Awarding excellence at Kellogg

8 May 2018

Kellogg is delighted to offer the Anne McLaren Award for Excellence to Allison Mishkin, a DPhil Student at the Oxford Internet Institute, focused on technology and child development. Most recently, she started Bit by Bit, an annual conference that aims to create a social community for high school women interested in STEM. Now in its third year, the event brings together celebrities, like Mindy Kaling, with leading innovators, like Ursula Burns, to inspire the next generation of female technologists. This work builds off of her undergraduate outreach at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the President of the University’s Women in Computer Science club and designed two new academic programs that increased the percentage of women in the department.

On receiving the award, Allison told us:

“I’ve contended with being the only woman in the room since I was 14, and I was particularly honoured to receive this award because it is in Anne McLaren’s name. She is a strong female role model who encapsulates all that junior female researchers aspire to be. Much of my work focuses on the important part that role models and mentors can play in young women’s career trajectories.

On a personal level, this award emphasizes the importance of outreach, broadening participation, and supporting junior female scientists, which are three causes of incredible personal importance to me but often undervalued or ignored by the broader academy. Winning this award reminds me why it is important to continue my work and the gift from Kellogg – an open, inspiring, and supportive community – represents the best of my Oxford experience as I finish my DPhil.

Finally, winning this award has also given me the capacity to grow the work it supports. Through this award, we grew attendance at Bit by Bit 30% and included students from more schools from ever before. I’m looking to use the remainder of the award to continue growing this initiative and hopefully creating similar models and schools across the country.”

Read more about Allison’s work.

Each year the award goes to a scientist or social scientist. Anne McLaren, DBE, Hon DSc, FRS (1927-2007) was a leading figure in developmental biology, making a significant contribution to genetics. She was a strong supporter of the principles of public engagement, access and innovation – principles that are at the heart of Kellogg’s mission.