Success Stories in STEAM: Maggie Schultz, Ph.D. ’64
There are many dimensions to the relationship Maggie Schultz, Ph.D. ’64 has with Friends Select School. As an alumna, she is an active supporter of the school, and as former president of the alumni association, she has motivated alumni peers to stay connected. She even met her husband, Fred Cohen ’64, when they were in eighth grade together. Their son, Michael Cohen ’02, also attended and was a lifer, so Maggie understands the significance of a Friends Select education through the lens of a parent.
Over the past six decades, Maggie has remained connected to Friends Select by identifying a constant in each facet of her experience. “Students identify the good in every person and understand we are all equal,” she said. For Maggie, the academic program at Friends Select was rigorous and competitive, and she feels that its curricular challenge inspired her career choice. “I had always been interested in the sciences, both at school, and through my readings, family friends, and my uncle,” she said. “I was also captured by my teachers’ love of learning and was motivated to advance in my lifelong study in the sciences.”
Maggie holds several degrees in different areas including bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Temple University and Villanova University, respectively. She completed her advanced degree studies at Hahnemann University, where she received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, specializing in virology under the mentorship of receptorologist Richard L. Crowell. She continued her postdoctoral studies at Hahnemann, where, in addition to receiving a grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, she helped the university open their clinical virology laboratory.
For GlaxoSmithKline, where she has worked for 22 years, Maggie is now a U.S. clinical operations head for vaccines. She has led several clinical operations teams. “There are so many pieces to running a clinical study; it’s like taking a cargo plane and landing it on a dime,” she said. “An amazing amount of energy comes from working with high-powered teams as each contribution on a trial adds value.” One of Maggie’s most notable projects has been her effort to develop Shingrix, a vaccine for Shingles, caused by the herpes zoster virus. She has managed many national clinical studies and participated in international clinical studies as well. “Being a part of this vaccine development was a marvelous experience, as most importantly, it helps so many people, and is a great scientific success.”
At GlaxoSmithKline, Maggie combines her training in education and science through her Grand Rounds seminar series. She organizes experts from within the organization to present and answer questions on topics specific to their fields. “Every day that I’m working with people is a day that I’m teaching and learning,” Maggie said. She is motivated by her role in enabling her team members to find learning opportunities. “Through sharing information, I can influence people in a positive manner to think or see things differently.”
On a daily basis, Maggie finds her job to be incredibly gratifying and inspiring. “I constantly feel the motivating goal to provide vaccines for people around the world,” she said.