We are pleased to announce that Jessica Fagerstrom, PhD, MEd, DABR, has been selected as the first winner of The Karen Doppke Award for Women in Medical Physics. This award was established in honor of Karen P. Doppke, MS, DABR, FAAPM, FAC, and is intended to recognize a mid-career female medical physicist making contributions to any area of medical physics in clinical practice, clinical innovation, education, mentorship, leadership, and professional community service such as with local and national organizations. The selection committee, composed of Jennifer Pursley, PhD, Elizabeth Crowley, PhD, Juliane Daartz, PhD, Tara Medich, MS (from Radiation Safety), Brian Winey, PhD, Jan Schuemann, PhD, and Bob Liu, PhD (from Radiology), reviewed the applications and had to decide between several very strong candidates. Dr. Fagerstrom will visit the department this fall on a date (to be determined) to accept the award and give a talk on her work in outreach and science education. She will also be available to meet with the students and residents of the Physics Division and anyone else interested. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Fagerstrom to Mass General as the first winner of the Karen Doppke Award for Women in Medical Physics!


About the Winner:

Dr. Fagerstrom is from Northwest Medical Physics Center, a Washington-based nonprofit scientific organization that provides radiation physics services. She received a BA in Physics from Claremont McKenna College in 2006 and an MS in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. She then worked as a medical physicist at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, HI, for 5 years before deciding to return to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her PhD, awarded in 2017. Dr. Fagerstrom has been with the Northwest Medical Physics Center since 2017, and when the pandemic hit in 2020, decided to take advantage of classes going virtual by enrolling in the MEd program at the University of Washington, with a specialization in Science Education. The committee was impressed by Dr. Fagerstrom’s clinical proficiency and leadership, her commitment to education and mentoring, her heavy involvement with AAPM, and her many diverse outreach efforts. Notably, Dr. Fagerstrom was selected as the medical physicist representative for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) cohort of If/Then Ambassadors, who act as high-profile role models to inspire interest in STEM in middle-school girls.