Dr. Phoebe Starfield Leboy was a founding member of AWIS and a tireless advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for more than 40 years. An AWIS Fellow, she served as the association's President in 2008 and 2009. A bold voice for equity and recognition of women in STEM, her passion, her advocacy, and her mentorship will be truly missed. Read more.
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Phoebe was a force to be reckoned with, a strong voice for women in STEM, and a delightful human being. I am so grateful to have met her. My deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones. May her journey be easy, and may you grieve deeply and well.
“A true friend is hard to find, yet harder still to lose”. It is one of my greatest honors to have gotten to know Phoebe through our AWIS activities over the last decade. We solved problems together, laughed together over silly things, shared frustration over still existent barriers to women's progress in STEM fields, and pushed ourselves to do even more for the cause. Phoebe exemplified the importance of a life well-lived, a science career aggressively pursued, and family, friends, and husband well-loved. I shall miss her very much. My most sincere condolences to her family.
Phoebe opened our eyes to inequities we urgently needed to see documented. She was the first invited speaker at our then-nascent Greater Baltimore Chapter in 2009. What a great way to kick off and inspire a new group! Her dedication, rigor, and willingness to get the word out, all have had enormous impact. Her work will continue to have repercussions as we go forward.
I shall always remember Phoebe's visit to West Virginia University. As a chapter, we recently celebrated our 20th anniversity of WV-AWIS and foremost during that time was our connection to the association through Phoebe Leboy.
Phoebe and I only had a decade of knowing one another, but how meaningful it was. We were constantly in touch about AWIS business and in particular about the importance of advocating for women in STEM disciplines. As a most ardent leader and supporter of AWIS' activities, Phoebe has left a wonderful legacy. On a long trip together to California to raise endowment funds for AWIS 3 years ago, Phoebe introduced me to several members of her family, all of whom clearly adored her. I saw a wonderful new side of someone whose friendship and support I already had valued highly. We were fellow travelers in so many ways! I have missed our formerly long phone calls and will continue to miss her going forward. My condolences go out to her whole family, and particularly to Neal.
Phoebe Leboy was someone I always admired and have often tried to emulate – not just for what she had achieved but for how she lived her life – always with passion and conviction. Her tireless efforts on addressing the challenges that many women in academia experienced and how institutions could retain and advance their female faculty are still having impact. She will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of calling her a colleague and friend. My heartfelt sympathies to her family. Thank you for sharing her with us as we are all better for having known Phoebe.
One of the last things which Phoebe did was format a review she had written for the journal I edit, DNA and Cell Biology. This in press manuscript, doi: 10.1089/dna.2012.1756, compares medical school basic science departments with science departments in universities for the presence of female and for minority faculty members. Phoebe, and her co-author Janice Madden found that diversity was greater in universities than in medical schools and propsed several means of enriching medical school faculties.
She was a leader, a role model, and an outstanding scientist. We were all beneficiaries of her gifts, commitment, and hard work.
Losing Dr. Phoebe Leboy is a tremendous blow, and her shoes will be hard - if not nearly impossible - to fill. Phoebe is irreplaceable as a tireless and dedicated scientist, mentor, and advocate...and as an all-around terrific, driven, good-humored, compassionate, hard-working, smartly strategic, insightful, and multi-talented human being. She exuded a persistent and formidable energy and possessed an innate sense of justice and honesty that is all too rare. Her moral compass stayed spot on its mark. Phoebe’s life was one of a courageous citizen, indeed a force to be reckoned with, and her boldness was always well-founded and in the spirit of "kaizen" or perpetual improvement. Phoebe was a "Bella Abzug" for women in STEM - in fact for all underrepresented people in STEM - and I have many fond memories of her (and pearls of wisdom from her) that I will always treasure. Order for the lady a martini on the rocks...
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Phoebe. I had the good fortune of meeting her at the NSF-ADVANCE conference organized by AWIS last fall. She was approachable and friendly, and although she walked with a cane she was vibrant and full of life, and very much the inquisitive scientist. I loved her sense of fashion. Although our interaction was only over a three day period, she left me with a lasting impression, I found her to be a very genuine person. I am comforted to learn that her legacy will live on through such efforts as the AWIS Phoebe Starfield Leboy Public Policy Fellowship, as well as the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Phoebe Leboy Professional Development Award. Of course she will hold a special place in all our hearts. My deepest condolences.
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