The Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Group at the University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing coaching, mentorship and a platform for discussion, networking and support to encourage and inspire women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields through the tenure of their professional careers.
We are an Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Affiliate Group, and we encourage CU students to sign up for a complementary membership in 2015-2016 via the Graduate School. Check out our AWIS blog where we discuss highlights and take-home messages from our events!
The WiSE group is managed by a dedicated Leadership Team that creates, organizes, and implements workshops, seminars, and social events to promote inclusion and diversity in STEM. Visit this website to learn about upcoming WiSE activities and join in the discussion! Please email Sarah at Sarah.Crump@colorado.edu if you would like to join our emailing list or get involved in the group.
Join our email list to receive notices, updates and opportunities by visiting: https://lists.colorado.edu/sympa/subscribe/wisegroup
THE ORIGIN STORY OF WiSE: A letter from the founders
By Anna Corts and Katia Tarasava
In summer 2014, graduate student Anna D. Corts felt there was a higher need to support women graduate students and post-doctorates working in STEM fields at CU Boulder. By talking to other women in her community, she realized she was not alone feeling the challenges, obstacles and frustrations from graduate school and doing research. Thus, she had the idea of starting a student-run group to provide that support for the women community in STEM programs. One day, Anna asked her friend and labmate Katia Tarasava if she was interested in managing the group together. Katia loved the idea and so they got to work.
On August 29, 2014, the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group had the first leadership team meeting. Anna spread the word to her friends and neighboring labs, and she gathered 8 women to start the group. That day, they decided to take the first step by doing a kickoff meeting to explain to the community about the purpose, goals and ideas of the group. So, Anna and Katia prepared a presentation for the WiSE kickoff meeting on September 19, 2014, discussing the need for and benefits of having a group to support women graduate students and post-doctorates in STEM. The kickoff was a great success! Katia and Anna were amazed by the turnout and enthusiasm. It was then that they realized there truly was a huge need to support women in STEM and solidified the group’s leadership.
Anna then became the President and Katia took on the Vice President duty. They worked incredibly well together and accomplished a lot in the first few months. Katia would always wholeheartedly support Anna’s creative ideas, they helped and encouraged each other, and made a dynamic pair when giving speeches in and outside CU Boulder to spread the word about WiSE and gain support for women in STEM.
On October 17, 2014, WiSE had the first seminar, supported by funds from the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) from CU Boulder. Jill S. Tietjen, an author and advocate for women in STEM, gave an inspiring speech about how to build strong scientific careers. That month, WiSE also held the first happy hour funded by the Chemical and Biological Engineering (ChBE) department. Since then, WiSE has been organizing monthly professional and social events, as well as outreach events to inspire younger women to enter the sciences. On March 3, 2015, WiSE also launched the first pilot coaching program Anna led with the help from Katia, Susan Trapp, the staff from the BOLD center and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Lead by one of its most dedicated members, Tess Eidem, WiSE launched the first annual Science Communication Symposium on April 21, 2016, to showcase the research of the CU Boulder STEM community and promote better science communication. To date, the WiSE leadership team has grown over 30 members, while the overall group has grown over 200 people.
After almost 2 years of Presidency, Anna moved to Minnesota for a long-term research collaboration in the summer of 2016. Thus, she passed her responsibilities on to the new President Sarah Crump, who very gladly accepted the offer. Everyone in the leadership team voted Sarah as the new President of WiSE; she was ideal for the role because of her spirited commitment to creating a supportive and equitable environment for women in STEM.
As a community that focuses on bringing awareness of issues of women in STEM, we are committed to providing a platform for discussion, networking and support to encourage and inspire women through the tenure of their professional careers. We are honored to be of help for the community of the University of Colorado Boulder. Thanks to Anna and Katia’s initiative and the tireless efforts of all the team members and different sponsors who make our programs and events possible, WiSE keeps growing and succeeding every year.