Director's Corner

Release Date: August 30, 2017

NETL Celebrates Women’s Equality Day


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President Trump, in the tradition of other U.S. Presidents, recently proclaimed August 26, 2017, as Women’s Equality Day—a day when, as a nation, we celebrate and commemorate the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

This important amendment was adopted in 1920. Since then, women have made innumerable contributions to their communities, their families, and our nation. The Nineteenth Amendment afforded women the right to participation in our great democracy and gave them a powerful voice in governing the institutions that make up our nation’s many strengths. American women—women of vision and fortitude—seized those opportunities and became instrumental in advancing our collective progress and prosperity.

Women’s Equality Day is a time to recognize the important role women have played in our nation’s history and in its plans for the future. It’s also a time to celebrate the principals that make our country a singular and phenomenal nation. We will continue to strive for equality across genders, races, and beliefs. But it is the power to change and the freedom to have our voices heard that mark our nation as a truly exceptional entity.

Women’s Equality Day is also a time to recognize the power of determination and vision. Women’s suffrage began in 1848 with a small group of women who envisioned a brighter, better future for their daughters; understood what is possible with cooperation; and were determined to set history on a different course. Without vision, these women could not set their goals. Without determination, they could not have created the firm foundation that built today’s female workforce.

As researchers and professionals at one of the nation’s premier national labs, our NETL team knows the value of vision and determination. These characteristics are vital for energy research. I am continually impressed by our trailblazing researchers who imagine—and pursue—a clean energy future, fueled by abundant and affordable fossil fuels that form the strong foundation of our nation’s prosperity and showcase our leadership in environmental stewardship. Our lab’s research and success is made possible by our experts in science, technology, engineering, and math—many of whom are women.

I am particularly proud to note a couple of our award-winning colleagues who represent NETL’s pioneering women:

  • Lisa Baker was inducted into the Academy of Chemical Engineers by the West Virginia University Department of Chemical Engineering.
  • Angela Goodman received an Environmental Geosciences Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and an Excellence in Government Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science by the Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board (FEB).
  • Barbara Kutchko, who has received numerous accolades for her foamed cement research, has been named a finalist, along with her Wellbore Integrity Team, for a World Oil Award in Health, Safety, Environment/Sustainable Development category for research into foamed cementing technology.
  • Jessica Mullen was recognized by the FEB with an Excellence in Government Award as an Outstanding Professional Employee.

These are impressive accomplishments, but they are just milestones in these talented professionals’ careers. There is even more to come.  

On this important day, I acknowledge the grit and determination of the trailblazing suffragettes and other women of vision who enabled generations who followed to pursue dreams and establish rewarding careers in fields never before possible.


As Director of NETL, Dr. Grace M. Bochenek brings a tradition of leadership, technical expertise, and precision to the laboratory’s mission of protecting the nation’s environment and enhancing its energy independence. For more information about Dr. Bochenek's background and experience, please click here.