Husky 100

August 5, 2020

Where are they Now: Gabriella Tosado

I graduated in June 2020 with a dual PhD in Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology & Molecular Engineering. I planned to travel after graduation to South America and South East Asia but now during pandemic life I’m moving to Bozeman and will spend some time off backpacking and learning how to ski. One of the projects I’m most proud of during my time at UW was the Puerto Rico Project created by Professor Lilo Pozzo. After Hurricane Maria, the electrical grid was knocked offline in some places for over a year. This project creates solar and battery systems that we gave to certain homes and community centers to power medical devices such as oxygen concentrators for those with asthma or mini fridges to store vaccines. The other project I’m most proud of came out of the Clean Energy Institute giving me the Graduate Education and Outreach Fellowship where I created and spearheaded different outreach events and demos. This is where I started the “Introduce a Girl” fair that I have held for four years now and have had topics ranging from photonics to nanotechnology to robotics.

When I received the Husky 100 recognition, the speaker said that in our careers, awards are given to at an individual’s peak. This award is different because it’s awarding not only what you have achieved, but also your unlimited potential. I see this recognition as saying “What you have been striving for, we see you and can’t wait for what you do next”. What can I do now? I used my PHD in a new area to benefit different communities. I attended Alene Moris New Women’s Leadership Institute at UW where I was trained to better lead and maybe (one day) run for political office. This institute was also where I learned the phase “Lift as you climb”. The world tells you that there is only enough room for some women at the top and pits you against each other, but that is a fallacy we need to undo. The more success you have the more responsibility you have to help others. A perfect embodiment of “lift as you climb” is Dr. Elizabeth Nance in the chemical engineering department who started as a professor the first year of my PHD program. When she started, she founded Women in Chemical Engineering as a mentor and support group in the department that would act as a space to share knowledge and experience and she acts as a voice making sure women are recognized.