Yale Establishes a Scholarship for Women in STEM Fields to Honor a Student Killed in a Campus Accident

DufaultYale University has announced the establishment of the Michele Dufault Endowment for Yale Women in Science. Default was a Yale College senior who died in 2011 in an accident at the Sterling Chemistry Laboratory on the Yale campus. While working in the laboratory’s machine shop, Dufault’s hair got caught in one of the shop’s wood lathes. The official autopsy report stated that she died accidentally from “asphyxia due to neck compression.”

In announcing the fund, outgoing Yale president Richard Levin, stated, ““No one better exemplified the intellectual drive, curiosity, talent, and energy of young women who will become leaders in science than Michele Dufault. Michele, a double major in physics and astronomy, was an evangelist for physics and for women in science, an explorer of ideas, a talented researcher and a leader of formidable capacity. She also was an accomplished saxophonist, a tireless organizer of events and programs and a mentor and source of inspiration to her many friends. Her teachers and peers are unanimous in their certainty that her gifts and contributions in science, technology, and innovation would have changed the world.”

Yale has funded the endowed scholarship program with an investment of $14 million. The fund will continue in perpetuity and will be used for scholarship for women in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in STEM fields at Yale.

Filed Under: STEM Fields


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