MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. is honoring women leaders in STEM next month through a new exhibit featuring one impressive South Dakotan.
Ashley Podhradsky is being recognized with a life-sized, 3D printed statue of herself in the Smithsonian’s Women’s Futures Month exhibit. She is one of 120 leaders to be featured.
Podhradsky has always been passionate about cyber security and technology.
“In high school, I had a technology coordinator that helped me understand how we got our internet to our computers. And I was captain of the basketball team and president of the computer club. And if it wasn’t for her showing me what technology is, I probably wouldn’t have pursued this field,” said Ashley Podhradsky, vice president for Research & Economic Development at DSU.
Since then, she’s worked to get more women involved in the field through her organization CybHer, where they go to classrooms and host events for girls.
“So far we have impacted over 30,000 girls in our region, state and nation to help them understand more of what the field of cybersecurity is,” said Podhradsky.
Now, this leader’s story will be on display for all who visit the Smithsonian.
“It was an incredible feeling to see the Smithsonian recognize the work that women have contributed to science, technology, engineering and math and have cybersecurity be included in that is just such a great thing,” said Podhradsky.
Annabelle Klosterman attended the first ever CybHER camp in 2015, and is happy to see one of her mentors getting honored in this way.
“I think it’s really amazing and cool to see that someone that I look up to is able to influence and impact so many different women and really anyone around the world,” said Klosterman, senior Cyber operations student at DSU.
The display runs from March 5th through the 27th.
CybHer camp registration is also open now for middle school girls.