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  • Graduate Student Sadie Otte

    Sadie Otte receives Sharon L. Doherty Award

Honored for outstanding volunteer service on women’s issues

Sadie C. Otte has received the 2017-18 Sharon L. Doherty Award from the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Center. This award honors students who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service concerning women’s issues on campus or in the broader community.

Sadie is an active and involved graduate student. She is a fifth-year graduate student, working with Professor Christopher Douglas. She has served as the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) teaching assistant for the past two years, which includes an appointment as the department’s Graduate Women Coordinator, and serving as president of WISE. 

Outreach is one of the major initiatives for the Chemistry Wise Chapter. Annually, it conducts a day-long workshop, called Cool Chemistry, for junior high girls. Sadie has natural teaching instincts, and has helped develop the experiments and demonstrations as well as handling advertising and registration for this program. Last summer, WISE also conducted workshops for junior high and high school students through the College of Science & Engineering’s summer camp program. Sadie designed the program, trained volunteers, and prepared the lab materials. She works with SciMentors, teaching science and chemistry to adult learners in the community who studying for their GEDs, and she spearheaded the Saturday with a Scientist program for National Chemistry Week at the Bell Museum.

WISE is also engaged in networking that includes monthly “Celebrating Women Chemists” luncheons, which Sadie helps coordinate, exposing students to available chemistry-related careers ranging from industry to patent law, chemical hygiene, technology commercialization, regulatory affairs, government work, adjunct teaching, outreach, and lab facility management. 

She also co-wrote a grant with Joahanna Macaranas to fund a department seminar featuring Dr. Valerie Young, author of “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It.” In addition, Sadie collaborated with the Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society and the Graduate and Professional Students in Education and Human Development to host two additional events.

She works to make mentorship opportunities available to female graduate students, e.g., pairing new graduate students with more senior graduate student mentors. She helps organize the Graduate School Connections program aimed at recruiting undergraduate students at local four-year institutions to chemistry’s graduate program. Sadie also serves on the Chemistry Department’s Diversity Committee and the Community of Chemistry Graduate Students. 

"Sadie’s volunteer work is commendable and is worthy of her recognition by the Women’s Center for her exceptional efforts in promoting women’s issues," said Letitia Yao, Ph.D., WISE staff adviser. “Our WISE organization has benefited greatly from her leadership.”

Sadie will receive a $1,000 award that she can use to attend a national leadership conference. She also will be honored at the Women’s Center Celebrating Changemakers Program at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in the Johnson Great Room at the McNamara Alumni Center.