Katie's Leadership Voyage to the End of the Earth (Literally)

By Katie Piazza

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Hey, everyone! Thank you for visiting my campaign page! My name is Katie and I was selected from a global pool of applicants to be a part of Homeward Bound - a leadership seminar that culminates in a 21-day voyage to Antarctica in November 2019!


  • Purchase a "Support Women in STEMM" t-shirt or sweatshirt by clicking the 'contact' button at the bottom of this page! Let me know what size, style (t-shirt or v-neck $25, longsleeve $35, or hoodie $50) and your address and I'll ship it to you!
  • (June 21): Read about how much I love Malcolm Gladwell and The Beatles in this short 'get-to-know-me' interview!
  • (June 23): Syracuse Yoga held a special class to support my expedition! Thank you friends new and old who came out to support me and many thanks to studio owner, Sophie for hosting the class!
  • (June 12) The Eastern Start Society of Brewerton hosted a presentation and discussion with Hilary McManus (HB Cohort 2) and myself! We talked about HB, Antarctica, Imposter Syndrome, Social Justice, and Climate Action. Many thanks to the Brewerton Lodge for hosting us and their commitment to diversifying leadership and to effect impactful change!
  • (April 27): Whiskey Tasting! The Freemason Society of Brewerton generously hosted a fundraiser to support my expedition! Thank you to all who joined me at Lock 1 Distillery in Phoenix, NY where we had good drinks and good times for a good cause! An extra special thanks to John McConnell and Gary Carpentier who provided the live music for the first two hours!
  • (March 8): International Women's Day! - You might have received an email from me or one of my biggest cheerleaders - if you'd like to help, reach back to them or use the contact information at the bottom of this page to contact me!
  • (March 3): Syracuse Yoga featured an article by yours truly in their blog - check it out!
  • (November 2018): Check out the facebook page that the US based women have put together - follow us and you can see what we are up to!

About me!

Hey everyone! My name is Katie and I am a born and raised Syracusean. I am currently working there as a chemist for a global contract research organization. I earned my Bachelor’s in Chemistry at Le Moyne College and, before completing my Master’s in Chemistry at SUNY Oswego, spent one year living as a Jesuit Volunteer in Baltimore, Maryland teaching math and science at a public Montessori school. Having always had a passion for learning and the outdoors, and being fortunate enough to grow up along the beautiful shorelines of Lake Ontario, my love of nature began at young age. As an advocate for sustainability and social justice, I spent much of my time as an undergraduate volunteering in different locations in the northeast United States, and even as far as Quito, Ecuador. I am still pinching myself about my most recent endeavor, which has brought you to this page - I am honored to have been chosen as 1 of 95 women throughout the world to participate in a global leadership training and professional development program which will culminate in the largest ever all-female expedition to Antarctica – known as Homeward Bound.

When you make a donation to my campaign, ultimately, you are making an investment in your faith in me as a leader, passionate about the ideals that I share with Homeward Bound. I would like to use these new leadership skills to promote and make more visible the causes I care about to the public, and be in a position to educate others on those topics.

  • I want to advocate for young girls to enter STEMM career paths and give them the tools they need to be as successful as they can and rise to the top of those fields.
  • I want to encourage girls and women to be leaders, and not leave any space for them to doubt in their abilities or their potential.
  • I want to raise awareness surrounding the Great Lakes communities and how changing lake levels are impacting the fragile shorelines.
  • I want to advocate for climate action as a social justice issue and show local communities how their lifestyles make a global impact.

Will you help me?

What is Homeward Bound?

First and foremost, Homeward Bound is a leadership program focusing on personal, public and professional, and global leadership development. The components of this program - women in STEMM and climate action, are studied in the context of leadership. Leadership is the yarn that will weave these complex issues together in order to arrive at a communitive global solution.

I, and the women in STEMM selected for this program, have a passion for climate action and environmental sustainability. The intention is to prepare women for leadership positions by educating them on four main principles of strategic capability, visibility, science communication, and, of course, leadership. I will have the pleasure to learn from experts in advocacy and leadership development like Robert Kaplan and Amy Edmondson, as well as environmental heroes like Jane Goodall, Christiana Figueres, and Sylvia Earle. Ultimately, the goal of Homeward Bound is to prepare a team of 1000 women over ten years with increased leadership capabilities and a skillset to influence policy and decision-making throughout the world. In doing so, these women will proactively advocate in situations where the outcome will shape the future of our planet.

Why Women?

Globally, there is a low representation of women in leadership positions in all fields, particularly in the sciences. The rate of men and women entering science fields at the undergraduate & post-graduate level is nearly equal, yet the career path for women is channelled towards a "leaky pipeline", striken by workplace discrimination and inherent bias. Data as recent as 2018 have shown that there is still an uneven playing field for men and women in professional career tracks.

Many studies have demonstrated the value of having men and women leading in equal measure. Surveys have shown that women have a greater tendency to exhibit certain leadership characteristics in the workplace such as integrity, emotional intelligence, inclusivity, value of communative strength, and legacy mindset, and employees more often choose female leaders as being more trustworthy when making company decisions. Globally, there is a breach of trust in leadership, and data shows that more positive outcomes may be influenced by bringing more women into those roles. Gender diversity translates "to increased productivity, greater innovation, better decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction".

The bottom line is that gender equality, in any field, is beneficial not just for women, but for all employees and the company.

The goal of Homeward Bound is to bring more women to "the table" in order to foster a cooperative form of leadership where men and women feel comfortable and confident leading together.

Why Antarctica?

Antarctica is the backdrop to which this program takes place for three imperative reasons.

Firstly, the remote environment of Antarctica creates an ideal location to test the leadership and collaboration skills that will be taught in the 11 months leading up to the voyage. The environment encourages the participants to practice teamwork and peer-coaching.

Secondly, to embrace the introspective and reflective personal component of the program, the ideal environment must allow the participants to disengage from the busy, distracting world that is our every day lives. The striking isolation of Antarctica embraces this.

Lastly, Antarctica experiences some of the greatest impacts of climate change in the world that can be witnessed in real-time. Antarctica holds 90% of the worlds fresh water in the form of ice, making it an ideal location to study the impact of climate change globally - from an environmental, as well as humanitarian, stand-point.

Why us?

The participants selected for this program are all women with a background in STEMM who are passionate about confronting the breach of trust in leadership world-wide, as well as protecting the sustainability of our planet. The panel of application reviewers believe that we will have the greatest impact post-journey and will benefit the most from the experience.

These future leaders all exhibited a collaborative mindset, evidence of their acheivements to date being on behalf of many, and an awareness of the purpose and vision of Homeward Bound.

The women I have the pleasure to learn and voyage with are all funny, creative, authentic, insightful, and brilliant women with the determination to bring about a change.

Thank you for visiting my campaign page and for supporting me in this once in a lifetime opportunity!

You can also Venmo your donation to me (@KathrynPiazza)! xo

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Team Members

Katie Piazza