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Q&A with Academy Board Member Grace Wang

Grace Wang is the President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and also a member of the Board of Governors for The New York Academy of Sciences. With an extensive background in STEM, she brings a valuable perspective to the Board, helping to guide the Academy in its decision-making. We interviewed her to learn more about her background, what motivates her, and why she chose to get involved with the Academy.

*some quotes have been edited for length and clarity


What does being a member of the Board of the Academy mean to you?

I’m very proud of my association with The New York Academy of Sciences. I’m an engineer and have spent my whole career in STEM education and research in academia, industry, as well as government. The New York Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the world. It’s had a tremendous legacy and a lasting impact, so I’m very proud to be part of this organization through being a board member. It’s personal and very meaningful to me.

The New York Academy of Sciences looks to the future and continues to empower the next generation of STEM professionals. As the science and technology landscape rapidly evolves, this is particularly an exciting time to be part of the Academy.

How did you first become interested in the Academy’s work?

I became a member in 2018 when I was working at the State University of New York (SUNY), and I’ve been familiar with what the Academy does. My former Chancellor at SUNY, Dr. Nancy Zimpher, was a previous member of the Academy’s Board. I learned some about the Academy’s mission through her — she was very enthusiastic about her involvement.

How did either your professional or your personal background inform your commitment to the Academy?

WPI is a STEM university and focuses on enabling not only the future STEM professionals, but also the future STEM leaders. We are very proud to provide distinctive STEM education through project-based learning. Today, over 85 percent of our students can have off-site project experience – they work on real-world problems in real-world settings – at one of our over 50 global project centers. Through this transformative experience, our students learn to be great team players, communicators, problem solvers, and value creators. They are prepared to be future STEM leaders. The Academy’s mission resonates strongly with what we do at WPI.

Of all the various things that the Academy does and the various programs, is there a particular program or initiative that excites you more than the others? Why is that?

I am excited about the Science Alliance program. It supports emerging STEM leaders and continues cultivating their passion in STEM fields.

I also like the Academy’s awards programs. They not only recognize star researchers, which of course is important; but beyond that, they also inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to explore research frontiers and pursue their careers in STEM.


“The New York Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the world. It’s had a tremendous legacy and also a lasting impact, so I’m very proud to be part of this organization through being a board member. It’s personal and very meaningful to me.”

DR. GRACE WANG
PRESIDENT, WORCHESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
BOARD MEMBER, THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES



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Academy Communications Department
This article was written by a member of the Academy Communications team.



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