‘IfThenSheCan:The Exhibit’ which celebrates women in STEM through statues debuted in full at North Park Center in 2021. (Courtesy photo)

IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, announced last Thursday that the 120 statues from the #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit have been distributed to new homes across the United States, in Canada, and in Puerto Rico. The show debuted in 2020 and Dallas installation locations included the Dallas Arboretum, Love Field Airport, NorthPark Center, Pegasus Park, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Today, exhibits of the statue run throughout Dallas.

The exhibit is the larget 3D project of its kind. Each statue depicts a STEM innovator and role model, each of whom selected a location important to her to display her statue.

“It’s amazing to see the reach and impact the statues and their real-life STEM leader counterparts have had across the country over the last four years,”  Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and Co-Founder of IF/THEN said in the announcement. “We share the Ambassador’s pride in having their statues on display at institutions and places that are significant to them, having had an impact on their STEM journeys. We hope the statues will have a similar influence on those who experience them in the statues’ new homes, inspiring them to become the innovators of the next generation.”

The initiative seeks to recognize and advance women in STEM and empower them to inspire young women and girls. Selected in 2019, IF/THEN selected these idividuals whose work ranges from protecting wildlife, discovering galaxies, fighting superbugs, to choreographing robots.

Among the queer women in the exhibition include Post Doctoral Research Associate Jessica Nicole Esquivel.

IF/THEN, Beth Esquivel, STEM, 2024

“There’s not a lot of people in this space — in STEM, in physics, in science — that look like me, that are Afro-Latinx, that are Black, that are women, that are lesbian. Representation is super important in recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM, and in physics specifically,” she told SymmetryMagazine.

Esquivel’s bio:IF/THEN, Esquiviel

Dr. Jessica Nicole Esquivel is a post doctorate Physicist working for the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). There she studies the building blocks of the universe. She watches muons, which she explains are the “plus size” sibling of an electron. Then she watches them dance, looking for a new dance move! Often people don’t believe someone who looks like her would have her job, which is why representation is so important for her in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM, and in physics specifically.

Her statue is featured in Pegasus Park. A handful of the statues will remain at Pegasus which is the home of the ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub.

Kelly Clarkson featured the exhibtion’s run when it was at NorthPark Center where the full exhibit debuted in 2021.

Other North Texas locations where statues are displayed include The Girl Scouts of NorthEast Texas STEM Center for Excellence, The Hockaday School and UT Southwestern.

Learn more about IF/THEN here.

—Rich Lopez