Women in STEM: Marine Mammal Center combines science with animal welfare; The Spiritual Edge: Opening the voice with Silvia Nakkach; Get your lotus hands ready for some Hindu Swing; and local band Bayonics.
Women are underrepresented in a lot of scientific fields, but there’s one branch of biological science that bucks the trend: veterinary science. Women now make up the majority of veterinarians in the US, and fill close to 80 percent of the seats in vet schools.
The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands is a good example of this trend. The center is a combination emergency hospital, rehabilitation center, and research institute for seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, dolphins, and more. Seventy percent of its paid staff and 73 percent of the volunteer community are women.
The human voice is a demanding instrument. Handling it requires precision and skill. But for composer and musician Silvia Nakkach, it’s more than a tool to make pretty sounds. She sees it as a gateway to spiritual growth.
Choreographer Namita Kapoor grew up in the East Bay town of Moraga, dancing jazz, tap, and ballet. She says, at the time, there were no dance classes in her surroundings that reflected her Indian heritage. It was when she went to college that she discovered Indian dance, and as she did her research, she discovered a fascinating link between classical Indian dance and American Jazz dance. In the 1940s and 1950s, theatrical jazz dance legend Jack Cole invented a dance form called Hindu Swing: jazz dance that draws on ancient Hindu tradition and form. You may remember this from dance numbers he choreographed in films like the 1955 film Kismet.