Local female breaks barriers with award
According to OARDC.com, Linda Saif, a scientist in The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental sciences has been awarded the 2015 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, making her the first woman to ever receive this prestigious award.
The Wolf Prize is an award that can be received in fields including agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and physics. Only five or six recognitions have been awarded in the sciences since 1978 as stated by wolffund.org.
Saif was awarded the Wolf Prize because of her work on diseases of crucial importance to animals, food safety and human life.
Saif says she is highly honored to receive the award and feels humbled to be in company of other esteemed scientists who have also received the Wolf Prize. Past recipients include Stephen Hawking and Peter Higgs.
“Dr. Linda Saif’s work exemplifies our college’s commitment to conducting meaningful research that benefits agriculture as well as human health and well-being,” said the vice president of agriculture administration, Bruce McPheron.
While Saif has achieved becoming a successful scientist, she recognizes the struggles she faced in the beginning of her career because of her gender.
Saif was forced to resign her job at the OARDC after she married her husband because husbands and their spouses were not allowed to work together per orders of the OARDC.
Fortunately, resigning allowed her to continue in graduate school for her PhD.
In 1979, a faculty position in her field became available at the OARDC after the rule had changed.
“It is even more of an honor to me to be the first woman recipient of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. I hope that I am paving the way for additional future outstanding women scientists to be nominated and recognized for these prestigious awards,” Saif said.
Saif also contributes the success of her research program to her team of current and former lab members.