Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
President Susan Hockfield is slated to receive the Amelia Earhart Award from the Women's Union on Monday, Nov. 21, at a luncheon at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.
The Amelia Earhart Award was established in 1983 by the Women's Union to recognize women who continue Earhart's pioneering spirit. The award honors a woman who has significantly contributed to the expansion of opportunities for women. Doris Kearns Goodwin was honored last year; other recent recipients include Ruth Simmons, Liz Walker, Gwen Ifill and Julia Child.
On its web site, the Women's Union describes Hockfield as "a strong advocate of the vital role that science, technology and the research university play in the world." It adds that "she brings to the MIT presidency an exceptional record of achievement in serving faculty and student interests."
The Women's Union works to address the educational and economic barriers confronting women and their families.
In 1926, Amelia Earhart came to the Women's Union for employment assistance and was placed as a social worker at Denison House in Boston. While working with immigrant children at the settlement house, she pursued her interest in flying and, in 1928, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane.