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Nancy Abu-Bonsrah (Johns Hopkins)


The Week in Women: A tragic terror attack, tough questions for Gorsuch, and a major first at Johns Hopkins

March 24, 2017

Throughout this rough, sad week in news, schools and education emerged as a common trope. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

British teacher Aysha Frade, 43, was among four people killed in a terrorist attack in London.  The assailant mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, near the British parliament, and later stabbed a policeman. At least forty people were wounded. On Thursday, Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the U.K. Parliament. “Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy,” she said. “But today we meet as normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: We are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”

During an hours-long hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was asked to respond to allegations that he made inappropriate comments while teaching at the University of Colorado law school. Jennifer Sisk, Gorsuch’s former student, said Gorsuch told the class that “many” women intentionally exploit law firms for maternity benefits. More specifically, Sisk claims, Gorsuch asserted that women take jobs even though they plan to start a family in the near future, and then leave the company once they have a baby. During the hearing, Gorsuch maintained that he had simply lifted a hypothetical scenario from a textbook. A group of female law clerks who worked for Gorsuch have leapt to his defense, saying that he always championed the fair treatment of women.

Professor Stephen Hawking gave TV host/professional troll Piers Morgan a handy lesson in feminism. While interviewing Hawking, Morgan suggested that the prominence of several women in British politics constitutes “scientific evidence” that gender equality exists (like, wut, we can’t even). “It is not scientific proof of gender equality that is required, but general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men or better,” the professor replied. “I welcome these signs of women’s liberation. But there may still be a gap between those women achieving high public status and those in the private sector.” This conversation was definitely beneath Hawking, but he did agree to sit down with a guy who has said this. And this. And this.

Medical student Nancy Abu-Bonsrah will become the first black, female neurosurgery resident at the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Abu-Bonsrah is originally from Ghana and attended medical school at Johns Hopkins before being accepted into the school’s competitive neurosurgery residence program. She said that the new phase of her education “will be a dream come true,” and that she hopes to someday go back to her native Ghana “to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure.”