Stories From the Field

Series produced by Distillations

Series image

Stories from the Field preserves and celebrates the contributions of women working in chemistry and related sciences. The project captures scientific adventures and career insights in short, conversational audio interviews.

While the number of women in scientific careers has increased steadily over the last few decades, true gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and math professions has yet to be achieved. It’s widely acknowledged that role models are essential in encouraging young women to pursue scientific professions, and Stories from the Field will offer an online bank of reflections from successful working female scientists to serve as a starting point for career exploration.

We at CHF thank all our Stories from the Field participants for sharing their experiences with us—and with generations of scientists to come.


49 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Katherine Neville
For those just starting out in a field, Katherine Neville recommends asking a simple question of your supervisors after completing a project: “How ...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 04:33
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Valerie Fremont
As a woman as well as an immigrant to the United States, Valerie Fremont has faced particular challenges in her career. She discusses America’s “cu...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 04:18
Caption: Claire Skentelbery
After struggling with bench research Claire Skentelbery realized her true calling was science communication. She talks about the importance of gett...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 04:26
Caption: Dawn Hocevar
After years of relentlessly pursuing her career, some simple words from her four-year-old daughter shook Dawn Hocevar to the core. From that moment...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 03:10
Caption: Sherri Oslick
Don’t delay being happy in your career, says Sherri Oslick. Finding the right path requires talking to a lot of people, and it also means listening...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 04:09
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dimitra Georganopoulou
Early in her career Dimitra Georganopoulou thought the ratio of men to women in science was pretty level. But then she began to rise up the ladder.

  • Added: Feb 12, 2014
  • Length: 03:34
Caption: April Quarles
In school it’s usually the men who are encouraged in science, says April Quarles. Though women continue to face negative social influences when pur...

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  • Added: Aug 21, 2013
  • Length: 03:17
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Savannah Sullivan
The job market for highly skilled positions is more competitive now than in previous generations, says Savannah Sullivan. Learning outside your cho...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Aug 05, 2013
  • Length: 03:10
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Anna Wilson
A chemistry set with “really nice stuff in it” sparked Anna Wilson’s lifelong interest in chemistry, but her passion made her a bit of an oddball i...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Jul 29, 2013
  • Length: 03:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Laura McCunn
It’s not all about career, says Laura McCunn. Marriage and family need to be considered when choosing a path, she says, and she credits a lot of he...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 03:03
Caption: Helen Free
In 1941 Helen Free was studying to be a Latin and English teacher—that is, until Pearl Harbor changed her fate. With the country’s young men being ...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 03:50
Caption: Kristine Chin
After getting her master’s degree Kristine Chin found herself working in industry as the first woman in an all-male lab. It was a challenging exper...

Bought by WTJU


  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 03:16
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Mary Ellen Ternes
In the mid-1980s only 10 of the 100 on-scene coordinators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were women. Mary Ellen Ternes was one of thi...

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  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 02:53
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Mary Jo Nye
After the launch of Sputnik in 1957 the new emphasis on science education in the United States helped spark an interest in a young Mary Jo Nye. She...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 04:33
Caption: Wendy Young Reed
For Wendy Young Reed, life is too short for disliking a job. To find a career you enjoy, she says, the key is to network the old-fashioned way: wit...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 03:29
Caption: Cynthia Palmer
When navigating the career path, advises Cynthia Palmer, make sure the jobs you take are the ones you actually want. She talks about the importance...

  • Added: Jun 10, 2013
  • Length: 03:27
Caption: Terri Taylor
It was a tough decision, she says, but Terri Taylor left grad school to become a high-school chemistry teacher. She talks about the importance of f...

  • Added: Jun 10, 2013
  • Length: 03:30
Caption: Marinda Wu
Marinda Wu chose her particular graduate program because she wanted to work for a famous professor. But when she arrived, she was told the professo...

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  • Added: May 20, 2013
  • Length: 04:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Bevin Parks
Women chemists who are also trying to raise a family can get a lot of heat, even from other women, says Bevin Parks. It helps, she says, to get to ...

  • Added: May 13, 2013
  • Length: 04:12
Caption: Isabel Escobar
In the face of harassment, Isabel Escobar learned the hard-earned lesson of standing up for herself. From men assuming she had a temper and could “...

  • Added: May 06, 2013
  • Length: 04:36