Assemblyman Mike Gatto and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus honored Dr. Frances Arnold yesterday at the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Awards Ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento.  The awards ceremony commemorates women who have made a great contribution to California and who have inspired women and girls in California and beyond.

Dr. Frances Arnold, a resident of La Cañada Flintridge, was nominated by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) for her accomplishments in science, medicine, and engineering.  Dr. Arnold is a professor at the California Institute of Technology and is the only woman to receive the Charles Stark Draper Prize – the engineering profession’s highest honor.  She is also the only woman to be elected to all three U.S. National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering.  In December, Dr. Arnold received a National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama, the highest award granted to scientists in the U.S.

The Assemblyman learned of Dr. Arnold’s efforts after reading a newspaper article about her.  Immediately, he knew the state should honor her.  “I owe so much to the strong women in my life, like my mother, who fought her way through night law school while raising three kids.  It is so important that we recognize these woman leaders for their positive effects on society,” said Gatto.  “Dr. Arnold is an inspiration to us all.”

Yesterday’s ceremony in the Assembly Chambers at the California State Capitol, recognized ten distinguished women from around the state, including Arnold and actress Geena Davis.  Dr. Arnold was escorted on to the floor of the Assembly chamber by Assemblyman Gatto and attended a reception with the Assemblyman and the other honorees.