Our mission

Whenever we bring up the lack of representation of women in STEM careers were are often asked:

“Why should I care?”

The under-representation of women in STEM is a detriment to everyone in STEM fields and our nation as a whole. The United States' global industrial advantage is based on the technological innovation and creativity of its population. Institutional bias in STEM fields reduces the size of the nations innovative workforce and limits its intellectual diversity. To remain competitive as a country we will need to address the gender gap in science, and find ways to counteract it.

Recruiting and retaining women in STEM is a tangible way that we as graduate students can change the culture of science and education...

The absence of women in STEM careers is not due to a lack of interest or participation.  Women are pursing STEM graduate degrees at record rates. Fifty-six percent of all biological science Ph.D.s and postdoctoral fellowships are awarded to women. However, subtle gender bias, and accumulated instances of discrimination at each step of training and professional development can set women back relative to their male colleagues.

PGWISE aims to correct this disparity by through a combination of community outreach and career development training. Recruiting and retaining women in STEM is a tangible way that we as graduate students can change the culture of science and education at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond. We use our passion for research to help foster an interest in science among girls early in their educational careers, while cultivating a community at Penn dedicated to facilitating the advancement of female graduate and post-doctoral trainees.

Ultimately we hope to create an environment at Penn and nationally where women are given the opportunities to be successful in their chosen fields, facilitating the growth an innovation of our country as a whole.

 

PGWISE Executive Board

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Sophia Reeder

Co-Chair

Contact her - sophiamr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Sophia is a third year PhD student in the Immunology Graduate Group.  Her research focuses on host-pathogen interactions and vaccine development. She committed to expanding opportunities and mentorship for women in science.  PGWISE allows her to facilitate career workshops that will help all students regardless of gender find and pursue a career they are passionate about. Outside of lab she enjoys running, baking, and all things geeky.

 

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Isabel Sierra

Co-Chair

Contact her - isierra@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 

Isabel is a third year graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program at Penn. Her research focuses on X Chromosome Inactivation in the context of female-biased autoimmunity. She joined PGWISE with the hopes to help address the lack of diverse female representation in higher-level STEM careers. She believes that by providing support through community outreach, professional development, and social events women will feel confident that they have the tools to successfully navigate any STEM career of their choosing.


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Rebekah Brooks

Co-Chair of Academic Affairs

Contact her here - rebrooks@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Rebekah Brooks is a fourth year graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program at Penn. She is passionate about promoting equality of opportunity and inclusion in education. The PGWISE community enables her to facilitate mentorship and academic opportunities within the STEM community.

 

Amber Wang

Co-Chair of Academic Affairs

Contact her here - wamber@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am a rising fifth year graduate student in the Pharmacology Graduate Program at Penn. My thesis focuses on using genomic data to identify potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for liver diseases. I am passionate about promoting women scientists in STEM and how the PhD training can translate to having an impact outside of academia. 

 


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Caroline Davis

Co-Chair of Finance

Contact her here - cada@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Caroline Davis is the Co-Chair for Finance for PGWISE for the 2018-2019 year.Caroline is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics graduate group. Outside of her thesis work, Caroline enjoys long runs on the Schuylkill river and playing tennis with other members of the Penn community. Fun fact: Caroline is a big fan of craft beer and will make all efforts to visit a brewery every with each new place that she visits

 

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Andrew Hart

Co-Chair of Finance

Contact him here - hartand@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Andrew is a third year PhD candidate in the Immunology program at Penn. He is interested in addressing issues of under representation in the sciences and in promoting effective and meaningful dialogue between scientists and other members of the public. He believes that diverse backgrounds leads to diverse ideas and strives to promote a culture of acceptance in scientific institutions.

 


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Kelsey Kaeding

Co-chair of Outreach

Contact her here - kkaeding@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Kelsey is a fourth year graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program at Penn. Her research focuses on understanding how heterochromatin acts as a barrier to cellular reprogramming.  She is passionate about community outreach, promoting women in science, and sparking a love for science in students throughout the Philadelphia community. 

 

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Megan Frederick

Co-chair of Outreach

Contact her here - meganfr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 

Megan is a third year graduate student in the Immunology Graduate Group. She is committed to making science and technology more accessible to all young people. With PGWISE she works to create opportunities for local students to engage with scientific questions, as well as mentorship opportunities for Penn Graduate students. Science is meant to be shared!