Congratulations to Kelsey Lewis for receiving the 2019 Madelyn Lockhart Award from the Association for Academic Women. The award was established to honor Dr. Madelyn Lockhart, who served as Dean of the Graduate School and Dean of International Studies and Programs at the University of Florida. Dr. Lockhart aided women and minorities in many ways, including the implementation of this Fellowship program.
Kelsey received the award on Monday, March 25, in a special Women’s History Month Celebration. The award is an amazing accomplishment and well-deserved recognition of Kelsey’s efforts to not only excel in her science, but also to highlight the broader impacts of her research for society’s understanding of the biological basis of sexual differentiation.
The award is given to an individual who is both an outstanding researcher and who has contributed to creating a more inclusive and diverse community.
Kelsey is a graduate student in Dr. Cohn’s lab who has gone above and beyond to ensure that the work she is doing has a lasting societal impact. As a sex biologist, Kelsey has worked to incorporate a comprehensive understanding of sex and gender into her work.
Kelsey’s work explains the scientific reality that sex is highly variable, and how that is seen all throughout nature. She has also worked to distinguish sex and gender and change people’s perception and usage of “gendered terms” in science.
One of Kelsey’s goals is to improve society's outlook and overall understanding of sexual differentiation. One way she aims to do this is through public outreach. Kelsey previously served as vice president and was recently appointed as president of the Women in Science & Engineering group at UF, which fosters the success of women and other underrepresented groups in science & engineering. She has additionally given several guest lectures on the diversity of sex around campus.
“It’s important as researchers to think about what our work means, how it impacts society, and how we can make this work digestible, for people who aren’t sex biologists,” Lewis said.
Upon finishing her program, Kelsey plans to do a Postdoc and go into academia. Kelsey stated that she is honored to be this year’s Madelyn Lockhart Award winner and feels grateful to have found her passion.
“I love what I do, and I love the field I’m in,” Kelsey said.