Hunter leads the CUNY system in its science programs, which have long been the pride of the College. The number of female students majoring in natural science fields continues to increase, and to this day, Hunter is the only college in the United States to have produced two female Nobel Laureates in medicine—Gertrude Elion and the late Rosalyn Yalow. Hunter is also one of the top ten schools in the U. S. to have graduated women who went on to become members of the National Academy of Sciences.
However, despite the many advances made by female scientists during the 20th century, women are still largely under-represented in scientific research. Establishing more pipeline programs that create undergraduate research opportunities for female science students at Hunter is a core priority and a critical need. As the ability to undertake independent research is a major component in the career development of future scientists, it is essential that Hunter College provide undergraduate women with more opportunities for these guided internships and research experiences.
After a discussion of these issues between Hunter College’s President Jennifer J. Raab and Anne Welsh McNulty, founder of the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation, the John P. McNulty Scholars Program was established in 2011 to equip extraordinary female science and mathematics majors at Hunter College with the knowledge, skills and experiences that will enable them to become leaders in their scientific and mathematical fields.