The Women in Science Initiative (WISI) at the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is dedicated to increasing the success and retention of women scientists at all stages of their academic careers.

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About WISI

The CNS Women in Science Initiative (WISI) started in 2012 as a major commitment to increasing, retaining, and supporting the success of women scientists at all stages of their academic career who have been historically underrepresented in academic science. An important goal is to create opportunities for women faculty, postdocs and students in the sciences to connect with one another. The college advances this goal through a range of programing, which includes:

Peer Mentoring Groups

WISI has been a catalyst for the formation of Peer Mentoring Groups for Women Scientists in the college. These groups have been successful in cultivating informal networks and have fostered collegiality, learning, and advanced faculty careers at UMass.

Annual Women’s Luncheon

The WISI Annual Women’s Luncheon is held each fall for women faculty to gather, hear presentations, and discuss the state of women's success and challenges in CNS.

Annual Public Lecture

The WISI Annual Public Lecture or Panel addresses pressing issues for women in science.

Tenure & Promotion Workshops

Faculty Development Tenure and Promotion Workshops are offered throughout the year on topics of interest to all faculty and which have particular importance to women scientists’ including: conflict management, time management, preparing for tenure process, and promotion.

Women in Science Exhibit

Women in Science Exhibit announcement

The CNS Women in Science Initiative hosted a year-long exhibit, "Women in Science: The Stories Are All Around Us," from September 2016 through August 2017 in the Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) first floor Atrium.

Women have been contributing to our understanding of science for millennia, in ways both large and small. Unfortunately, aside from a few, their work is often unacknowledged, uncredited, and unknown. This led Martha Baker, CNS Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, to ask, "where are the women?" of students taking her Women in Science course. Their research uncovered many compelling stories, and served as inspiration for this exhibit.

"Women in Science:  The Stories Are All Around Us" was created to recognize the long history of women's contributions to science. The exhibit highlighted 12 women who have made significant additions to our understanding of science over the last 400 years. "The original list we compiled of exceptional women in science had 100 women on it," said Martha Baker. "The exhibit cases could only hold a small sampling, so we also created a companion website that provides more information about the women mentioned in the exhibit, and many others as well. The stories are all around us!"  

For more information about the exhibit, contact Jane Markarian at, 413-545-5630.

Archive of WISI Events

See the full archive of WISI events.

Overview of CNS Women in Science Initiative 2012-2016