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July 2018 GWIS Connect

Tuesday, July 10, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allison Shultz
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July 2018
GWIS Connect is a periodical for GWIS national and chapter news.  Subscribe
In This Issue
  • Incoming President's Message: Dr. Amy Belfi
  • Incoming National Officers
  • Iowa City Chapter Hosts National Conference and Celebrates Diversity
  • A Weekend of Growing Wiser and in Strength at the GWIS National Meeting, 2018 - Guest Blog by Tharikaa Ramesh Kumar
  • GWIS Honorary Member Preview: Dr. Marigold Linton
Incoming President's Message: Dr. Amy Belfi

Headshot of Dr. Amy BelfiI would like to start by saying how honored and thrilled I am to serve this wonderful organization. I discovered GWIS by chance in 2013 -- as a graduate student at the University of Iowa, I needed funding for my dissertation and googled “women in science grants.” The GWIS Fellowships Program was one of the first hits, so I applied. 

After applying to the fellowships program, I noticed the 2014 GWIS National Meeting was to be hosted by the Twin Cities Chapter, a short drive away. I recruited current GWIS President-Elect Dr. Gina Moreno to accompany me, and we showed up at the meeting, clueless but excited about this organization. 

It was at that National Meeting that I first got a sense for what GWIS is truly about. I met so many brilliant women, and their drive to advocate for women in STEM was contagious. Gina and I returned invigorated, and with a dedicated group of women, started the GWIS Iowa City chapter in 2014. Four years later, it was a poignant moment to be inducted as GWIS President at the National Meeting in Iowa City, in the very location where our chapter held some of its first meetings. 

The takeaway? GWIS is at our strongest when we are connecting our members. Our mission: “Building a global community to inspire, support, recognize, and empower women in science,” represents this goal. I encourage you all to reach out to one another -- get involved in your local chapter, or if there is not one, start your own! Seek advice from other chapters, join GWIS National Committees, and if you can, attend the National Meetings. My goal as President is to continue building an inclusive community and ensuring that our community truly reflects the diversity of all those who advocate for women in science. 

Do not hesitate to reach out to me ( with questions, comments, or concerns. I am so proud of this organization and inspired by the leaders who came before me. I look forward to working with you all this coming year and can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.

United in Friendship through Science,

Amy Belfi 
President, GWIS
Incoming National Council Officers

We would like to announce our new National Officers: President Dr. Amy Belfi, President Elect Dr. Gina Moreno, Vice President Dr. Allison Didychuk, Treasurer Megan Dowdle, Corresponding and Recording Secretary Dr. Aayushi Uberoi, and Board of Directors Danielle Lovell Jones. New committee members will be announced in August.
Photo of Newly Elected National Council and Committee Members
Back: Brooke Long, Megan Dowdle, Helen Haller, Shu Li, Michelle Booze, Allison Didychuk, Rozzy Finn, Rachel Clark Cole
Front: Jane Sharer Maier, Amy Belfi, Gina Moreno, Melissa Davis
Iowa City Chapter hosts National Conference and celebrates diversity

Dr. Wilson inviting audience participationThe 97th Annual GWIS National Conference was organized and hosted by the Iowa City Chapter in Iowa City, Iowa. The conference offered talks related to the theme “Diverse Science,” which celebrated and encouraged diversity of thought when it comes to women in science. Keynote speakers included Dr. Sherree Wilson,Career Panelists Associate Dean for Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Dr. Fatima Toor, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa. Additionally, a lively panel discussion entitled “What are they looking for? Skills for Diverse Careers in Science” provided attendees insights from industry and academia experts.

Attendees interact during poster sessionMany attendees presented posters on topics ranging from protected areas in Amazonia and dental size variation in foxes to the role of transcription factors in response to toxicity. Tharikaa Ramesh Kumar from Auburn University took home the first place Poster Award for her poster on “Towards Safer and More Stable Rocket Launches.” Second and third place were awarded to Stacey Kigar, a Postdoctoral Researcher at National Institute of Mental Health, and Hannah Gulick, an Undergraduate Student at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Corrie Moreau
The evening banquet featured a keynote address titled “The Evolution of Symbiosis in Ants and How I Became a Cartoon Character” from Dr. Corrie Moreau, the Director of Integrative Research and Associate Curator/Professor at the Field Museum of Natural History. 

GWIS would like to thank the members of the Iowa City Chapter for putting together such an energetic and engaging conference! Additionally, we would like to thank the conference sponsors (UI Iowa Neuroscience Institute, UI DeLTA Center, UI Graduate College, UI Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and UI Community Credit Union) for their generous support.
Thank you to our meeting sponsors!
A weekend of growing wiser and in strength at the
GWIS National Meeting, 2018

Contributed by Tharikaa Ramesh Kumar, Auburn University (Poster Award Winner)
“United in Friendship through Science” – GWIS Slogan
I had the amazing opportunity to experience the above quoted slogan in person at the 97th Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Annual National Conference hosted by the GWIS Iowa City Chapter at the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU), IA from June 15 to June 16, 2018.

In all honesty as a struggling graduate student, I started attending the Auburn chapter GWIS meetings for the scrumptious free food that Ms. Bonnie Wilson, WISE Institute and GWIS Auburn Chapter Coordinator, orders from the local restaurants. But after two or three Groundhog day socials (blame it on the food or Ms. Bonnie’s magic), I became more involved with our outreach events like Jr. Mad Scientist and Girl Scouts STEM Day, found friendship in fellow engineering and science graduate students at Auburn and now I am on track to also take up a leadership position at the chapter.

Having never been actively involved as a leader with a professional organization before, when Ms. Bonnie suggested that attending the National meeting would be a very good first step, I jumped up to take the opportunity. Well I might have been influenced by the fact that I was reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘Brita’ at that time. I quote him,
“How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.”
Read More on Tharikaa's Blog: RocketPanda
GWIS Honorary Members

Headshot of Dr. Marigold LintonGWIS is proud to announce this year's honorary members: Dr. Donna Nelson, Dr. Marigold Linton, and Dr. Jedidah Isler! Each honorary member will be featured in GWIS Lead in the coming months. 

This month's featured scientist is GWIS Honorary Member Dr. Marigold Linton. Dr. Marigold Linton (Cahuilla-Cupeno) earned her PhD in Psychology and is a member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Marigold is the first California reservation Indian to have ever left a (California) reservation to go to a university.  She is reportedly the 17th American Indian to have ever earned a PhD in any discipline.  

Look for a full bio of Dr. Linton in GWIS LEAD!
Chapter News
Chicago Chapter recently hosted their annual Fundraiser event, which was generously supported from local businesses in Chicago area. All the profits will go to support future scientific lectures, travel grants for the members to attend conferences, and science outreach in the community. 

Get Involved with GWIS!

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About GWIS

Founded in 1921, Graduate Women in Science is an inter-disciplinary society of scientists who collectively seek to advance the participation and recognition of women in science and to foster research through grants, awards and fellowships. We comprise over 20 active chapters of more than 800 women who are "United in Friendship through Science" to support and inspire member professional goals and mutual appreciation of science. Learn more at

Contact GWIS

PO Box 7
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062

Amy Belfi

Jane Sharer Maier

Membership Secretary
Mandy Pertzborn

GWIS Connect Copy Editor: Kameko Halfmann

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