Inspiring and supporting generations of women scientists
The College of Science understands the value of diversity and the importance of increasing the number of women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. To stay at the forefront of innovation and improve the overall quality of the workforce, we must encourage diversity in STEM and create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Bringing together minds with a broad range of experiences and different perspectives and approaches expands our pool of knowledge and opens the door to new discoveries in science and math.
That is why the Women in Science (WISe) program works hard each year to support its women faculty and students by participating in outreach events to inspire future generations of women scientists.
WISe is a unique program at RIT because it focuses on issues related to women faculty, women students, and young girls. WISe provides services, organizes events, and plans activities designed to engage all three target groups with the goal of exciting, engaging, and retaining more women in math and science.
WISe helps inspire a love of science and math in K-12 girls by offering outreach and recruitment events. Educational activities enrich the undergraduate experience for College of Science majors and policy and programmatic activities enable successful advancement for women in these disciplines.
WISe takes part in outreach events to help engage girls from the local community in science and math with entertaining, hands-on activities. Many of the outreach events are organized by faculty but are led and implemented by enthusiastic student volunteers. Over the years, WISe has taken part in outreach events such as Girl Scouts’ STEM-A-PALOOZA, RIT’s Girls Soaring into STEM, Imagine RIT, and a girl’s science camp at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.
Resources for Students
To support our students, WISe provides resources to the College of Science for those interested in advanced education and research opportunities through annual Graduate School and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Bootcamp workshops.
The WISe Student Travel Award supports travel for students who present at national and international research conferences. WISe also supports and mentors the WISe Student Advocates group and offers mentoring to women majoring in science and mathematics by connecting students with valuable outreach and volunteer opportunities.
Throughout the year, WISe brings researchers and diverse academic leaders to RIT for seminars, luncheons, and professional development workshops. WISe provides mentorship to faculty members seeking tenure and identifies leadership opportunities to support their career development.
WISe encourages women faculty members to make a difference by serving on key College of Science and university committees. WISe was instrumental in the recent modifications to the university’s parental leave policy. WISe also hosts a Coffee Chat series, where College of Science faculty, staff, and students can come together to discuss topics related to gender, diversity, and inclusion.