For Alicia Abella, the path to becoming a leading female STEM professional started in a high school computer science class in the 1980s, reports U.S. News. Learning basic programming skills piqued her interest, and she began considering the potential proliferation of computers and the many career possibilities a degree in the sciences could open for her.

Years later, after earning a bachelor's degree from New York University and a Ph.D. from Columbia, Abella is now the executive director of technical research at AT&T Labs and a vocal spokesperson about the potential for other women to find similar success in a STEM...

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