Libraries Receive Grant for Hidden Superstars of Science Project

New displays will highlight underrepresented STEM pioneers

January 16, 2018   /  

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster Libraries have received a grant from the State Library of Ohio to support the Hidden Superstars of Science project. The $4,999 grant will help underwrite the purchase of sculptural busts and other materials related to four pioneering scientists, engineers, or inventors from underrepresented groups, which will be placed on display in the Timken Science Library.

The names of those to be honored will be announced this spring. They were chosen in a process that began last semester with an open call for nominations, which elicited the names of 44 individuals. Science library staff winnowed that group to 12 finalists, and the entire campus community was then invited to vote for up to four individuals. The four who garnered the most votes will be have their busts or portraits prominently displayed, along with additional materials and information about their professional achievements.

Timken Science Library was built in 1900 and originally served as the main library for what was then The University of Wooster. A prominent feature of its two-story main reading room is the series of names engraved at intervals around the walls just below the ceiling: Shakespeare, Plato, Darwin, Copernicus, Socrates, Milton, Beethoven, and others.

Not long after she arrived on campus as the new librarian of the college last summer, Irene Herold asked a simple question: Where are the women? That question became the impetus for the library staff’s development of the Hidden Superstars project. Later this semester, the question will have a different answer; one that aims, as the project website says, “to celebrate the rich diversity of scientists that aren’t currently represented in the design of the building.”

The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.