This summer, ACG hosted a unique leadership training course for women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine). Dr. Angeliki Artemis (Diane) Rigos, accomplished MIT faculty member and Pierce ’75 alumna, led the five-day seminar, with 14 diverse participants hailing from Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Greece, Israel, and Japan.
“ACG has a nearly 150-year track record of pioneering women’s education and leadership development in Greece and the region,” said ACG President David G. Horner. “ACG’s women faculty and staff are at the forefront of our rapidly expanding STEMM curricula and facilities, and we are delighted to partner with Dr. Rigos to build a global network of women leading in STEMM.”
One of the most remarkable aspects of the seminar was the profound impact of bringing together a group of women in a supportive and inclusive environment. Dr. Rigos stated, “The best part of the seminar was observing the effect of having all women in the room and how deep the interactions and discussions were. As the days progressed, the women became less reserved and more connected. By the last day, they were more than friends.”
Dr. Rigos noted that one participant in particular, an alumna of ACG’s Education Unites refugee student scholarship program who will be studying for a master’s in economics in Paris this year, “was an inspiration to all of us.”
After graduating from Pierce, Dr. Rigos continued her education in the U.S., earning a BA in chemistry from Cornell University, a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT, and an MBA from Northeastern University. She has dedicated her career to teaching and leadership in STEMM fields and has taught chemistry, energy and women in science courses at Merrimack College. Dr. Rigos teaches leadership courses at MIT and beyond and has played a pivotal role in founding leadership programs such as the Leadership Program for the Boston Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in 2018 and the MIT LEAdership and Professional Strategies and Skills Program (LEAPS) in the School of Science in 2019.
Dr. Rigos’ inspiration to create leadership training for women entering STEMM professions stems from her own experiences. “I served as department chair at Merrimack College multiple times as well as director of various programs and only learned later in life, after going through leadership for mid to late-career women in academia, how valuable it would have been to have sooner,” Dr. Rigos said.
Recognizing the critical need for leadership training for women in STEMM and the absence of programs designed by women for women, she founded the nonprofit Epistimi (meaning knowledge in Greek) in 2021.
This summer, Dr. Rigos piloted the Epistimi training program at ACG’s campus, and plans are already underway to collaborate with ACG again next summer to expand the seminar, welcoming 25 women on a journey to leadership excellence in STEMM.
The ACG and Dr. Rigos are paving the way for a brighter future where women in STEMM fields can reach their full potential, be confident in their leadership abilities and supported by a global network of peers.