An ant crawls along the sidewalk, carrying a large crumb. Possibly 5000 times her body weight, the size of the boulder of bread does not deter her; rather, the success of having found nourishment for her colony motivates her to keep working. Releasing pheromones to communicate with her nest mates, signaling, “Follow me to food!”—in a straight line, they find their way to this treasure. Future VP, Group Scientific Director Sarah Stock, PhD, lies in the grass, perched on her elbows…
She watches this exchange and microcosm play out in front of her. Fascinated by this world most overlook in the hustle and bustle of life, she observes every detail of the scene, and she is hooked.
Always wanting to learn, and especially drawn to the social insects most girls ran away from, Stock showed the traits of a great scientist. Her drive to explore and experiment was innate. It’s no surprise that Stock was destined to work in science. Studying biology throughout college, she was driven to obtain her PhD in molecular and cellular biology so that she could keep learning about nature’s hidden worlds. One day while on her way into the lab, she noticed a praying mantis perched on the building’s brick wall. It didn’t take long for Stock to catch the bug and work to make a home for it in the lab, nurturing it and hoping for it to lay eggs. Her curiosity was still very much part of her motivation and drive to learn.
Transitioning from a lab studying insect brains to the medical communications field felt more natural than you might expect. As a VP, Group Scientific Director at Lockwood, Stock has the freedom to stay curious: always exploring new challenges, looking for interconnectivity between people and ideas, and embracing the opportunity to learn new things regularly. Leading a team of scientists to deliver strategic insights and deliverables for clients, Stock takes a page from the leadership book of the queen ant—leading and empowering her team to decide which tasks to perform based on personal preferences, interactions with teammates, and cues from the environment.
If you get the opportunity to meet Sarah, ask her about her love for bugs. And if you see her staring off into the grass, know that she’s simply always exploring a very dynamic microcosm of life.