Women in Science Initiative Events

WISI holds an annual lecture and other forums and events to encourage networking, mentoring, and educational opportunities for CNS women faculty and students.

Fall 2014 Events

September 29: Panel and Mixer luncheon event: Should You Join a Professional Mentoring Group?
noon – 1:30 pm in ISB 145.

Professional peer mentoring groups are informal networks intended to foster collegiality, promote learning, and help with the challenges of negotiation within the university and career. Come to this informational meeting and lunch to hear from three women faculty members (non-tenured faculty member, full professor and assistant professor) about how their mentoring groups affected their careers and why a group may be valuable to you, no matter what stage of your professional career. There will also be time for discussion, questions and taking steps to form small interdisciplinary groups for those interested. Group formation is based on interests and schedule, and can be a mix of senior to assistant faculty, tenured and non-tenured, or exclusively non-tenured faculty. You may also indicate interest in joining a group in advance of this meeting by completing the CNS Mentoring Group form.

Please RSVP to Wendy Varner, wvarner [at] cns [dot] umass [dot] edu, to indicate your attendance.

Spring 2014 Events

April 7, 2nd Annual CNS Women in Science Lecture
"Moving Beyond Fixing the Women to Changing the Culture in Academic STEM Fields."

Susan Metz, Senior Research Associate and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Stevens Institute of Technology.
4:00 p.m. Student Union Ballroom.

The slides for this lecture are now available for review.

Susan Metz is a nationally recognized leader in catalyzing change in academia regarding women in science. Her lecture will address how unintended bias affects hiring, retention and promotion of women faculty and will identify research-based strategies to engender an inclusive and productive work environment. Metz has secured nearly $10 million in federal, corporate and foundation grants to work with over 200 colleges and universities to increase access, retention and advancement of women and girls in STEM fields. She is a Founder and Past President of WEPAN, Women in Engineering Proactive Network, Inc., and has served on advisory boards of organizations that influence national STEM policy including the National Science Foundation and National Academy of Engineering. Under her leadership, Stevens and WEPAN were recognized by Presidents Clinton and Bush respectively with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Susan is a recipient of the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award and is an Association for Women in Science Fellow. Use this PPT slide to announce this lecture in classes.

Fall 2013 Events

December 13: Panel and Mixer: Should You Join a Professional Mentoring Group?
10:00 – 11:30 am in ISB 145

Several successful Professional Mentoring Groups exist within CNS, and news has spread of the benefits of joining one. Come to this event to hear from a panel of faculty members about why a Professional Mentoring Group may be worth your time. Time will also be devoted to facilitating the formation of new groups. (Many existing Mentoring Groups began by obtaining a Mellon Mentoring Team Grant through the UMass Office of Faculty Development.)

If you are interested in joining a group but couldn't attend this meeting, please complete the CNS Mentoring Group form.


November 4: Webinar, "Retaining Women in STEM Fields"
1:00 – 2:30 pm in ISB 145

This webinar explored why women leave faculty positions and what departments, colleges and universities can do about it. The webinar featured Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor of law and the founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She drew on work prepared for the NSF-funded Tools for Change Project and discussed:

  • The ways departments can save money by eliminating a chilly climate for women.
  • The importance of family-friendly policies.
  • The way the right policies can avoid legal problems – and the wrong policies can leave departments and institutions vulnerable.

Watch the Webinar | Download a pdf of the PowerPoint slide presentation


October 16, Lecture, "Recent Research Regarding Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer"
5:15 p.m. in ISB 221

D. Joseph Jerry, PhD, Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UMass Amherst Science; Director, Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute; Co-Director, Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, and Kaitlyn Wong, MD, Surgery Resident at Bay State Medical Center.

Archive of Past Events