1. Membership recruitment: We started with a core group of six officers. Through outreach efforts like a press release, information sessions, a booth at the Winter Activities Fair, and campus-wide emails, we now have over 110 members from more than 25 departments: from Plant Sciences to Computer Science, from Forestry to Genetics, and more.
2. Mentoring program: Coordinated by our undergraduate liaison, our mentoring program matches undergraduate students with graduate student mentors to help mentees develop good study habits, choose majors, and apply for research opportunities and graduate school or jobs after graduation. We already have 15 undergraduates and 27 graduate students in the mentoring program. Next we'll be expanding to include a faculty-grad student component as well.
3. Discussion events: Our first monthly discussion, entitled “Why Do Women Leave the Sciences?” had a great turnout of nearly 25 students. Trappeze worked pretty well as a venue, and I definitely think that having the discussion off-campus made for a more open and casual environment for sharing. We already have our next discussion topic lined up. “Working together: a call for inclusion conservation” will address the work and experiences of Dr. Meg Lowman, who is an awesome canopy ecologist. We've also arranged the opportunity for WiSci members to meet with Dr. Lowman.
4. Building a social media presence: Due to the hard work of our webmaster, WiSci has also built an online network to facilitate communication and support among group members, start discussions on hot media topics regarding equality in the sciences, and share resources. Our organization website includes links to campus resources, outside organizations that provide assistance to women in science and STEM fields, and funding sources and fellowships. A calendar of a variety of events (e.g. lectures, workshops, social gatherings) that are relevant to our mission can be found on our website as well. Plus we're on Facebook and Twitter.
Way to go, Wisci!