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August 2017 GWIS Connect

Tuesday, August 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allison Shultz
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August 2017
GWIS Connect is a periodical for GWIS national and chapter news.  Subscribe
In This Issue
  • Fellowship winners
  • Dr. May Berenbaum, GWIS Honorary Member
  • Mentoring webinar with Dr. Maryam Zaringhalam
  • Chapter News
This month, we will be spotlighting our 2017 fellowship winners. Look for profiles of all our recipients in next week's GWIS Empower. Later this month, GWIS Lead will celebrate the career of entomologist and National Medal of Science recipient, Dr. May Berenbaum, our most recent honorary member. Finally, our mentoring webinar series returns on August 30th as we continue to explore science advocacy. Dr. Maryam Zaringhalam, a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, will lead a discussion on Wednesday, August 30th at 8pm EST for GWIS members. Look for sign up information in next week's GWIS Empower.
GWIS Fellowships Awarded to Five Scientists

GWIS is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2017 fellowship awards. Winners are listed in order of their pictures above. 

Elise Alonzi  Nell Mondy/ Jean Langenheim Fellowships $9924
Traveling Monastic Paths: Mobility and Religion in Medieval Ireland.
Elise is a PhD candidate in Anthropology/Bioarchaeology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.  Her study seeks to uncover patterns of medieval Irish mobility in connection to the changing practices of Irish monasticism. She will use biogeochemical analysis of human bones and teeth based on three isotopic systems and compare them to a geological baseline constructed using modern plant samples. 

Dr. Lynda Coughlan  Nell Mondy/ Monique Braude Fellowships - $9997
Investigation and exploitation of exosomes in the development of novel influenza vaccines with improved immunogenicity.
Lynda is a senior postdoctoral fellow at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai in New York. Her project aims to hijack the cellular exosome "postal-system" (cell to cell communication through the transfer of specific proteins and genetic information) by artificially delivering influenza proteins to the surface and interior of exosomes, thereby increasing uptake by specialized cells involved in immunity. In doing so, she hopes to dramatically improve immune responses to influenza vaccines.

Rachel Kroner  Adele Lewis/ Nell Mondy/ Eloise Gerry Fellowships $10,000
Ecological impacts of legal changes to protected areas in the Andean­Amazon region.
Rachel is a PhD candidate in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. Protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) comprises the suite of legal changes which may weaken regulations (downgrade), reduce the size of (downsize), or completely eliminate (degazette) protected areas. Her research will test the hypothesis that PADDD has a significantly negative causal impact on forest cover and fragmentation in the Andean-Amazon region. Rachel will conduct key informant interviews and archival research to collect data on PADDD and use impact evaluation, an emerging method in conservation biology, to isolate the causal impacts of legal changes to protected areas.

Mara Laslo  Nell Mondy/ Hartley Corporation/ E. Weisburger Fellowships $9,903
Evaluating the role of thyroid hormone in limb development in a direct­ developing frog.
Mara is a PhD candidate in the Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. She seeks to understand how a frog without a tadpole stage develops limbs in the absence of thyroid hormone, contrary to development in metamorphosing (tadpole) ancestral species. Comparing how thyroid hormone regulates gene activity during limb development between direct-developing and metamorphosing frogs can reveal how fundamental endocrine networks evolve and generate different life cycles, and some life cycles many times. Her study will use RNA sequencing to describe limb development in a metamorphosing frog, and use this approach to investigate the evolution of direct development in amphibians.

Dr. Heather Walder  Nell Mondy/ Vessa Notchev Fellowships - $10,000
Early Historic Interactions across the North American Great Lakes Region.
Heather is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University. She will be analyzing the chemical composition of glass beads recovered on archaeological sites across the Great Lakes region, working to identify distinctive glass recipes. The goal of this work is to learn about the movements of the Indigenous peoples of eastern North America, specifically a community of people known as the Wendat, in the 17th century.
GWIS Honors Dr. May Berenbaum
Dr. May Berenbaum has received the GWIS Jean E. Simmons Award for Science Education Honorary Membership

Dr. Berenbaum has been on the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1980, serving as head since 1992 and as Swanlund Chair of Entomology since 1996. Her research has examined elucidating chemical mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and their host plants, including detoxification of natural and synthetic chemicals, and she has worked to apply ecological principles in developing sustainable management practices for natural and agricultural communities. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Berenbaum has produced over 230 refereed scientific publications and 35 book chapters. 
Beyond her impressive research accomplishments, Dr. Berenbaum has demonstrated an inspirational commitment to science education. She has been on the List of Excellent Teachers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign consistently over the past 35 years and has received many education excellence awards over her long career. She has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students who have gone on to become very successful in multiple fields. Dr. Berenbaum is also a strong proponent for public outreach and science communication; she has been featured on several local and national radio shows, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Science Friday on NPR, and she has been involved in numerous community lectures, teaching in public schools, and has written a number of books on entomology that are accessible to the public.

Look for our interview with Dr. Berenbaum later this month in GWIS Lead.
Next Mentoring Webinar is August 30
Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist who traded in her pipettes for the world of science policy and advocacy. She received her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University and is currently an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow focusing on policies around open science. Her interest in policy grew through co-hosting a podcast called Science Soapbox, which gave her the opportunity to interview thinkers like 314 Action Founder, Shaughnessy Naughton, and former Science Adviser to President Obama, John Holdren. Maryam is also the D.C. producer for The Story Collider, which brings true, personal stories about science to audiences around the world, and her writing has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, and Quartz.
We will be featuring Dr. Zaringhalam in a special webinar on August 30th covering the topics of science policy and science communication. GWIS members are encouraged to attend to hear about Dr. Zaringhalam's work and participate in a discussion about the featured topic. The webinar will take place Wednesday August 30th in the evening (8pm EST/7pm CST/5pm PST) and and will be accessible via Google hangouts. You will need to have a gmail account to participate. Spaces are limited and will fill quickly! Look for a link in next week's GWIS Empower to register.
Chapter News
Upcoming events
East Central

Chicago, IL
August 15, 6:00 pm, Movie in the Park: Hidden Figures. Millennium Park. If you would like to join the group, please contact the chapter for more information.


Research Triangle, NC
August 5, 10:00am, Summer Nature Hike with GWIS. William B. Umstead State Park. For more info, contact the chapter or register here.

West Central

Eastern South Dakota
August 29, 5:30pm, GWIS Ice Cream Social. USD Gear Center. For more info, contact the chapter directly. 


Los Angeles, CA
July 28th, 6:00pm, Jazz Night with GWIS. LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For more info, contact the chapter directly.


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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

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