First Informal Mentoring Dinner was a Wild Success!

Last week, UMass Amherst undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences and College of Engineering were able to attend an informal mentoring session with some of the school’s graduate students in STEM fields.  A pizza dinner was served, and undergraduates had a unique opportunity to chat with their graduate student counterparts.  Around thirty undergraduate mentees and graduate mentors attended the dinner, which included a short presentation on applying to graduate school with special tips like how to receive free applications and free campus visits.  With application season right around the corner, many of the junior and senior students benefited from the presentation, and the ability to discuss such issues with graduate students who are already well-experienced with applying to a graduate program at one of the nation’s top research institutions.

image (4)

Conversations at the dinner tables included such important topics as applying to grad school (of course), finding the best programs for a given field, life as a grad student, and obtaining different funding sources. Copies of the presentation were emailed to the undergraduates who attended.  Emails were also exchanged between mentors and mentees during many of the discussions so that the conversation could continue after dinner. The next dinners will be on Oct 14th and Nov 13th, so stay tuned for registration details if you would like to attend!


September STEM grad student appreciation coffee hour

STEM graduate students reported feeling appreciated at the second monthly STEM graduate student appreciation day coffee hour events on Tuesday.

Sept coffee hour

Attendance has been great at these events, with over 60 people from many different departments across CNS and CoE.

GWIS hopes events like these foster connections across STEM fields and promotes community amongst UMass graduate students.

Couldn’t make it to the September coffee hour? Check out the schedule of traveling monthly coffee hours for the rest of the semester.

September’s free coffee, apple cider, and Atkins cider donuts were brought to you by the Graduate Women in STEM and the Graduate School’s Office of Student Life.


Introduction to Peer Mentoring Groups


Are you interested in making friends outside your department? Want to chat about your graduate experience with other women in STEM? Already in a peer mentoring group?

Please join us on September 30th at 5 pm in Marston Hall Room 234 to kick off a new year of peer mentoring!

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 your group members. Snacks will be provided! If you’re interested in joining a group, please fill out this survey – regardless of whether you can attend the introductory event!

Hope to see everyone there!

Python programming – an interactive workshop series

Programming is a valuable and marketable skill for STEM fields! But it is not formally taught in many graduate programs.

Join GWIS for an interactive workshop series on the very versatile and popular python programming language.

The first workshop will be focused on installation and first steps:

  • Monday, Sept 29th 3:00-4:30pm in ISB 145 
  • Led by computer science PhD student Kyle Wray, teaching award winner, and other experts

Update: this workshop filled up VERY quickly! We will plan to organize another introduction to python event in the near future as part of a series of python workshop. Join GWIS to hear about the dates first!


Fall 2014 calendar of Office of Professional Development Events

The Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development (OPD) is offering a wide range of events this fall, many geared toward powering the funding of women graduate students in STEM!



Of particular interest:

Pizza & Proposals

  • September 19, 5:00-7:00pm
  • Goessmann 153
  • We provide the pizza, you provide the proposal! Pre-registration is requested.

Pizza & Proposals: NSF GRFP

  • September 29, 5:00-7:00pm
  • Campus Center 162-75
  •  Limited to students preparing a proposal for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. We provide the pizza, you provide the proposal! Registration details coming soon.

Info Session: American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowships

  • September 22, 4:00-5:00pm
  • Goodell 538
  • Panel will provide information about and application strategies for the American Association of University Women’s Graduate Fellowship. Pre-registration is requested.

Check out OPD’s website for more details and many more events


Undergraduate/Graduate Mentoring Dinner

Corrected - Undergrad.Grad Dinner

What: Dinner for undergraduates interested in graduate school

When: September 23rd, 5:30 pm

Where: Gunness Student Center in Marcus Hall

Why: Graduate students who are excited to share their experiences can get together for a delicious and informal dinner with undergraduates who are thinking about graduate school!  Fun for the whole lab family!

Please feel free to register, whether you are an undergraduate looking to hear about the grad school application process (even if you aren’t fully committed to applying – we can help give you an idea on whether grad school is right for you!) or a graduate student who wants to share their experiences and help mentor undergrads.


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 521B
  • 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!