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Past Coffee and Conversation
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Past Coffee and Conversation

We host a monthly online, interactive webinar with a senior GWIS mentor and a small group of GWIS members.


These webinars are designed to allow for in-depth conversation and an opportunity to network directly with the speaker. Each month look for a preview of the speaker and a link for registration in our GWISConnect and GWISLead mailings. Only 7 registration spots are available for each session, so you’ll want to act fast once registration opens! We have recruited amazing mentors!


Not a member yet? Join GWIS today so you can be a part of this exciting program!




March 25, 2020

Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Time: 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST/10am HST

Facebook Event:

Questions? Email

GWIS March Virtual Conversation - Career Panel: Teaching and Research at PUIs/SLACs


On Wednesday, March 25th we discussed careers in primarily-undergraduate institutions (PUIs)/small liberal arts college (SLACS). We heard from multiple panelists about their path to this career, their day-to-day work life, how they balance teaching and research, and more.



Dr. Kameko Halfmann, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Platteville (, @KamekoMae on Twitter)

Dr. Elana Stennett, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (

Dr. Lindsey McGee, Assistant Professor of Biology, Earlham College (


February 19, 2020

Date: Wednesday, Feb 19th, 2020

Time: 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST/10am HST

Facebook Event:

Questions? Email

This month's GWIS Mentoring Virtual Conversation will focus on how to fundraise!

On Wednesday, Feb 19th at 3pm CST we discussed strategies for fundraising success. GWIS chapters often rely on local fundraising to support professional development, social, and outreach events, and sponsor travel awards. Join to hear a bit about how three chapters successfully fundraised to host the National Conference, which then contributed profit back into the chapter to fund future events. 



Dr. Michelle Booze (Eastern South Dakota chapter, host of 2017 National Conference)

Dr. Rachel Cole (Iowa City chapter, host of 2018 National Conference)

Dr. Lisa Kunza (Black Hills chapter, host of 2019 National Conference)


December 19, 2019

Date: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019

Time: 1:30pm EST/12:30pm CST/1pm PST/10:30am HST

Theme: GWIS National Fellowship

Speaker: Ms. Jessica Haugen, Ms. Marianne Kramer, and Ms. Marisa McDonald

The conversation will be accessible via Zoom.


Thinking about applying for the GWIS fellowship? For the December Coffee and Conversation, GWIS will hosted a conversation that will help as you prepare your application! Join us for the conversation to hear advice from the Fellowship Committee Chair and previous winners of the GWIS fellowship and bring any questions you might have about the process.


Jessica Haugen


Jessica is a PhD student in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University. Her work investigates how immune cell metabolism can be targeted as a host-directed therapy to enhance the immune response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. With the GWIS fellowship, Jessica will be evaluating whether the anti-diabetic drug metformin can be used to potentiate the efficacy of the current Mtb vaccine, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG). With this work, Jessica hopes to not only determine whether metabolism can be targeted as a potential therapeutic against Mtb, but also gain insights into what constitutes immune protection against tuberculosis disease, a current barrier hindering the progress of vaccine development.


Marianne Kramer


Marianne is a PhD student in the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate group at University of Pennsylvania. She is studying a relatively new class of molecules called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) which are RNAs that are not translated to make a protein. In particular, she is studying one lncRNA in the plant species Arabidopsis that functions during plant development, as plants lacking this lncRNA are smaller and develop later than those expressing this lncRNA. She will be using the funds provided by the GWIS national fellowship to further explore the exact function of this lncRNA and how it contributes to plant development, ultimately providing a target for engineering larger crops leading to increased yields.


Marisa McDonald


Marisa is a PhD candidate in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her dissertation work focuses on the physiology and anatomy of larval mantis shrimp vision. Mantis shrimp have some of the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, but larvae have completely different eyes, which are replaced upon metamorphosis and are still poorly understood. She will be using the GWIS fellowship to set up electrophysiology equipment at her home university in order to complete her dissertation research. The aims of this project are to determine the physiological capabilities of the visual system, with a focus on the potential for ultraviolet vision.


November 19, 2019

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

Time: 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST/10am HST

Theme: Using Technology in the Classroom

Speaker: Dr. Melissa Mullen Davis


On Tuesday, Nov. 19 we chatted with Dr. Melissa Mullen Davis about using technology effectively in the classroom. As a professor, it’s not an easy decision whether or not utilize technological advances in your teaching. We heard from Dr. Mullen Davis about how she has used technology to help her biochemistry and chemistry students learn complex topics.


Dr. Melissa Mullen Davis


Dr. Mullen Davis is a Biochemistry faculty member at Millersville University. Dr. Mullen Davis earned her B.A. in Chemistry and Spanish from Colby College, her graduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University, and she completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute where she studied mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription. Before she joined the Millersville faculty in 2018, Dr. Mullen Davis spent four years at the College of Wooster as a Visiting Assistant Professor teaching courses in Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Biology. Dr. Mullen-Davis will chat with us about effective ways to use technology in the classroom with students. Learn more about her and her research here.


October 17, 2019

Date: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

Time: 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST/10am HST

Theme: Personal Finances with Financial Advisor Nate Jones


Nate Jones


On Thursday, October 17 we chatted with Nate Jones about personal finance. Nate is a Financial Adviser with Merrill Lynch and he’s excited to share useful information with GWIS members to set us up for financial success. He also wants to know what you want to learn about! So sign up, and share your questions and topics of interest in the registration form, and we’ll be sure to address them. Being in charge and in control of your money is a great feeling, and it’s never too early to start. Managing and saving/investing your money well now also gives you more freedom in other parts of your life (i.e. you don’t have to take a job just because you need money), so it’s critical to master this topic early on. But too often we put off thinking about money until after graduate school or other training. 


September 19, 2019

Date: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019

Time: 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST/10am HST

Theme: Presenting Your Research As a Job Talk

Speakers: Dr. Helen Miranda


On Thursday, Sept. 19 we chatted with Dr. Helen Miranda, Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She shared some advice on presenting your research as a job talk, as a chalk talk, and in an interview . These are critical skills during the job search process, so don't miss this chance to enhance your knowledge!


Dr. Helen Miranda


Helen Miranda graduated with a BS in Biomedicine and an MS in Immunopathology from the State University of Londrina In Brazil. She then went to earn her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in the University of Sao Paulo, also in Brazil, under the mentorship of Dr. Lewis Joel Greene. In her graduate work, Helen performed proteomics comparisons of Adult Stem Cells from two different sources (bone marrow and umbilical cord vein). As a graduate student, Helen was one of only 10 Brazilians selected by the renowned stem cell biology experts in the UK for the "Embryonic Stem (ES) Cells as a Model System for Embryonic Development" course. During this experience, she became fascinated by the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for modeling human diseases. For that reason, Helen chose to come to the USA as a joint postdoctoral fellow in the La Spada lab and in the Muotri lab at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). During her postdoctoral training, Helen developed stem cell models for two different motor neuron disorders, spinal bulbar muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She joined the Department of Genetics and Genomes Sciences at Case Western Reserve University as an Assistant Professor in May 2018 to continue her studies on the pathophysiology of motor neuron diseases.


June 20, 2019

Date and Time: Thursday, June 20, 2019 4:30 PM CST
Grad School 101

Speakers: Dr. Gina Moreno, Dr. Dr. Maribeth Price, Dr. Johnica Marrow, and Dr. Lisa Kunza


On Thursday, June 20th at 4:30pm, as part of our monthly conversation series, we hosted (for the first time!) a live panel and conversation at our GWIS National Conference! We discuss Grad School 101 -- how to prepare for, apply for, and thrive in graduate school.


May 14, 2019

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 3 PM CST
Theme: Policy and government jobs
Speaker: Panel of policy and government jobs speakers


On Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 3 PM CST we chatted with a panel of scientists who work in policy and government jobs who shared their experiences of being on the job market and what their jobs are like.



Audrey D. Thévenon, Ph.D., is aProgram Officer with the Board on Life Sciences and the Managing Editor for the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Journal at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Since joining the National Academies, Dr. Thévenon has been involved in activities that support capacity building to counter biological threats, and studies to inform about the potential risks and benefits of advanced biotechnologies. Over the past few years, she has also been involved in collaborative regional and international activities aimed at promoting transdisciplinary approaches to solve public health issues. Currently, she leads a study on Biological Collections. Since 2015, she co-leads a Pakistan fellowship program for One-Health researchers in collaboration with Kenya, Thailand, and Singapore. Dr. Thévenon has an M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a focus on human reproduction from the Université de Rennes 1 in France, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology with a specialization in tropical medicine and immunology from Georgetown University. Prior to arriving at the National Academies, Dr. Thévenon served as a Research Assistant at the University of Hawaii, where she worked on malaria vaccine development. She then worked at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD on 2 PEPFAR-funded HIV-Malaria projects in collaboration with Nigeria and Kenya.


Dr. Michelle Rozo is currently a Senior National Security Advisor with the U.S. Department of State’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) office, where she leads biosecurity programs in Southeast Asia, Yemen, India, and other priority regions. Prior to joining CTR, Dr. Rozo was a Congressional fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey where she advised on pandemic preparedness and response, global health, and health security issues. She has also served as a staff scientist and postdoctoral fellow with the Naval Medical Research Center in Fort Detrick, Maryland where she led laboratory operations for a clinical study on sepsis in Liberia and Ghana. Dr. Rozo earned a Ph.D. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Biology and Global Health from Northwestern University.


April 16, 2019

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3 PM CST
Theme: Academic Job Panel
Speaker:  Panelists who are in academia and have served various roles in hiring


On Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 3 PM CST we chatted with a panel of scientists who work in academia who shared their experiences of being on the academic job market and what their jobs are like.


Our panelists chatted about the job opportunities available in academia and the job search process, from searching to interviewing, to negotiating.


March 21, 2019

Date and Time: Thursday, March 21, 2019 3 PM CST
Theme: Industry Job Panel
Speaker: Panelist currently in industry


On Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 3 PM CST we chatted with a panel of scientists who work in industry who will share their experiences of being on the industry job market and what their jobs are like.


Our panelists will chatted about job opportunities available in industry and the job search process, from searching to interviewing, to negotiating.


February 20, 2019

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3 PM CST
Theme: Science Outreach Panel
Speaker: Panel with GWIS members who have organized outreach events


On Wednesday, February 20th we discussed planning outreach events. We hosted a panel of GWIS members who have been involved with successfully hosting GWIS outreach events for their local chapter.


Meet our panelists:
Caroline Black -- Los Angeles Chapter
Kony Chatterje -- Research Triangle Chapter
Lyndsey Gray -- Northern Colorado Chapter
Katrina Okerstrom -- Iowa City Chapter


GWIS wants all their chapters to feel empowered to plan and host wonderful outreach events in their communities. So we're teaming up with these knowledgeable GWIS members to chat with you about how to plan your own outreach events. We hope you can join us to hear about their events and to ask questions.


January 24, 2019

Date and Time: Thursday, January 24, 2019 3 PM CST
Theme: Research Ethics
Speaker: Dr. Alta Charo (University of Wisconsin)


On Jan. 24th we chatted about Controversial Science with Dr. Alta Charo, a Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Charo has extensive experience in public health law, bioethics, biotechnology law, food & drug law, reproductive rights, stem cell policy, torts, and legislative drafting, and she has served on many committees, including President Obama's transition team, where she was a member of the HHS review team, focusing her attention particularly on transition issues related to NIH, FDA, bioethics, stem cell policy, and women's reproductive health.


Learn more about her here:


November 26, 2018


Date and Time: Monday, November 26th, 1 PM EST
Theme: 2018 GWIS Fellowship Winners Panel
Speaker: 2018 GWIS Fellowship Winners

On Monday, Nov. 26th we chatted with Chequita Brooks (PhD student from Department of Biology at East Carolina University), Meagan Wengrove (Assistant professor of coastal and ocean engineering at Oregon State University), and Clarice Esch (PhD student in the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University). They all received the fellowship award ($ for research!) this year and will share their insight on how they prepared their outstanding and competitive package for GWIS fellowship application. Learn more about all this year's winners here:


November 14, 2018

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 14th, 2 PM CST
Theme: Academic Bullying


We had a conversation about dealing with academic bullying, such as disagreements about authorship, data-sharing, funding appropriation, unjust accusations of misconduct, verbal abuse, and intimidation. These conflicts can occur with mentors, colleagues, collaborators, mentees, etc. We hope you never face this type of difficult situation, but it's an important conversation to have. We want to help you through it if you are facing bullying in the workplace or help you be prepared if you ever do. Also, if you are facing a situation like this, feel free to email to anonymously share your story with fellow GWIS members.

October 2018

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 16th, 4 PM CST
Theme: Cultivating Honest Confidence
Speaker: Dr. Cori Wong


We talked with Dr. Cori Wong about how to cultivate infallible self-confidence. Dr. Wong was a featured speaker at a workshop hosted last year by the Northern Colorado Chapter of GWIS where she talked about deconstruction of the "Lies of the Best" and learning how you can cultivate infallible self-confidence. Here is a quick video where Cori introduces the idea of Honest Confidence:


Dr. Wong is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, and a Special Assistant to the President of Colorado State University and Director of the Women and Gender Collaborative.


September 2018


Dr. Amy Belfi              Dr. Gina Moreno


Date and Time: Monday, September 17, 2018, 3 PM CST
Theme: Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Semester
Speaker: Dr. Amy Belfi and Dr. Gina Moreno


This event featured GWIS President Amy Belfi and GWIS President-Elect Gina Moreno! Amy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Gina is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Houston Clear Lake. 


They chat about "Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Semester", whether you are an undergraduate student, a graduate student, a postdoc, or a faculty member (or maybe you aren't even in academia but you like thinking in terms of the academic year!). 


February 2017

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 21st, 8pm EST
Theme: Diversity
Speaker: Dr. Patricia Sylveria 

Dr. Patricia Silveyra earned the equivalent of a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences* and the equivalent of a Doctoral Degree in Biological Chemistry** from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She then attended Penn State College of Medicine and worked with the Center for Host Defense, Inflammation, and Lung Disease (CHILD) Research in the Department of Pediatrics as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Most recently, Dr. Silveyra acquired a Graduate Certificate in Applied Bioinformatics from the Pennsylvania State University World Campus.

Currently, Dr. Silveyra is an Assistant Professor at Penn State College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. There, she researches the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory lung disease using mouse models. To evaluate the condition of the lung defense system, her research lab examines the immune cells present in the lungs after being exposed to toxins. However, the lungs of men and women respond differently to toxins in the environment; thus, Dr. Silveyra is interested in the sex-specific molecular mechanisms of inflammatory lung disease.

For more information about Dr. Silveyra, check out her website.

March 2017

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 22nd, 8pm EST
Speaker: Dr. Sadiye Rieder


April 2017

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 18th, 1pm EDT
Speaker: Dr.Meryl Mims


May 2017

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 17th, 1pm EDT
Speaker: Dr. Rosalynn Quiñones-Fernández

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