GWIS Networking Night

Join us on Thursday, August 27th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at ABC for a night filled with fun, food, and networking! Come meet graduate students, academics, and young professionals from the Amherst area. Practice your networking skills in a low-pressure environment. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to attend (programming will be geared to women, but all are welcome). Appetizers and light refreshments will be served, cash bar.

RSVP here:

GWIS Networking Night

Last Week’s Summer Graduate Student/Faculty Luncheon

The GWIS Faculty Luncheon was a phenomenal success! We had an enormous quantity of sandwiches, salads, and cookies from Black Sheep and Panera. For the event, we had almost 45 graduate students and 8 faculty attend. Everyone enjoyed the conversations and learned a lot from talking with faculty and other graduate students.
We were so excited to open this luncheon up to more students and faculty than ever – although it was due to an unfortunate catering mistake from last month’s luncheon, we were really glad to have such a great turnout and finish out the summer strong!  We hope you were able to attend and talk to one of our faculty members :)

Eureka! Summer Workshops highlights!

July was a big month for outreach! This was the 3rd summer of the Eureka! programEureka is a collaboration between Girls, Inc. of Holyoke and UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences. Middle school and high school aged girls from Holyoke and neighboring communities come to UMass all day through the month of July to participate in STEM workshops and get a taste of the college life at the dining halls and gym.

GWIS held 3 workshops with the Eureka girls, all created by GWIS members.

Our first workshop was the return of last year’s pillbug workshop, by request from Girls, Inc.! In “Playing with Pillbugs2015-07-21 10.49.43: Experimental Design and Animal Behavior,” the girls learned about pillbug morphology, behavior, and natural habitat. With that knowledge, they created hypotheses about pillbug habitat preference, recorded observations, calculated averages, and the group graphed their results! This workshop was created by Outreach Co-Chair, Amy Ryan.

Our second workshop was created by Moijue Kaikai and GWIS member Zana Cranmer. In the workshop “The Power of Wind 2015-07-22 10.59.32Energy,” girls created their own wind turbines using household materials! The girls then used the wind turbine to pull a weight up to determine how much wind energy they turned into mechanical energy.



Lastly, our third workshop was called “The Air Pollution Doctor” and was created by GWIS member Dr. Palla2015-07-22 10.56.38vi Pant. Girls learned about all the ways that our air can be polluted, from smog via auto emissions to indoor pollution from candles and air fresheners! GWIS volunteers helped the girls build their own sensors to measure particles in the air and compared sensor readings before and during lighting matches, incense and going outside.


The Eureka! program has been running for 3 years and every year, more girls want to participate and more STEM professionals want to work with the Eureka! girls! In addition to participating in STEM workshops held by UMass faculty and graduate students, the girls this year participated in programs held by The US Fish and Wildlife Service and toured Google offices in Cambridge!

GWIS is proud to participate in Eureka! programming and hopes Eureka! continues to run for many summers to come.

Are you interested in being on the Outreach committee and/or participating in GWIS Outreach workshops? Keep an eye out for emails about the fall programming!


Help Wanted!


GWIS just keeps growing as new members of the existing UMass community and incoming graduate students learn about us from their more senior colleagues or from our orientation recruitment push.

Sadly, GWIS also keeps shrinking as our members graduate and move on to the next stage in their careers, wherever that may take them.  And while we are excited and happy that they are going off into the great wide world, we will also miss their passion, dedication, and commitment to our cause.

Our committees, which plan, advertise, fund, and attend all of our events, always are looking for new volunteers who are willing to offer some of their time, passion, and creativity to augment our efforts.

We need your help!  Please click here if you are interested in learning more.

Post doc opportunities: Policy Fellowships, come learn more!


Interested in a unique alternative to the traditional post-doc? Curious about how your knowledge could be used to shape policies and legislation? If so, you will likely want to apply for the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship!

On August 20th at 1:45pm GWIS is hosting a webinar watch about this fellowship opportunity in N610 LSL. The questions will be general so please feel free to attend or watch the webinar even if the topic does not exactly match your field. The discussion may still be relevant for you!

GWIS will supply the coffee and donuts! Please register here!

What: Postdoc opportunity: S&T Policy Fellowship Webinar                    

When: August 20th from 1:45-3

Where: Life Science Labs N610

Who: Graduate students and Post-Docs

Hope to see you there!

This is the final webinar viewing before the large panel event on September 25th where we will have 4 S&T Policy Fellowship recipients who had their careers transformed by this award!

Mastering the Poster Session – Another Awesome Situation Room

We are very proud of last week’s Situation Room, which focused on the ever-present Poster Session.  We know – they can be the bane of every graduate student’s conference, difficult to prepare for, full of anxiety.  We had 4 volunteers present their posters to a panel consisting of a post-doc, faculty, and graduate student who has won several poster presentation awards and to ~30 people in the audience under situations that were specially tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. The review survey from the event shows that participants left feeling that they were better prepared for their next poster presentation after learning some general tips from the panelists and the in-depth discussion of the volunteers posters.

Thanks to all who came, and especially to our poster presenters!  We hope it was useful to you.

August Ice Breakers and Ice Cream Social

We had a great turnout at the GWIS HQ for our summer ice cream social last week!  Everyone had a chance to play the “Who Am I?” icebreaker game – everyone received an index card with the name of a character or an object, and had to guess who they were by asking their friends and colleagues yes-or-no questions (I was Charlie Brown, and it took me way too long to figure it out!)


Thanks to everyone who came out – we hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Shooting Pool with GWIS at Michael’s Billiards


Our first-ever pool tournament was hosted last week at Michael’s Billiards.  We had a great turnout – about twenty five of you came and enjoyed pizza, pool, and good people.  GWIS executive chair Rachel Koh and teammate Liz Isenstein (pictured below) took home the championship title – congrats!

August Networking Ice Breakers and Ice Cream Social

Join us on Thursday, August 6 at 3 pm in Goessman Hall 252 (GWIS HQ) for coffee, ice cream, and the good company of fellow STEM graduate students! Meet new folks over ice breakers and ice cream sundaes (non-dairy options will be provided). Coffee will be provided for those who thrive on a constant influx of caffeine (and those who would like to drink a cup of coffee).

All are welcome – no registration required.

Ice cream

Summer Social for Students of STEM

Join GWIS, the Materials Research Society, and Graduate Students for Diversity in Science and Engineering at Stacker’s pub for the STEM summer social event that should not be missed!  Celebrate the summer before the return of the undergraduates; enjoy a casual night out with your fellow STEM students while learning more about these three organizations and their members.  Appetizers and food will be provided!  Vegetarian options will be available!

Meet at Stacker’s Pub (57 N Pleasant St. Amherst, MA) at 6:30pm on Wed, Aug 5th!

Pre-registration is required, please click here to register!

Hope to see you there :)