She truly shines when presented with the opportunity to speak to young professionals and students. Most recently Gillis gave the commencement speech at The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences, encouraging students “to be grateful for the world-class education and experiences you have enjoyed and to find ways to give back no matter where you find yourself in the years ahead.”
In a keynote during the second annual Girls Build Solutions Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by the Million Girls Moonshot's STEM Next Opportunity Fund, she shared insights from her career in science with 350 students, teachers, and mentors with the aim to engage more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs.
Gillis will be receiving a $500 monetary prize with her AWG Professional Excellence Award. What will she be doing with the money? “I plan to donate the prize to the AWG Foundation to support the scholarship named for an important mentor, Maria Luisa 'Weecha' Crawford, Bryn Mawr College Professor Emerita of Geology.”
No surprise coming from a person who has followed her passion and made it her mission to make a difference.
AWG has over 1,000 members, including men, in 48 states as well as several foreign countries.