Directors’ Blog

Here you will find updates from our board of directors as they make important decisions about our organization.  Feel free to leave comments or to contact us with questions regarding this content.

Update 16 Dec 2012: Minutes from Board of Directors Meeting. Please feel free to comment or email with any suggestions for the vision plan or potential programs. We look forward to hearing from you!

A. Division of jobs within the executive board

Tien – send out weekly email, run the monthly meeting (welcome, thanks, introductions,   timing)

Jazz – coordinate with UNC, with UNC WISE chairpersons, point of contact to outside groups, keep track of similar groups in the areas for potential collaboration/events

Courtney – schedule monthly meeting room, takes minutes at meetings and attendance, keep track of discussion schedule

– Agreed to re-assess jobs in 4 months, can switch or add jobs at that time

B. Proposed programs for the year:

Will ask for volunteers to chair each project, if none, the board will handle it –

  • Mentoring program between older and younger graduate students (format and participants TBD)
  1. Undergraduate level mentoring
  2. Grade school level mentoring
  • Organize a social event with other similar groups
  1. Women in Bio, AWIS, Sigma Iota Pi
  2. Organize a movie outing that promotes women in science issues (e.g., Missrepresentation)
  • Organize a booth at the Science Expo in the spring
  1. Contact D. Nicewicz for advisement
  • Bring in outside speakers
  1. Scientist in industry
  2. Academic panel – potentially made up of scientists at all varying points of their career

C. To be done at the January 7th, 2013 meeting:

1.  Have a discussion/vote on inviting men

2.  Mary leading discussion, Val presenting the IWP – will send them a reminder email

3.  Vision plan will be sent to members 1 week before meeting and posted on website – compiled by Jazz

D. To be done in the future:

1.  Create a doodle poll about meeting times again to re-assess all new members availability

2.  Make a list of possible outside speakers, vote as a group and find a volunteer to write a grant to WISELI for funds    to bring in said speaker. Need to find out more about deadline/details.

3.  Go through resources on UNC WISE website and get rid of less useful resources.

4.  Update who we are page on website – add Courtney’s profile


Update 9 Dec 2012: Thanks to our new Board of Directors for their leadership!  Please see their Vision Plans for 2013 below, and please leave any comments you might have in the comment box.  We love to hear from you!

Jazz Dickinson

I want thank everyone who has been a part of our group, and especially those of you who have worked so hard to transform this organization from an idea to a reality.  It’s been really wonderful to discuss science and gender with a group of intelligent, committed, and compassionate women, and I am really excited about the future of our organization.

I think that UNC WISE has done a great job promoting in-depth, analytical discussions of gender issues in science, and I am confident that we will continue these important discussions with the same intellectual rigor that we have demonstrated thus far.  I am also excited to continue to expand upon our website, increase outreach opportunities, and complete the process for receiving official university recognition.  In the next year, I hope to additionally accomplish two main goals: 1) Increase the number of group members and recruit members from physics, engineering, math, and biology, and 2) Increase the leadership opportunities for UNC WISE members.

I think that it will be vital to slowly expand our group to make it as inclusive and diverse as possible.  I think we can accomplish this by expanding our invitation list and by inviting professors from different divisions to speak at our meetings.

Leadership experience is important because it prepares us to be active members of the scientific community, gives us practice for our future careers, and makes us more competitive job candidates.  Ideally, I think that every member of UNC WISE who is interested should get an opportunity to lead.  I will try to increase these opportunities by finding projects for members to become involved in, encouraging members to start their own projects and lead discussions, and figuring out ways to minimize the workload for projects so that members have time to be a part of committees they are interested in joining.  Some of the initiatives I am interested in starting this year include:

  1. A mentoring program for graduate students.
  2. A mentoring program for elementary school children (this may involve piggy backing on programs that already exist – EYH, NC Science Day, FEMMES – or starting something new).
  3. A long-term research project: as we talk about these issues that face women and men in science, we’ve already come up with a some really interesting questions that no one has tried to answer.  I think would be really cool to do some research on one of these questions, potentially with the help of a sociology professor, and publish our results.
  4. Bring in an outside speaker.  Now that UNC WISE is on its way to becoming an official UNC organization, we can apply to UNC for funding, which will provide us with a number of exciting opportunities, including bringing in an outside speaker.  Another way we could raise money is to sell t-shirts (especially once we have a logo!) or advertisements for our events.

I’m eager to hear about other ideas, and I look forward to being a part of UNC WISE’s future discussions and projects!

Tien Nguyen

As a board of director candidate for UNC WISE, I am committed to maintaining the goals of the group and representing the interests of our members. In addition to continuing monthly discussions and inspirational woman profiles I propose the following goals for the next year:


  1. Recruitment of members from other departments.  We can begin with word of mouth to friends and colleagues in other departments and also make flyers to be posted in other buildings.  We could also send an invitation/information about the group to the graduate student population through the GPSF.
  2. Reach out to undergraduates.  Develop a short presentation that could be given at the beginning of a scientific course that gives a balances overview of the women in science issue and our group and our goals.  We can begin with upper level chemistry courses taught by the advisors of members of the group.
  3. 3.     After voting for group consensus, extend membership to men.  We can plan our first co-ed discussion, possibly around topics such as family, gender roles, or stereotype threat. We can also vote on said topic to ensure the comfort level of existing members.


  1. Start a mentorship program.  Set up a network within the chemistry department that can connect younger members with older members in a relaxed mentorship relationship.  The suggested meeting would be about once a month over a casual lunch, but mentors and mentees are encouraged to schedule meetings as they please.
  2. Participate in a UNC sponsored career fair for younger children.  Set up a booth with a chemistry themed experiment and ask members of UNC WISE to volunteer.  Provide pamphlets about UNC WISE at the booth for any interested members of the public to learn more about the group.
  3. Organize a networking event with other women in science groups in the area such as RTP AWIS, Iota Sigma Pi, and Women in Bio.  The event could take place in a bar or restaurant and we could request drinks specials.


  1. Apply for a grant from WISELI.  Task for the board of directors to construct a cohesive and well-thought out request for funding.  Would need to have a specific speaker in mind to invite and use said funding on.
  2. Fundraise by selling t-shirts with a UNC WISE logo.  Have a logo design contest within the group. T-shirts would not only raise money but raise our visibility and confidence.


  1. 1.     Host a screening of Missrepresentation.  This documentary would be educational for member and non-members and may spark more public discussion about women’s issues.
  2. Celebrate the group’s accomplishments with an end of the year holiday party.  This will provide a relaxed atmosphere for members to get to know one another and foster good will.

Courtney Roberts

First, I want to commend the founders of UNC WISE for their willingness and dedication to the cause of promoting awareness about difficulties faced by women in the sciences. Pay inequality, implicit bias, microaggression, and lack of mentorship are all issues that each of us have witnessed through experiences of our friends, mothers, coworkers, and maybe ourselves  By stepping forward and taking the initiative to bring these issues to light and open a forum for discussion, our founders have taken the first step to correcting the problem. I want to take the second step. My individual vision plan for UNC WISE for the coming year will focus on two areas: outreach to a variety of different groups and expansion of the monthly discussions.

Vision for Outreach: First, when appropriate, I want to include both women and men in our discussions. Although this might place some out of their comfort zone, I feel very strongly that everyone must be included in the discussion if real change is going to be implemented. I have been approached by several men who are either interested in or supportive of our cause. Since some may be uncomfortable with open discussion about women’s issues with men present, opening up every monthly meeting may not be the right option; therefore I am advocating hosting three meetings per year, one each semester and one during the summer, which will include topics of interested to both genders.

The second group which I want to focus our outreach efforts on are incoming students. For WISE to grow, we need to attract new members so that we can support them as they begin their graduate careers. Why can’t WISE be the reason that the top graduates students from across the country come to UNC? This outreach effort will include petitioning faculty members to allow us to speak to prospective students during visitations as well as incoming students during orientation. This could open up opportunities to begin a mentorship program to new students.

Vision for Weekly Meetings: I think that WISE meetings on Tuesday have been very successful and educational for all involved. Continuing these meetings and providing relative topics would be a priority of mine. I would also like to incorporate more outside speakers, both from academia and industry, since I think our meeting with Dr. Marcey Waters was such a success. Also my vision is that our meetings would be able to grow and reach more UNC women scientists through grassroots advertising methods.

Next year I would love to see WISE grow both in number and impact.  I think we can accomplish this through new recruiting efforts and by continuing our monthly meetings. I am excited to see what we can achieve next year!

UNC WISE is in the process of becoming an official UNC organization!  View the UNC WISE Vision and Growth Stragety here!

UNC WISE Vision and Growth Strategy


One thought on “Directors’ Blog

  1. Pingback: UNC WISE | Calling for Nominations for the WISE Executive Director Board!

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