2019 Annual Awards Banquet

2019 Annual Awards Banquet

Thank you to our banquet sponsors and attendees!

The 7th annual Seattle AWIS banquet and award presentations on June 6th was a wonderful evening!

AWIS Seattle 2019 Award Trophies

There was an atmosphere of celebration coupled with enthusiastic support for past, present and future women in science, technology, engineering and math.  The inspiring personal stories of the 2019 award winners were the highlight of the evening.

Seven of the ten undergraduate 2019 AWIS scholarship winners were introduced by the scholarship donors.  Besides providing the backgrounds and education goals of the scholarship recipients, the donors shared what inspired them to become scholarship donors.

Renewing old acquaintances and initiating new ones was encouraged before and after the program, while on the patio or at the dining tables at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture.  Jac Fitzgerald, Seattle AWIS chapter president, introduced National AWIS and the Seattle chapter programs.  Banquet committee co-chair, Reitha Weeks, proposed a toast to a promising future thanks to all women in science and science supporters.  The 127 attendees were encouraged to plant the seeds of encouragement, persistence and visions of success for women in science through their words and actions. Everyone was invited to take home a packet of flower seeds to plant as a reminder that it is up to each of us to grow our science community and communicate the importance of science to the public.

2019 Seattle AWIS Award Winners

AWIS 2019 winners holding the trophy
L to R: Dr. Corrie Ortega, Dr. Reitha Weeks, Dr. Denise Galloway, Dr. Jeanne Chowning

The 2019 AWIS Award categories and winners are:

♦ Science Advancement and Leadership
       Denise Galloway, PhD; Director, Pathogen Associated Malignancies IRC
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
♦ Early Career Achievement in STEM
       Corrie Ortega, PhD; Senior Research Scientist
Intellectual Ventures Laboratory
♦ Excellence in STEM Education / Outreach
       Jeanne Chowning, MS, PhD; Senior Director of Science Education
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
♦ Outstanding Seattle AWIS Member
      Reitha Weeks, PhD; Biotech Camp Program Coordinator
Shoreline Community College

Pictures from the 2019 AWIS Banquet, June 6 at UW Center for Urban Horticulture

Banquet 2019 Pictures
Banquet 2019 Pictures

2019 Seattle AWIS undergraduate scholarship recipients and Scholarship Committee co-chairs.

Award and scholarship winners

Thank you to our banquet Table Sponsors to date:


  • Intellectual Ventures
  • Fred Hutch, Office of Scientific Career Dev./Student Postdoc Advisory Committee
  • Fred Hutch, Human Biology Division
  • Fred Hutch, Science Education and Training
  • Celgene and Juno Therapeutics, a Celgene company


  • Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason


  • Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Impel NeuroPharma

Thank you to our major scholarship donors:     

  • Battelle
  • Conerly Family
Logo for Intellectual Ventures
Fred Hutch Logo
Juno Therapeutics logo
Celgene logo
BRI Logo

Learn more about our 2019 Award Winners!

Science Advancement and Leadership

Head shot of Denise Galloway

Denise Galloway, PhD
Director, Pathogen Associated Malignancies IRC
Paul Stephanus Memorial Endowed Chair
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Denise Galloway is the Director of the Pathogen Associated Malignancies Integrated Research Center, and Member of the Human Biology and Public Health Sciences Divisions at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is also a Research Professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Pathology and Global Health at the University of Washington. Dr. Galloway’s research focuses on the role that human papillomaviruses (HPV) and a human polyomavirus play in the development of cancers. Her work includes mechanisms of transformation and the immune response to infection and vaccination. She has trained over 50 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. She serves on several editorial boards, grant review committees and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Counselors. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is funded by several grants including an NCI Outstanding Investigator Award. She is a recipient of the Paul Stephanus Memorial Endowed Chair and an American Association of Cancer Research Team Science Award for leading an interdisciplinary team working on the role of HPV in anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers.

Early Career Achievement in STEM

Head shot of Corrie Ortega

Corrie Ortega, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Intellectual Ventures Laboratory

Dr. Corrie Ortega is a Senior Research Scientist at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory. Intellectual Ventures Laboratory aims to invent, develop, and implement technologies that improve the quality of life in low-resource settings. Corrie works to develop point-of-care molecular tests for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. She and her team are currently developing a diagnostic that assesses cervical cancer risk by identifying oncogenic HPV infection. Corrie earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington and a B.A. from the Department of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Since she was an undergraduate researcher, Corrie has focused on translating research into technologies that serve the poorest communities. Corrie is passionate about education, especially in STEM, and spends her time out of the lab building an army of young scientists through STEM mentoring programs.

Excellence in STEM Education / Outreach

Head shot of Jeanne Chowning

Jeanne Chowning, MS, PhD
Senior Director of Science Education
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Jeanne Ting Chowning is currently the Senior Director of Science Education at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. For over 25 years, she has focused her professional efforts on improving science education and promoting opportunities for underrepresented students in science. In addition to her strategic role in providing leadership to the pre-baccalaureate science outreach programs at Fred Hutch, she leads the teacher professional development program (the Science Education Partnership, or SEP) and the Explorers Program for younger high school students. She currently serves as PI on two federal science education grants from the NIH. Jeanne began her career as a public high school science teacher. After leaving teaching, she directed the education programs for the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) for over a decade. There, she led several student and teacher programs focused on the intersections of science, emerging technologies, and society. Prior to joining Fred Hutch, Jeanne served as the Associate Executive Director of Rainier Scholars, a leadership and academic enrichment program.  Jeanne earned a BA in Biology from Cornell University and a BFA in Fine Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition, she received her Teaching Certification, an MS in Biology Education, and is completing a PhD in Learning Sciences from the UW.

Outstanding Seattle AWIS Member

Head shot of Reitha Weeks

Reitha Weeks, PhD
Biotech Camp Program Coodinator
Shoreline Community College

Dr. Reitha Weeks has been a member of Seattle AWIS since 1987. She has held multiple positions as an officer, including twice as president and multiple years as Treasurer, and as a committee co-chair, including membership, newsletter, and currently the Banquet and Awards committee. Through years of serving on the AWIS board she has had the opportunity to contribute to the strategic vision for the chapter, develop new programs and interact with many amazing women in our community. Reitha has experience in the biotech industry and in science education programming, curricula development and community outreach. She received her BS in Home Economics from Oregon State University and PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington in 1987. She worked for 13 years in the biotech industry in Seattle moving from bench scientist to company director which meant involvement in business and regulatory decisions as well as discovery science. She was Program Manager for Science Outreach at Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) for nine years. She was responsible for curriculum development and workshops for teachers, educational conferences for researchers and a variety of science outreach programs and collaborations. Since 2014, she has been Program Coordinator for Shoreline Community College’s biotech summer camps for high school students.

Learn more about our 2019 Award Winners here.