women’s Futures Month display is a forward-looking celebration of the power of women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to shape a better world.

On March 5, the Smithsonian will kick off the month by presenting the “#IfThenSheCan - The Exhibit,” a collection of 120 statues of women in STEM. On display in Smithsonian gardens and in and around select Smithsonian museums March 5–27, the exhibit is the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled together.

The life-size 3D-printed statues are of a diverse coalition of contemporary women STEM innovators and role models leading a variety of fields, from protecting wildlife, discovering galaxies, building YouTube’s platform, to trying to cure cancer. Visitors will come face to face with entrepreneurs, educators, scientists, and conservationists who are building the future. Each statue will feature a unique QR code so visitors can learn about these inspiring personal stories.

“These striking 3D-printed figures of remarkable women in STEM careers help us celebrate the incredible impact women continue to make on vital scientific endeavors,” said Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “This exhibition highlights how a more diverse, more inclusive workforce will strengthen our shared future.”  

“‘#IfThenSheCan - The Exhibit’ provides the perfect opportunity for us to show that women have successfully thrived in STEM for decades, while also illustrating the innumerable role models young women can find in every field,” said Ellen Stofan, the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science and Research. “Through this exciting collaboration with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the Smithsonian is furthering our commitment to fostering an environment where all girls know they can make an indelible mark on our future.”

This program is made possible by the support of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the IF/THEN initiative. IF/THEN is an initiative designed by Lyda Hill Philanthropies to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers. STEM innovators selected as leaders in their fields were chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies to serve as AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors and be high-profile role models for middle school girls.

Additional programming will be available at the Smithsonian throughout the month.

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