Name: Jagoda Urban-Klaehn (Yaga)
Preferred Pronouns: she/her
My official position is Radiation Scientist in Idaho National Laboratory (INL), but I also lead Positron Annihilation Lab and work with Radio-Isotope Production and Co-assay. I have a PhD in Physics from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Technical Physics & Engineering from Technical University in Krakow, Poland.
Tell us about your involvement in the American Nuclear Society (ANS):
I have been involved in works and activities with ANS for several years and I am a big supporter nuclear carbon-free energy. The Idaho ANS Chapter is very active, we’ve won several awards as the most active chapter, which means all of us have lots of opportunities to make a difference. We also support local student sections not only from Idaho, but also from Wyoming and Utah. I am on the Idaho ANS Board as a “public involvement person.” I invite speakers who present nuclear research from all around the world. Last year, we held a Lunch and Learn and dinner seminars about Belgian and Polish nuclear programs. Our chapter also hosted our current ANS President in Idaho who held a presentation about the newly built Vogtle nuclear commercial reactor in Georgia. Among the speakers we had several women – representing Oak Ridge Cf-252 program, the INL Lead for the carbon-free initiative and ISU Nuclear Engineering. Idaho ANS members, like me, and their student sections volunteer in our local communities in soup kitchens, highway clean up and also Habitat for Humanity regularly.
Tell us about your involvement in U.S. Women in Nuclear:
I am a strong proponent of the U.S. Women in Nuclear organization and its efforts since I know firsthand of how difficult it is to become a part of the team if you are one of few women in an organization. I participated in the re-initiation of the U.S. WIN INL chapter. I love to involve other women to collaborate in scientific projects and mentoring young men and women as a role model figure. I have been a member of the Professional Development Committee, but recently I decided to dedicate my time to the Communications Committee, as the lead of the Facebook sub-committee. I started a new monthly feature about “Women in Nuclear.” I was inspired to create this feature and started the first month with Marie Curie, since she was born in Poland like me. We also want our members to know about other women scientists who deserve being remembered, and whom often times not recognized for their hard work as women in their field.
Tell us about your involvement in Idaho Community:
Our local community in Idaho Falls, home to about 50 thousand people, is amazing and gives a lot of opportunities for people like me to get involved. For the last two years, I have helped with the Supporting Quality Education Act in Idaho. Its goal was to improve education spending for teachers, support staff, art and vocational training through spreading awareness in the community about these issues and collecting signatures for the ballot to support this citizen’s initiative. It passed! I am a certified teacher of mathematics and I love working with young people. I also volunteered in STEM girls outreach efforts. I was volunteering as a docent in ZOO, in hospital ministry, as a readers’ member of Idaho Falls “Post Register” newspaper and also as a contributor in the Science column. I also shared my pro-nuclear views as a lecturer for Friends for Learning University.
What else would like us to know about yourself?
I have quite an unusual life. I was born in Poland, lived through communism, Russian was my first foreign language. I was the host of a Polish culture website with over 500 articles related to Polish culture/history/ travel. I never thought that I would end up in Idaho, although my parents’ house was always full of people from all over the world. I know several languages: Polish, English, German, Russian, some Spanish and French. Being able to talk to somebody else in their mother tongue really helps to understand their culture better. Still, I had many challenges in life and this gives me perspective and humility towards other people’s struggles.
Please, never give up, ask for help and help others as much you can. Life is hard and full of surprises, but the majority of people try to do good things. It just takes time and a lot of perseverance to get somewhere and to achieve something… and it also takes a community.
Read the full article here: https://idahobusinessreview.com/2022/06/09/2022-women-of-the-year-unveiled/