Inspiring Exploration. Recognizing Achievement.

Women Rock Science is a women-led fundraising event that aims to celebrate women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and ignite curiosity in children. Proceeds from the event will help bring more STEAM programming, delivered by Cranbrook Institute of Science educators, to PreK-12 students in underserved communities throughout Michigan, including Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Southfield, and others.

Last year, the Women Rock Science virtual gala raised more than $250,000 toward STEAM education!

The 4th annual Women Rock Science gala will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Currently, it is scheduled to take place in-person, however, sponsors will receive advance notification should Women Rock Science need to switch to a virtual event.

If you were not able to join us for the 2020 gala, we invite you to watch the following video, highlighting the impact these outreach programs have on students and educators:

To watch the full, 45-minute Women Rock Science video, please visit our YouTube page.

Event Leadership

2021 Co-Chairs: Adele Acheson, Kelle Ilitch, Kim Reuss, and Linzie Venegas

Host Committee
The 4th annual Women Rock Science co-chairs are seeking members for the Host Committee. Host Committee participants serve as supporters and advocates for Women Rock Science, but are not responsible for the logistics of planning the event.

Host Committee requirements include:

  • Commitment of a Women Rock Science sponsorship at the $2,500 "Mathematics" level or above.
  • Share information about the event within your networks and invite guests to attend.
  • Attend the event.
  • Optional activities may include a group photo shoot, food tasting, and gift box packing.

Interested in becoming a Host Committee member, or know someone else who might be interested? Contact Katja Thomakos, CFRE, Director of Development at or 248.645.3220 for more information.

Women Rock Science Honorees

Every year, the Women Rock Science gala includes an opportunity to recognize three individuals who are making a difference in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics through an Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Leader, and Rock Star Award.

For 2021, the following individuals will be recognized at Women Rock Science:

2021 Honorees
Outstanding Leader Award
Mary T. Barra
Chair and CEO, General Motors
Mary Barra
Outstanding Educator Award
Tuyen Duddles
7th & 8th Grades Science Teacher
Warren Consolidated Schools - Middle School Math Science Technology Center
Rock Star Award
Celeste T. Williams, MD, MS, FACC
Medical Director, Cardiac Transplantation
Director of Quality, Heart and Vascular Institute Henry Ford Health System


2020 Honorees
Outstanding Leader Award
Patti Poppe
President and CEO of CMS and Consumers Energy
Outstanding Educator Award
Rahiel Housey-Johnson
Middle school teacher
Hamtramck Public School District
Rock Star Award
Dr. Cathy Olkin
Planetary Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute
Cranbrook Kingswood alumna (1984)
2019 Honorees 
Outstanding Leader Award
Richard L. DeVore
Executive Vice President Regional President Detroit and Southeast Michigan
The PNC Financial Services Group
Outstanding Educator Award
Angela English
Detroit Public Schools Community District
Emerson Elementary-Middle School
Rock Star Award
Joi Harris
Senior Vice President
Major Enterprise Projects
DTE Energy

To become a sponsor and learn more about the sponsorship levels and benefits, click below.

Become a Sponsor

View PDF of the Women Rock Science Sponsorship Package

Sponsorship Package

All donations are 100% tax-deductible as allowed by law.

For more information on how you can support the Institute’s Service to Others initiatives please contact Katja Thomakos, CFRE, Director of Development at or 248.645.3220.