STEM Women featured in December

Want to learn more about our December speaker, Austyn Hill, and the women featured in our pre-meeting slides? Read on!

Austyn Hill

Austyn Hill joined the Software Guild team as a Lead Java instructor in August ’15. Prior to coming to the Guild, she served as an IT Analyst at SMC3 working with their Java Webservices for rating and other web applications. Previously, this Louisville native returned home Seattle WA to open and operate the small home business L.E.M.R.S. based in the Highlands doing both record management and free lance design and web work. Beforehand, after completing her collegiate studies and receiving a B.S. in Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she had pursued a career at Microsoft in Redmond as an SDET on the PlayReady team, learning about mobile, test and DRM architectures and operations.

Austyn also enjoys working with the local game and tech meet-ups and has most recently become a founding member in Louisville Makes Games. However, she is also is happy to take some time out from her primarily technologic focus to re-center on her love of the artistic and musical serving on the Board Committee for Bourbon Baroque.

Katharine Blodgett (1889 – 1979)

GE engineering scientist who discovered methods for working with monomolecular coatings

  • She used her discoveries to improve eyeglasses, camera lenses, deicing for aircraft materials, poison gas absorbents and more
  • She was the first  industrial scientist to be awarded the American Chemical Society’s Garvan Medal
  • In her spare time, she was an actress for her local theatre, an active conservationist, and worked to help other women & orphans through the Zonta Club
  • First woman to earn a doctorate from Cambridge University in England, a Ph. D. in Physics
  • She received 4 honorary doctorates: Elmira College, Western College, Brown University, Russell Sage College

Learn more about Katharine Blodgett here

Peggy Whitson

NASA Astronaut and Biochemistry Researcher

  • 1st woman ISS Commander (2007)
  • 1st woman & 1st non-pilot to serve as Chief Astronaut, resigning only to return to active status
  • After Expedition 51, she will hold the record for most space time of any US Astronaut
  • During Expedition 51 she will also command the ISS for the 2nd time
  • Oldest woman in space (turning 57 in February)

Get in touch with her:

STEM Women featured in November

Our speaker, Rachel McGalliard, has had a phenomenal career. In the pre-meeting slides, we featured a couple of other amazing women. All are fascinating in their own right.

Rachel McGalliard

As Vice President of Operations of the Software Guild, Rachel McGalliard oversees all operational components of our coding bootcamps, 12-week intensive programs designed to train students in high-demand coding languages. Rachel oversees curriculum development, identifies location opportunities, optimizes the bootcamp enrollment process and ensures smooth delivery of services to students.

Rachel joined Learning House in 2010. Prior to her current role, Rachel spent five years in the account management department, first as an Account Manager and later as Director of Account Management. As Director of Account Management, Rachel managed client relationships for all Learning House partner institutions, ensuring they received the training, support, and services they needed to succeed.

Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry and a Master of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences from the University of Louisville

Katherine Johnson

NASA Mathematician who helped get the U.S. to the moon and subject of soon-to-be-released movie “Hidden Figures

  • Graduated college Summa Cum Laude in Math and French
  • One of the first African-Americans to enroll in Math at West Virginia University
  • Calculated trajectory for Alan Shepard (1st American in space) in 1959 and his launch window in 1961
  • At John Glenn’s insistence, personally verified computer calculations for his orbit around the Earth
  • Calculated Apollo 11’s flight to the moon
  • Worked on backup procedures & charts that helped safely return the crew of Apollo 13

Learn more about Katherine here

Dr. Buddhini Samarasinghe

Science communicator and molecular biologist working on cancer research

How she’s changing the world:

  • Created of STEM Women, “an initiative to support and promote the careers of women who work in STEM fields.”
  • On her blog,, she helps make biomedical and cancer research more accessible to the public by removing jargon and debunking sensationalized science reporting

Other ways to keep up with her: