Girls, Inc. Outreach Event a success!

The Spring semester has started for GWIS! On the 17th, 25 8th-9th graders who are a part of Girls, Inc. of Holyoke’s Eureka! program braved the cold on a Saturday morning to have some science fun at UMass. Our GWIS member (and Co-chair of Mentoring Committee in-training) Laura Parker designed a workshop called “Playing with Polymers” that involved creating Gloop and Oobleck through the process of polymerization using surprisingly easy materials found at the grocery store!

Thank you for our GWIS volunteers who joined us! These outreach workshops cannot be done without the enthusiasm and help of our volunteers. Everyone came out to UMass on a Saturday morning when it was literally 3 degrees outside! AMAZING!

Creating oobleck as GWIS volunteers Zana and Alyssa look on.

Creating oobleck as GWIS volunteers Zana and Alyssa look on.

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Laura, center, talks the girls through the creation of gloop!

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One of our girls displaying EXCELLENT measuring skills!


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!


Election results for 2015-2016 GWIS executive board

Thanks to all GWIS members who voted, and special appreciation to all the candidates who ran.

The results are:

Executive co-chair: Organization administrator – Lilian Jeznach
Executive co-chair: University liaison – Rachel Koh
Communications committee chair – Dina Navon
Finance committee co-chairs – Amy Strauss and Katie Booras
Mentoring committee co-chairs – Laura Parker and Aditi Naik
Outreach committee co-chairs – Amy Ryan and Arianne Bazilio
Professional development co-chairs – Kerianne Dobosz and Kathryn Vescio
The board-elect will shadow the current executive board for the spring semester, and serve in their elected roles from June 1 2015 – June 1 2016.

Python-Advanced Topics

Interested in learning more about programming in python?

GWIS is holding a series of interactive workshops to show the ropes of this versatile programming language popular with scientists and engineers. 

What: Interactive python programming workshop – Session 3
When: Tuesday, December 2nd. 3:00-4:30pm
Where: Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) 221

Session 3 – We will cover “suggested topics from previous workshop feedback forms,” “other advanced topics,” and will *try* allowing participants to bring in their own datasets to get a jump start using python for their own research.
(i.e – Markov chains (machine learning) stat tests, model estimations, how to plot gene expression data, how to import topography data and plot it, run hydroloogy simluations, applications of python in other programs like arGIS, concentrating arrays on matrices, ANOVA on large datasets)

In Session 0 – we installed python and covered programming basics.
In Session 1 – we covered python basics: numpy, scipy, plotting, making a matrix, basic matrix math
In session 2 – we covered data manipulation, library sci kit learn- mathematical learning

You bring your laptop. We’ll bring the python experts (and coffee and donuts).

Python workshop – Session 3 for UMass graduate students sponsored by the Graduate Women in STEM.

You are welcome to come even if you didn’t attend the previous sessions but please be aware that this builds upon the content covered in previous workshops

Register here!


Upcoming events brought to you by OPD



Four great upcoming events of interest to graduate women in STEM, sponsored by the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development.



Introduction to the Teaching Portfolio & Preparing  A Teaching Statement 
WHEN: Friday, November 21st – 9:30am-12:30pm
WHERE: 917 Campus Center
DETAILS: Intended to help students prepare for the academic job search, this interactive three-hour workshop will introduce participants to the most important elements of the teaching portfolio.  In addition to discussing the purpose, content and format of the portfolio, participants will have the opportunity to begin developing a teaching statement. Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development. Pre-registration is required.

Motherhood in Graduate School and Beyond
WHEN: Friday, November 21st – 12:00 -1:00pm
WHERE: 804-08 Campus Center
DETAILS: In this brown bag lunch workshop and discussion, Professor Mari Castañeda will share testimonies by women who are or have been mothers as undergraduates, graduate students, academic staff, administrators, and professors from her co-edited book, Mothers in Academia. She will review some of the central issues affecting academic motherhood and lead a discussion with graduate students about some of the institutional policies and practices that can foster a culture of care and community on campuses. Graduate student mothers, fathers, parents, and supportive colleagues are encouraged to attend. Bring your lunch – coffee and cookies will be provided. Pre-registration is requested.

A Career in Scientific Outreach
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3rd – 12:00 -1:30pm
WHERE: 1634 Lederle Graduate Research Tower
DETAILS: UMass alumna, Dr. Katie Maher, is an Outreach, Education and Events Coordinator for RA Capital Management, a hedge fund that invests in the healthcare and life sciences markets.  In this role, she connects her firm to the scientific community to increase company visibility, recruit research team members, and sponsor community events and activities. She primarily engages with graduate students, biomedical faculty and physician groups to organize talks, seminars, round tables, career panels, discussion panels, and event sponsorships.  Dr. Maher’s firm is largely comprised of PhD scientists – come and learn more about the important role these professionals play at RA Capital Management. A pizza lunch will be served.

IOP Publishing: Maximizing the impact of your work
WHEN: Thursday, December 4th – 1:00 -2:00pm
WHERE: 1634 Lederle Graduate Research Tower
DETAILS: The world of scientific publishing is becoming more and more densely populated, with the number of publications increasing daily and many academics under constant pressure to publish or perish. So what can you do to ensure your research stands out?  What are publishers doing to present your research at its best to as great an audience as possible?  Dr. Anna Demming, online editor of and publishing editor for the sister journal Nanotechnology, will discuss current challenges in scientific publishing, how IOP Publishing is working to address them, and how emerging trends are impacting the publishing landscape.  She will close with an interactive discussion about careers in publishing. Pre-registration is requested.

Python-Data manipulation, library sci kit learn- mathematical learning

Ever think about learning more about programming but didn’t know where to look?
GWIS is holding a series of interactive workshops to show the ropes of the versatile programming language popular with scientists and engineers: python!
What: Interactive python programming workshop – Session 2
When: Tuesday, November 18th. 3:00-4:30pm 
Where: Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) 145

Participants will interact with experts learn the including:
Data manipulation, library sci kit learn- mathematical learning

In Session 0, we installed python and covered programming basics.

In Session 1, we learned the basics includeing: numpy (integrate python into a variety of databases), scipy, plotting, making a matrix, basic matrix matrix

Feel free to join us if you did not attend the previous session but please be aware that this builds upon the content covered in previous workshops.  We will be holding the entire series again next semester.
Free coffee and Atkins cider donuts!
Don’t forget to BRING YOUR LAPTOP!
This is Session 2 in the Python Workshop Series sponsored by the Graduate Women in STEM:
Register here!
This will be followed up with:
Session 3 – December 4th
Model your own data

November STEM graduate student appreciation day

Come network with graduate students from other STEM fields!

WHEN: Thursday, November 13Coffee-Hour-iconth 4:00pm – 5:30pm
WHERE: Computer Science building common room (or atrium)

Enjoy free coffee, Atkins cider donuts, and fall themed snacks! 

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

We appreciate you!


GQM Spring 2015 – Special Edition, Call for Abstracts (or Stories)

I’m excited to announce a very special issue of the GWIS Quarterly Magazine, to be published in Spring 2015. We want to highlight YOUR stories! We’ve provided you with several prompts to help get the creative forces flowing, and we’re inviting you to *anonymously* share your experiences in the field, in the workplace, or in academia. Brave folks who share two or more stories will be automatically entered to win one of five prizes. Please, we can’t do this without you!

Clicky clicky for the chance to share your story!

Nominations for 2015-2016 executive board now open!

Nominations for the 2015-2016 term are now open until November 40th.

Nominate yourself or another UMass graduate student enthusiastic about advancing women in STEM and leading a great organization HERE.

2015-2016 GWIS executive board election timeline:

  • Nominations: November 10th-30th
  • Elections: December 1-5
  • Shadow period for elected leaders to shadow current leaders: Jan – April
  • Term for elected leaders: May 1 2015 – May 1 2016

Elected executive board positions:

Two executive co-chairs:

  • Administrative executive co-chair
  • Liaison executive co-chair

Five committee chairs:

  • Communications committee chair
  • Finance committee chair
  • Mentoring committee chair
  • Outreach committee chair
  • Professional development committee chair

Check out our leadership page on the GWIS blog for more details on duties and expected time commitment!

If nominated, you will be notified by email and asked to accept by submitting a short platform for members to reference when voting.

All nominees are invited to observe the next GWIS executive board meeting, Tuesday November 18th at 4pm (location TBA).

Who is eligible to run? Any current UMass graduate student that is a member of GWIS and in good academic standing. GWIS membership is defined by those who have joined our listserv via this page.

Committee chair positions may be nominated and run as a team of two people.

Would you like to get involved in organizing events as a committee member? Your help would be very welcome! Anyone can get involved anytime!

Questions? Email us at