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AAAS S&T Fellows Donate Art
To Commemorate 11 September
The class of 2001-2002 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows has given AAAS a stunning work of art made by the fellows themselves as a year-end commemorative project.
The work is a fifteen-inch square piece of stained glass abstractly representing the stars and stripes. Lori Pommerenke, a conservation biologist from the University of Minnesota at St. Paul and one of the AAAS Diplomacy Fellows working at the U.S. Agency for International Development, suggested the project. She says the idea came out of a conversation about what the fellows could give AAAS fellowship staff to show their appreciation and also to convey the impact of being in Washington, D.C., on September 11. Pommerenke mentioned during a planning meeting that she had read about the stained glass window in commemorative chapel at the Pentagon.
The design was created by Donna Michalek, an aerospace and mechanical engineering professor from Michigan working as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in the office of Oklahoma Senator James M. Inhofe. An experienced stained glass artist, Michalek took the idea and ran with it. The design incorporates over 120 pieces, into which each of the 120 fellows etched a signature or initials. The finished product hangs in a sunny window in the AAAS fellowship office.
"I got the idea from the basic quilt pattern. There are 9 stars, which are the whites, and the background is 11 stripes alternating red and blue, for 9-11," she says. "We didn't want it to be terribly obvious, but wanted the people who participated and AAAS staff to know how it related."
Although it may seem odd that someone with an engineering background would also have such a creative side, Michalek says that it really isn't too unusual. "There is a creative component to engineers," she says. "There's a connection between creative and structural. Engineers pursue artistic, musical, or other creative endeavors. And there's a big emphasis on creative design in engineering."
Claudia Sturges, director for the fellowship program, said the stained glass artwork will hang in a window near the fellowship offices. She says that AAAS staff was thrilled to receive the impressive piece.
11 September 2002