Strong turnout at the STEM graduate student Fall 2014 Welcome Mixer

Fall 2014 Welcome Mixer

160 graduate students from over twenty different departments and programs in the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Engineering attended the mixer event last week!

A huge surge of interest leading up to the event resulted in a scarcity of food, but attendees still had a great time connecting with fellow students of diverse backgrounds, interests, and graduate school experience.

Have a great semester everyone!

Brought to you by the Graduate Women in STEM and the Graduate School’s Office of Student Life.

Announcing monthly STEM graduate student appreciation day coffee hours for fall 2014

Feeling weary with teaching, classes, research, and other responsibilities?


STEM graduate student appreciation day coffee hours will be held monthly – traveling across campus each month

Come enjoy a free afternoon coffee and some snacks! Meet graduate students from other STEM departments!

  • Wednesday August 27 @ 2:30pm in Gunness Student Center
  • Tuesday September 23 @ 2:30pm in ISB 145
  • Wednesday October 22 @ 2:30pm in Tobin (room TBA)
  • Thursday November 13 @ 2:30pm in Computer Science (room TBA)

We appreciate you!

Sponsored jointly by GWIS and the Graduate School.

Thanks for a lovely lunch, GWIS!

I had a great time attending the first summer graduate student/faculty luncheon along with about twenty graduate students and five faculty members.  The sandwiches and salads from Panera Bread were delicious, and the conversation at my table was really interesting.  We got to hear a little bit about how teenagers fight with their parents and how that affects their mental health as well as about our sleep cycles and Grateful Dead induced telepathy (no, I’m not kidding….there was a study done on this) from the ladies of the psych department.  It was a really cool way to meet with a more diverse group of faculty in a casual, informal sort of setting.  Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures from this particular luncheon (oops!) but stay tuned, because there will be a SECOND lunch on August 13th!  Hope to see you there!

GWIS’s Eureka! Summer Workshops were a success!

This July marks the second summer of the Eureka! program, which is a partnership between Girls, Inc. of Holyoke and UMass’s College of Natural Sciences (CNS). Approximately 50 rising 8th and 9th graders from the Holyoke area come to UMass all day, 4 days a week, for 4 weeks. They participate in STEM workshops created by UMass/5 College faculty and graduate students along with health and wellness education in the UMass dining halls and recreation center. Gov. Deval Patrick hung out with the girls on July 11th, so, this program is pretty cool.


Outreach Co-Chair, Arianne Bazilio, showing the girls what Natural Organic Matter looks like in our water.

GWIS created and participated in not one, but TWO workshops with the girls, because we love communicating our love of STEM and inspiring others! In our water quality workshop, “What’s In Your Water?” the girls put on their lab coats and were budding scientists with their meticulously labeled beakers and recorded data from a UV Spectrometer. They observed the calcification of leaf leachate (water with leaves left overnight to release natural organic matter (NOM), much like tea making). The girls also watched water being clarified before their eyes through alum coagulation and water NOT being clarified through a household water filter pitcher!


The girls at work!


After a while, the girls started to enjoy working with the pillbugs! Our GWIS volunteer, Aditi Naik, looks on.

After their wet-lab experience, the next day was learning about animal behavior observation methods that scientists can use in the lab or the field. In “Playing with Pillbugs: Experimental Design and Animal Behavior,” the girls learned about pillbug morphology, behavior, and natural habitat. With that knowledge, they created hypotheses about pillbug food and habitat preference, recorded observations, calculated averages, and the group graphed their results! Most of the girls were initially not excited to touch the pillbugs, but by the end of the workshop, they were letting the pillbugs crawl on their hands, or, less afraid, an improvement nonetheless!


GWIS Outreach Co-chair, Amy Ryan, talks with the girls about their pillbug experimental design!

Are you interested in creating a STEM workshop or participating in one? Keep an eye out on the blog for our next outreach efforts, or sign up for GWIS emails!

Graduate Student/Faculty Luncheons on July 23rd and August 13th

Please join GWIS, your fellow graduate students, and members of our faculty for an informal luncheon this summer!  Don’t miss this special opportunity for a small number of graduate students and faculty from across CNS and CoE to meet in a more relaxed setting to discuss a range of topics from research interests and career experiences to work/life balance.  A tasty lunch from Panera Bread will be provided.  Space is limited so please RSVP today!

What: Tasty lunch with graduate students and faculty

When: July 23rd and August 13th at noon

Where: Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall


Check out the Spring 2014 issue of GQM!

GQM_sping cover

Brought to you by the UMass Graduate Women in STEM!

Click the link below to see the spring edition of GQM:

GQM Spring 2014

Reader responses received by July 1st 2014 will may be published (with permission) in the summer issue, along with a response from the editor. T-shirt contest also ends July 1st 2014.


Did you know? We are looking for contributors of all commitment and experience levels!

If you’re interested in any aspect of publishing including (but not limited to!) research, journalism, interviews, editing, column writing, blogging, opinion writing, photography,  cartooning or graphic design, we would love to have you!


UMass graduate students in STEM fields develop networking skills

The Young Professionals networking event hosted by the UMass Graduate Women in STEM was a huge success!

Keynote speaker Dr. Judy Giordan discussed issues facing women navigating the landscape of STEM careers and attendees learned how their personalities influence their leadership styles and interactions.

The career panelists covered what today’s STEM industries are looking for in recent graduates, the importance of developing soft skills like communication, leadership and networking, and the benefits of becoming involved in professional societies in developing these skills and gaining new opportunities.

The catered reception was a huge hit – students made new contacts both with the visiting industry professionals and with other students from across a wide variety of departments – over thirty different fields were represented.

100 students and industry professionals attended the event.

Stay tuned for a link to slides and materials from the keynote speaker!


Introduction to Peer Mentoring Groups

What are GWIS peer mentoring groups?

They’re small groups of STEM graduate students ranging from 3-8 members. Group is typically a time used to talk to other STEM graduate peers about experiences, frustrations, accomplishments, and to get advice or words of encouragement. Groups decide their own meeting schedule and chose what they want to talk about. That means lots of flexibility to make it a useful support system and friend network for you!

Interested in joining a group?? Already in a group??

Please join us to kick off a new summer of peer mentoring! Current mentoring group members welcome!

The GWIS Mentoring Committee is hosting an introductory event to welcome new peer mentoring group members. Come learn about different mentoring styles and meet with current group members across STEM departments. If you’re unable to attend but still want to join a group, please fill out this quick survey.

Wednesday, May 28th

5-6 pm, Kellogg Room (Engineering Lab 2)

Snacks will be provided!

Outreach Workshop with Eureka! on Saturday May 17th at UMass

Volunteer for outreach with teenage girls from Girls Inc. of Holyoke!Tap-Water-

What’s In Your Water? We will be doing a water treatment workshop with the girls from last summer! This water quality workshop aims to demonstrate the need for the treatment of water to make it potable. We need volunteers to help work with the girls. Send an email to with Outreach in the subject line if you’re interested! The workshop will be here on Saturday May 17th from 10 am to 12 pm in ISB 355.