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3/29/2017 » 3/31/2017
“Christ and Creation,” BioLogos Conference, Houston, TX

Charles Townes Lecture in Science and Religion, Cambridge, MA

2017 Annual Day Conference—So. Cal. Christians in Science

ASA Chicago Area Meeting, Wheaton, IL

6/22/2017 » 6/24/2017
Genetic and Reproductive Technologies, Deerfield, IL

CWIS: Christian Women in Science
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The Bible Through the Lens of Anthropology

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, March 22, 2017


I extend an invitation to the members of Christian Women in Science to join the conversation at a new Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology

This international forum shares ideas, insights, discoveries, images, and documents that help the members gain a deeper understanding of the Bible through application of cultural anthropology. Anthropology degrees are not a prerequisite for participation! Share what you experience where you live and how the experience relates to Scripture. Help advance the scientific field of Biblical Anthropology.

Also, today I am celebrating the 10-year anniversary of my blog JUST GENESIS. If you have never visited the blog, please take a moment to look at the research there.

2017 ASA Annual Meeting

I ask your prayers for this research and for the up-coming Annual Conference in Golden, Colorado July 28-31. Go here to register for the conference.


Best wishes,

Alice C. Linsley

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Call for Abstracts

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, January 19, 2017


Abstract for ASA 2017

Please consider submitting an abstract for presentation at the July Annual Meeting in Golden, Colorado. The deadline for submission is February 15, and is coming quickly!

See the call for abstracts link here.

The meeting is July 28-31 and many activities are planned. Check out the details here.


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“Hidden Figures” – A Must See for CWIS Members!

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Monday, January 16, 2017


By Lynn Billman


If you haven’t yet, be sure to go see “Hidden Figures,” a wonderful true-story movie about the black women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the early 1960s.  These women were key to the manual calculations for launches and orbits that had to be made in the early stages of the U.S. space program.  They were also critical to the early programming of the first IBM computers used by NASA, and one featured in the movie was the first female black engineer in NASA.  The movie is based on the book, “Hidden Figures – The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” by Margot Lee Shetterly, currently #1 on the New York Times best seller list (according to Amazon). 


The movie highlights very clearly the biases these women had to work against, both because they were women and because they were black.  As a couple scenes made clear, they were / are also Christians.  The patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness of these phenomenally smart women was incredibly inspiring, as they forced changes to cultural norms and were true pioneers.  As the epilogue showed at the end of the movie, their contributions were eventually recognized, praise God! 


I went with the three young women millennials in my family, and we had good laughs and sharing over coffee afterward as I recounted my own experiences in that era (yes, the white hair is well earned!) --  fumbling with decks of computer cards while learning Fortran, the realities of Jim Crow in Virginia in the early 1960s, the excitement of the entire nation at every event in the early space program, the sense of fear from Soviet progress with rockets in their space program that could threaten America.  Ah, the bad old days! 


So grab a friend and head for the theater.  I hope this movie will inspire you, and perhaps rekindle some sense of hope about America.



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Message from Lynn Billman

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Being the President of the ASA this year has been both a privilege and a challenge. What a year 2016 has been! ASA launched a whole new leadership team in 2016—retiring our former Executive Director Randy Isaac to Emeritus status, hiring Leslie Wickman as the new Executive Director, and expanding the responsibilities of Vicki Best as our Director of Operations and Development.

Leslie and Vicki also came on board in a particularly important year: the year of ASA’s 75th anniversary. To honor this “Diamond Jubilee” anniversary of the ASA, we had a wonderful annual conference at Azusa Pacific University in California, and several other special anniversary celebrations with members and friends across the country.

And now, we look forward to our next 75 years! Our new leaders continue to crisscross the country, helping start new local chapters, meeting members, and telling the ASA story. Together, the efforts of our staff and volunteers have borne great fruit for us. ASA has a larger membership than ever; more involvement by students; the best-attended conference in its history; new and incredibly rich information resources on the webpage; new chapters (including several in Canada, thanks to the great work of CSCA) and even some cautious optimism about our financial future, reflecting the stability of our financial model and the recent receipt of three modest grants as well as the generous support of our members.

Of course, spreading the word about the ASA isn’t confined to the paid staff, your Executive Council, and a few dedicated members. Spreading the word is important for each and every member. You know the benefits you have received by being a member. Maybe it’s getting a work-life question answered by someone you met at a conference or through the NEXUS online forum or the Christian Women in Science group. Maybe it’s a stimulating or thought-provoking article inPerspectives on Science and Christian Faith, or an inspiring story in God and Nature. Maybe it’s making a new contact at a local chapter meeting. Maybe it’s simply the encouragement you feel, just knowing that other Christians involved in science are there with you!

As you can tell, I am very enthusiastic about the ASA! And with that enthusiasm, I want to add my request to consider helping the ASA at year end with an additional financial contribution here. Yes, you’ve probably already paid your membership dues. But membership dues only cover about 24% of our annual operating expenses and we rely on charitable contributions to our annual fund to make up the difference. In addition, while fundraising for the capital campaign has gone very well, we still have a small balance to meet that goal. Of course, I deeply respect that you already contribute to your local church, and other worthy organizations. So do I. But if you are in position to make an additional gift to the ASA before December 31, we’d be most grateful.

May our precious Lord Jesus be front and center in your life and the lives of your loved ones this Christmas season. I also pray that God will be front and center in the life of our country, our community, and our ASA organization in 2017 as well.

Sincerely in Christ,      

Lynn Billman
ASA Executive Council President


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Ann Marie Thro: A Life of Service

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, December 31, 2016


Ann Marie Thro in consultation

Tatum Davis, Grade 8

STEM Education Student

Ann Marie Thro is a scientist whose experiences throughout her life have made her the exceptional person she is today. She was raised in a military family which meant frequent moves and exposure to new places and people.She is the oldest of three siblings. She is 67 years old and very active professionally. She is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation and a former board member of Christian Women in Science (CWIS). She enjoys gardening, hiking, and working with animals. She also enjoys reading, singing, and needlework.

Ann was raised a Catholic and she believes that this religious upbringing gave her an awareness of Christ’s love. She attended college during the “hippie era” and during those years she questioned many of the Church’s beliefs.

Ann began to question many things during the 1960s. She felt disappointment that different theories of reality presented by secular philosophies seemed empty. Philosophy was taught as a chronological flow of ideas, but not as a search for wisdom. No one attempted answers to the questions she was asking, and that left nothing. Still, Ann resisted the nihilism of her day. 

Several years later Ann became aware of the work of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the director of the L'Abri community in Switzerland, founded in 1955. Dr. Schaeffer and his wife Edith were Christian theologians and philosophers whose writings from a Christian perspective interested Ann. So, desiring to travel, she went to L’Abri. She listened and found the Schaeffer’s analysis of Western culture to be convincing, but she was not willing to change her lifestyle.

She started praying again, wondering what God had for her future. She couldn’t find a job so she decided to return to school to “retool” for a future career. She completed some courses at a community college, and eventually found an assistantship in agricultural science. Her job prospects were good, but her heart was still stiff toward Jesus Christ.

Ann was drawn to plant breeding as a way to serve. When she first became involved in agriculture science there were relatively few women in the field. The numbers of women increased rapidly. Today there are many women in agricultural sciences. 

She received a PhD from Iowa State University where she was did research in plant breeding and genetics. She conducted research and developed teaching skills as associate professor of agronomy at Louisiana State University for 10 years.

In 2014, she became senior advisor for Plant Health Production and Products. Ann was in the National Institute for food and Agriculture. 

Plant breeding began in the 1800’s and is increasingly important today. Ann explains, “It is one of the few ways that humans can use new science to cope with many of the challenges that the world faces today: challenges such as population growth and the need for food that is both affordable and good for our health; and, challenges such as variable and extreme weather and climate, and the need to protect the environmental.

Simply defined, plant breeding is the human-aided development of new plant varieties, including new types of seeds that have needed characteristics. The basic steps involve the use of various methods, old and new, to make new, genetically-different plants, and then testing, and selecting among. 

When we read about new discoveries in sciences such as biology, nutrition, genetics, micro-biology, information science and computing, soil science, climate science, engineering, robotics, and others, plant breeding is the discipline that brings all of this knowledge together to produce the food that we eat and all the other types of plants that we use. Without plant breeding, most of this new science would remain interesting but theoretical. Plant breeding is one of the major pathways through which science reaches our table and our lives.”

Ann has worked on research and development projects in Congo (formerly Zaire), South America, and Afghanistan.

Ann Marie Thro has written, “As a Christian, I often ask the Lord to help me see where I can be most useful. When I want to ‘star’, I often end up being disappointed, but when I want to “serve”, the Lord has given me very satisfying work and opportunities. I enjoy the role of taking the initiative to look around, see things that need to be done, and get started. Often others then join in and carry on the work.

Seeking to be useful is a role that both men and women can take; yet it fits a woman’s role in every age – ancient and modern. In my own case, as a scientist, this has led me out of research because I found that others were more gifted. I found instead that I have a gift for research coordination. I am grateful to have been able to bring different researchers together into networks and projects. This benefits science and the public by creating opportunities to exchange good ideas, recruit young scientists, and search for funding. These are things that researchers value, but they are often too busy. That’s where I can help, as someone who understands the world of science, seeks to be useful, and enjoys creating connections and looking for opportunities.”

Plant breeding provides practical solutions to real needs. It allows us to share God’s enjoyment and marvel at the world’s plants and wonders of variation. We are living in the most exciting time in agricultural sciences since the rediscovery of Mendel, also a Christian.


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Agnes Giberne: A Lover of Science

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, December 6, 2016



"Look at that dim star, shining through a powerful telescope with faint and glimmering light. We are told that in all probability the tiny ray left its home long before the time of Adam.
There is a strange solemnity in the thought. Hundreds of years ago - thousands of years ago - some say, even tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago! It carries us out of the little present into the unknown ages of a past eternity."--Agnes Giberne (The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, p. 104, published in 1898)

Agnes Giberne was born in 1845 in the state of Karnataka, India, where her father was in military service. Major Charles Giberne was directly descended from the nobleman Jean De Giberne who migrated to England in the seventeenth century. Agnes acquired her interest in science and the natural world from her father.

Agnes acquired her literary interest from her mother, Lydia Mary Wilson. She began to pen stories at age 7. She was a prolific British author who wrote fiction with religious themes for children and books on science for young people. Most of her writing was done before 1910.


From Giberne's bookSun, Moon and Stars


In the nineteenth century it was unusual for a woman to be involved in astronomy. Yet, Giberne became one of the most popular astronomy writers of her time. Through her writings she was able to present basic astronomy to children and women in the Victorian Age.

She was interested in many branches of science. In 1890, she became a founding member of the British Astronomical Association. In addition to astronomy, she also wrote on geology, oceanography, and meteorology. 
Her book Sun, Moon and Stars: Astronomy for Beginners was first published in 1879. The foreword was written by Charles Pritchard, a professor of Astronomy at Oxford University. The book was printed in several edition and sold 24,000 copies in its first 20 years. She wrote a sequel titled Radiant Suns (1894).

These were but two of many books written by Giberne in which she made science accessible to children and beginners. Other volumes include The Starry SkiesThe World's Foundations (Geology for Beginners), This Wonderful Universe, and The Upward Gaze.
Agnes was a devout Anglican. She wrote with the Catechism in mind. Some of her works were written for the Religious Tract Society.

Agnes Giberne's prayer is quoted in over 100 books published in the early 20th century:
Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd,
Children all are dear to Thee;
Gathered with Thine arms and carried
In Thy bosom may we be;
Sweetly, fondly, safely tended,
From all want and danger free.
Tender Shepherd, never leave us
From Thy fold to go astray;
By Thy look of love directed
May we walk the narrow way;
Thus direct us, and protect us,
Lest we fall an easy prey.‎
Agnes lived most of her life at 25 Lushington Road in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. She died 20 August 1939, at age  93.


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Hildegard von Bingen

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Sunday, November 6, 2016


Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen was the most significant woman in science in the 11th century. She was centuries ahead of her time. She excelled in science, medicine, Christian theology, and music. She is sometimes called the “Sibyl of the Rhine.”

She was born in Germany in 1098 and died in 1179. She was born during the first crusade, the youngest of 10 children. In noble families it was customary for the tenth child to be given to the church, so at age of eight she was given as a tithe to God. She went to live with the anchoress Jutta, a woman who withdrew from the word, living alone in a small enclosed area adjoining a church. The noble woman Jutta spend every day learning about God and praying. 

Hildegard served as Jutta’s maid and apprentice from age 8 to 18. Jutta taught Hildegard about Christ and how to serve him. When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard was elected unanimously the abbess in charge of the monastery that was over 400 years old. She was a Benedictine nun, so she lived in obedience to the Rule of Benedict. This rule meant a daily life of prayer, work, study, and offering hospitality.

In 1148 Hildegard decided to move the convent to Rupertsberg, separating the women’s ministry from that of the men. This decision was opposed by her abbot, but in 1150, the new convent was founded and Hildegard was firmly in administrative control. The Rupertsberg convent grew to as many as 50 women, most of whom came from wealthy backgrounds.

As abbess, Hildegard’s duties included nursing, illuminating manuscripts, supervising the nuns, and travel in Germany and France. She also was in demand for her skills in helping the sick. 

Hildegard was perhaps the most prolific writer of her time. She wrote hymns, treatises, plays, and over 300 letters. Most of her hymns have been performed and recorded by the ensemble Sequentia. The ensemble continued to record all of Hildegard’s music, ending their “music of the saints” project in 1998, the year celebrating Hildegard's 900th birthday.

In her letters Hildegard gave spiritual advice to people of both high and low estate. She wrote to chastise Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the archbishop of Main. She also wrote to St Bernard, King Henry II of England and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Abbess Hildegard was a strong woman, though she regarded herself as a paupercula feminea forma, or poor weak woman. She held her ground when church authorities tried to force her to exhume the body of an excommunicated nobleman she had permitted to be buried on the convent grounds. This happened when she was in her eighties. Hildegard defied the authorities by hiding the grave, and the authorities excommunicated the entire convent community. Hildegard appealed the decision to higher church authorities, and the interdict was finally lifted.

Hildegard suffered from extreme migraines, but luckily, she discovered the power of herbs that can calm nerves and relax muscles. Lemon balm, passion flower, catnip, and valerian are some of the herbs that she studied to discover some of their medical properties. She used plants from her own garden to do experiments and kept very detailed journals of all her experiments. 

Hildegard wrote her two treatises between 1151 and 1161. These are often referred to by their Latin titles, Physica and Causae et CuraePhysica describes the characteristics of elements, mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, trees, metals, and precious stones and medicinal uses of over 200 plants. In Causae et Curae Hildegard describes forty-seven diseases according to causes, symptoms, and treatments and lists over 300 plants used to treat diseases.

Her book Scivias (Know the Ways of the Lord) is based the book on the visions that she received from God since age three. Hildegard had shared her visions with only two people: Jutta and another monk, named Volmar. Volmar served as Hildegard’s secretary until her death. The process of writing this book was drawn out over 10 years. In 1147 Pope Eugenius encouraged Hildegard to finish Scivias and eventually it was published with papal imprimatur. The book drew the attention of many throughout Europe.

She also wrote the Book of the Merits of Life. The sections of the book concern the “Man Looking to the East and to the South” (Part 1); the “Man Looking to the North and the West” (Part 2), and the “Man looking Over the Whole Earth” (Part 5).

The Book of Divine Works (Liber divinorum operum) which was published in 1163. In this book she wrote, “Whoever has submitted to God with humble devotion and been set alight by the aid of the Holy Spirit overcomes both what is corrupted within themselves and the devil; the angels rejoice because of the good works of the just and praise God’s omnipotence.”

She also wrote, “The Son of God’s love crushed the devil with its Cross, and its imitation treads now under foot discord among God’s faithful, other vices, and that ancient deceiver of the human race, and reduces them to nothing.”

Hildegard died in 1179 and was buried in her convent church of Disibodenberg. The convent was destroyed by the Swedes in 1632 and her remains were moved to the parish church of Eibergen (Germany) in 1642.

She was a brilliant Christian woman who served others and left a great legacy. That legacy is being promoted by The International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies which was established in 1983 by Professor Bruce Hozeski of Ball State University. The Society has a public Facebook group for those interested in learning more about this outstanding woman of profound Christian faith.

Related: CONTINUUM: Hildegard - Sequentia - First & Last


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Mary Celine Fasenmyer

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, November 4, 2016


Sister Celine is one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the 20th century and also one of the least known. She is most noted for her ground breaking work on hypergeometric functions and linear algebra.

Mary Celine Fasenmyer, Ph.D., RSM, was born in Crown, Pennsylvania on Oct. 4, 1906 to George and Cecilia Leight Fasenmyer. They were members of St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown, Pennsylvania. Her father owned an oil lease in Crown and he ran his own business from there. Mary's mother died when she was only one year old. Three years later George remarried Josephine.

Mary attended St Joseph's Academy in Titusville, a town about 30 miles from Crown. At St Joseph's Academy she exhibited talents in mathematics but there was no opportunity for her to go to the university and her step-mother Josephine was very sick, so she entered the St. Joseph Novitiate in Titusville on April 13, 1924 before graduating from high school. She began to teach and did so for the next ten years. She was sent to teach in Pittsburgh and during this time she studied mathematics and physics at the University of Pittsburgh.

The research she did during her doctoral studies became an item of interest among mathematicians in the early 1990s when advances in computer technology made her research practical.

Sister Celine was told by her community of nuns to go to the University of Michigan for her doctorate, which she did in 1942, earning her degree in 1946. Her thesis - "Some Generalized Hypergeometric Polynomials" - was written under the direction of Dr. Earl D. Rainville, who Sister Celine regarded as an extremely good teacher and mentor. Dr. Rainville dedicated a chapter in his textbook entitled, "Sister Celine's Technique" based on the research she had conducted. It is the intellectual progenitor of the computerized methods that we use today to prove hypergeometric identities, thanks to the recognition by Doron Zeilberger that her method can be adapted to prove such identities. The hypergeometric polynomials she studied are called Sister Celine's polynomials.

Sister Celine's doctoral thesis showed how one can deduce recurrence relations that are satisfied by sums of hypergeometric terms, in a purely mechanical ("algorithmic") way. She used the method in her thesis to find pure recurrence relations that are satisfied by various hypergeometric polynomial sequences. In a 1947 paper in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, she developed the method further, and in her paper On Recurrence Relations in the American Mathematical Monthly, she explained its workings to a broad audience [Volume 56 (1949), p.14, Abstract]. 

These papers were further elaborated by mathematicians Doron Zeilberger and Herbert Wilf into "WZ theory", which allowed computerized proof of many combinatorial identities. Before Sister Celine's work there was no pattern or algorithm to prove difficult identities. The power of her method was recognized by Zeilberger and Wilf who read her work and set about to test it using computers. There 1996 bok A=B devotes two chapters to Sister Celine's polynomials.

Zeilberger teamed with Herbert Wilf to enhance Sister Celine's technique. Zeilberger called Sister Celine's dissertation "a work of genius."

"Before her method came to light, mathematicians needed to spend months, sometimes years, to `prove' something," Zeilberger said. "Now, with computers, it takes a few seconds."

Ironically, Sister Celine had little interest in computers. She told the historian Larie Pintea, "Mechanical things don't interest me."

This modest genius once told a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "I don't think I'm proficient in math."

Sister Celine also did post-graduate study at Montclair State College, Michigan College of Mining and Engineering, and American University. In 1945 she became a professor of mathematics at Mercyhurst College and taught there until her retirement in 1979. From 1954 to 1960 she also served on the Mercyhurst College Board of Trustees.

Herbert Wilf, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, contacted Sister Celine in 1993. He went to the Mercy Mother House in Erie where she lived and invited her to attend a discrete mathematics conference in Boca Raton, Florida. The conference was attended by about 500 people from 15 countries. The diocese awarded her a travel grant and she was able to attend the conference. When Wilf introduced her from the audience, the 87-year-old nun rose to her feet and said she wished to make only two remarks. First, she wanted to thank Professor Wilf for the invitation. And second, she said, casting a level gaze at the distinguished mathematicians, "I want you all to know - I really did that work." It is reported that there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

She died on December 27, 1996 and was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania. Her grave is marked by the simple stone shown above. She served 73 years as a Sister of Mercy and taught for 34 years at Mercyhurst College.

"My whole aim in getting my doctor's degree was for the college," Sister Celine once explained to Dr. Wilf. "I didn't want to do more research, except what would help me to be a better teacher."




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High Altitude News from Vicki Best

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Monday, September 26, 2016


Greetings from 36,000 feet in the air! I’m currently in route from Boston to Los Angeles to meet Leslie and attend the STEAM conference on Catalina Island. It feels like just yesterday that I was making the same trip—only then I was traveling to attend the annual meeting at Azusa Pacific University (APU). Much activity has taken place on the ASA front since then, and I want to share with you some exciting and important developments.

1.  75th Anniversary Annual Meeting- We have just wrapped up a spectacular annual meeting at APU with a record attendance of 290, including 22 VIPs (40+ year members) and 57 students. We have received a lot of encouraging feedback, including “It was the best conference ever!” In addition to celebrating 75 years of God’s faithfulness, it was a special time of connecting and networking with fellow Christians in the sciences. If you have not yet done so, please check out the audio/video recordings of the excellent plenaries and break-out sessions here.

2.  STEAM Grant Award - Thanks to a STEAM (Science & Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries) grant from the John Templeton Foundation and Fuller Theological Seminary, Leslie and I are traveling around the country as part of our “local chapters campaign” to provide encouragement to existing chapters and to help launch new ones to further extend the work and mission of the ASA. If you are interested in partnering with us to start a new chapter in your area, please contact us directly. We look forward to seeing many of you in our travels.

3.  Two New ASA Local Chapters - We have just returned from a fabulous trip to Phoenix, Arizona, to help launch two new local chapters. With the leadership of ASA members, Ben Sanders and Daisy Savarirajan, we now have a local chapter at Arizona State University and one at Grand Canyon University. We are thrilled with this new development!

4.  75th Anniversary Dinner at Wheaton College - As we continue to celebrate ASA’s 75th anniversary in 2016, ASA is hosting another 75th anniversary dinner onTuesday, October 11, at Wheaton College under the leadership of Stephen Moshier and Ray Lewis. We are looking forward to a wonderful evening of highlighting ASA’s past, present, and future. If you live in the Chicago vicinity or plan to be in the area, we’d love to have you as our guests for this special, complimentary evening. We are also envisioning the event as a way to introduce and engage new people in the ASA, so please feel free to invite your friends, family, colleagues, pastors. Hereis a link to the invitation and registration form. 

NorCal Events in November- Leslie and I plan to be in the Bay Area of Northern California during the week of November 14 and have several special events in process. Please stay tuned for specific dates and details in the coming days. If you live in that area, we'd be delighted to connect with you then and hope that you can attend one or more of these meetings.

6.  Capital Campaign Update-  It was two years ago that ASA took a bold and strategic step by purchasing two office condominiums—picking up stakes after 33 years in Ipswich and making the move to neighboring Topsfield. This investment positions the organization for long-term financial stability by significantly reducing annual occupancy costs (by 75%) and building equity for the future. Simultaneously, we publicly launched a $150,000 capital campaign. To date, we have received $120,000 in gifts (leaving only $30,000 left to fundraise), and for that, we are most grateful. If you are interested in helping us reach our goal, you can make a gift here.

7.  ASA 2017: Annual Meeting in Colorado- Plans are already in full swing for our next annual meeting at Colorado School of Mines in beautiful Golden, Colorado. Please save the dates of July 28-31, 2017, and check out all the action-packed, important details here.

I believe these are exciting days for the ASA! God's hand of provision and blessing is clearly at work on many levels. We are so grateful for all of you partnering with us; giving of your time, talents and treasure on a regular basis.

We always enjoy hearing from you so please feel free to drop us a line at any time.

Until next time,

Vicki L. Best
Director of Operations and Development
American Scientific Affiliation
218 Boston Street
Suite 208
Topsfield, MA  01983

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Welcome Deb Shepherd

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, September 23, 2016


From Lynn Billman

You know the story of why geese fly in a “V” shape?  As it’s been told to me over the years, the birds take advantage of the aerodynamics of flight and get a benefit in that formation from the slipstream of the bird ahead of them.  However, the lead goose has no such advantage.  And periodically, when it gets tired, the lead goose will move back from the lead, and another goose will take its place.

That is a good story to remember whenever you are overwhelmed with life. This past year, that has been true for me.  The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) duties as president of the Executive Council have been more time-consuming than normal, with the changes inherent in seeing Randy off to retirement, hiring Leslie, expanding duties for Vicki, and dealing with the resignation and replacement of one of our Council members.  Before these changes, I agreed to be program chair for ASA 2017, the annual conference being held in Colorado, which requires a lot of early planning to select the best venue, the theme, and the plenary speakers.  As you can imagine, I have not had as much time for CWIS as I did the first three years.  Faith pitched in at a critical moment and organized our great panel at ASA 2016, and Pat and others helped at that conference too, for which I am very grateful.  But for me, the next year does not look much better -- I’m on Council for another 18 months and much has yet to be done for next summer’s conference.  As a result, I have had much angst over the fact that I haven’t been able to make much time for progress recently on new actions or activities.

But, God has His ways!  I first was introduced to Deb Shepherd when the CWIS concept was first in development, and while she was very interested, she quite honestly explained that she was just at the pivot point from a very successful career in engineering, astrophysics, and astronomy, to enter Fuller Seminary, and would not have any spare time.  At the ASA conference in Azusa this summer, Deb and I found each other again.  She graduated in June from Fuller, and is ready to reach out for new God-given adventures.  I was thrilled!  It seemed / seems like an answer to my prayers.

Deb has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for lighting a fire under CWIS and making a difference in the lives of Christian women in the sciences, students and beyond.  Just as importantly, she is at a position in life to make some time for this important organization. After a discussion with the other CWIS Board members, we decided to invite Deb to take over leadership of CWIS, effective immediately.

I won’t go into the interesting details of Deb’s career here, but you can find that at the CWIS blog.  Deb and the CWIS Board are currently considering new actions and activities that would be beneficial to our mission to help Christian women in the sciences and related areas.  Shortly she will take over this periodic communication with you all, and invite you into the conversation as we develop new ideas and actions together!  You can reach her any time at . 

I will still be on the Board, to help out and support.  I think / hope that will be doable for me, because I remain as dedicated as ever to the real issues faced by women in the sciences and our unique challenges as Christians. So this isn’t good-bye, just the time for me to slide back into the slipstream. Please send an email of welcome to Deb, our lead goose now, whenever you can!


Tags:  CWIS  Debra Shepherd  Lynn Billman 

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