February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science

 The future of jobs for women presently looks bleak, as women are poorly represented in the sectors which are projected to have the highest growth: architecture, engineering, computer science and math. How will you celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science? Sign up for leadership roles in GWIS, for mentoring, or for volunteering for outreach with GWIS nationally or in your local community! Want to make a difference encouraging women in science internationally? Join and support our Iota Nu international chapter. For an extra $15, you can have dual membership in this chapter. Short on time? Donate to GWIS! Your donations help us fund our annual activities including operations, fellowships and outreach.

Nominations for National Leadership Extended

GWIS is growing, with membership surging up 45% from last year. Be a part of leading this dynamic organization! Nominations for national leadership have been extended to March 1. Open positions include Vice President, Treasurer, Corresponding and Recording Secretary, and Omega Chapter commiittee. Serving in GWIS national leadership is a great way to develop your leadership skills, extend your professional network and enhance your chapter's representation at the national level. Nominate a colleague or yourself!

Volunteers still needed for the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is coming up fast, April 15-17, 2016, and our booth is still understaffed. If you live in or near the Washington D.C. area, GWIS needs you! This festival is one of the largest and most exciting in the world! If you are interested in science outreach, this is a great opportunity to share science with a large audience while volunteering with your fellow GWIS members! At the GWIS exhibitor booth, we will be demonstrating how red cabbage extract can be used as a pH indicator. We also need donations towards supplies for this booth.  Click the button to sign up for a shift.

For questions or more information, please email Allison Didychuk at didychuk@wisc.edu.

2016 National Conference is June 23-25

Rho Tau is proud to host the 2016 GWIS National Conference on June 23-25, 2016. During the National meeting, scientists from all career stages will have the opportunity to network, share their science and gain first-hand science outreach experience at a local science museum. The key note speaker will be Dr. Holly Menninger, Director of Public Outreach for the College of Sciences at NC State University. Also featured will be panel discussions on science literacy and the role of STEM professionals in science outreach as well as poster presentations and talks from GWIS scientists.

Opportunities will be available for attendees to engage in science outreach at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Preregistered conference participants will be given the opportunity to either speak about their research to the public or attend tables with topic materials on hand. The day will end with a banquet, silent auction and a comedy set from "The Science Comedian", Brian Malow.

Look for registration links at gwis.org beginning March 1!

Be Counted as a Mentor!

Can you remember the important people in your life that have helped you forge your career path? Million Women Mentors is a collaboration of partners across the nation working to support the mission of engaging one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors to increase interest and engagement of girls and women in STEM programs and careers.

Mentors have the option of counting EXISTING mentorships established through their own contacts (e.g., research assistants, mentees through organizations such as GWIS, student mentees). Meaning, if you currently are mentoring a girl or woman in science, you can count that as your Million Women Mentors pledge. All you need to do is sign up on the Million Women Mentors portal and track the pledge! Alternatively, mentors have the option of CONNECTING with mentees through the Million Women Mentors web portal with one of 58 partners representing over 30 million girls and women across the nation. This portal is ideal for chapters looking to broaden their outreach and engagement with their local community.

By making the pledge to join Million Women Mentors, each mentor commits to spending at minimum 20 hours working with a mentee. This can include a combination of face-to-face, online, telephone, or other types of interactions.

To sign up as a mentor with Million Women Mentors as an affiliate of GWIS, please click on the button below. You simply need to create a MWM profile and make your pledge. Alternatively, if you already have a MWM profile, please consider becoming an affiliate of GWIS by entering the following PIN in your Million Women Mentors profile: 684894302-3276. For more information please visit www.millionwomenmentors.org or feel free to email Gina Moreno at moreno@gwis.org.

At the annual 2016 GWIS National Conference (June 23-25) we will be presenting a Chapter Mentoring Leadership Award to the chapter with the highest percentage of members who have made pledges to the Million Women Mentors Movement! This award is in recognition of chapters working together with GWIS to increase our dedication to promoting women in science and also to strengthen our relationship with other organizations with similar missions as GWIS. If you would like for your chapter to be considered for this award please make your pledges before June 15, 2016.

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Omicron: This Established Chapter Spans Generations
Contributed by Robin Woo, Omicron Chapter Liaison

Since Omicron was chartered in 1948, in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area, the chapter has served women in science who mainly work for the US government agencies (such as USDA, NIH, FDA, NIST, EPA) and live spread out in the region in Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia. While Omicron is not affiliated with any one university, we have had student members and meetings at George Washington U, Georgetown U, Howard U, American U, Catholic U, Mary Washington U, Johns Hopkins U, and the campuses of the University of Maryland. Some of our members work as professionals in science-related industry, academia and non-profit organizations. The US capitol region attracts international scientists, as well. As a result, our members are diverse in age, station, and experience. We enjoy capitalizing upon that diversity to enrich our friendships built through our common love of science.

Our numerous National Honorary Members (Helen Dyer, Bernice Eddy, Flemmie Kitrell, Mary Maver, Mary Elizabeth Reid, Mary Louise Robbins, Marion Webster, Frances Kelsey, Alice Evans and Margaret Pittman, Ariel Hollinshead, Elizabeth Weisburger, and Rita Colwell) have set shining paths for our young scientists to follow. They and our older members have enjoyed mentoring and sharing their experiences with our younger members who in turn are inspired and facilitated as they pursue their careers. We have even aided the development of the Bishop Ireton High School club for young Women in Science (BIWIS). Omicron founded a semi-annual Young Investigators Symposium providing a platform and mechanism to practice their oral presentations in a supportive and enriched environment. Several of our generous senior members have created National Fellowships (Monique Braude and Elizabeth Weisburger) and special funds (Sue Feinman’s science writing fund, Ariel Hollinshead’s continuing support of the Fellowships review team) to support developing science.

We have regular events, in addition to monthly scientific meetings and field trips. We help transport our older members to the various activities. Omicron members serve as science fair judges in March, as fellowship proposal reviewers based on the NIH review committee process in the spring, and every other year as presenters at the GWIS booth at the US Science and Engineering Festival in April. Annually in December, we invite both old and young members to Liz Von Kaenel’s home to celebrate the holiday season with an enormous, opulent Christmas tree, sumptuous potluck feast, and a silent auction to support the chapter activities. Recently we celebrated the establishment of Elizabeth Weisburger’s new GWIS Fellowship, and created the Elizabeth Weisburger Excellence Award for her and for future Omicron awardees who follow her fine example in science, service and philanthropy.

We have taken GWIS National duties seriously with our senior members serving as GWIS leaders (Eltora Schroeder, Mary Louise Robbins, Marjorie Knowlton, Hope Hopps, Marion Webster, Beverly Backus, Katherine Cook Jaouni, Catherine Quigley, Ariel Hollinshead, Monique Braude, Elizabeth Weisburger, Ann Brown, Sue Feinman, Mary Anderson Galloway, Gloria Gridley, Robin Woo, Paddy Weisenfeld, and JoAnn Schrass) and active committee members. We have regularly hosted the GWIS annual meeting that always brings together good old friends throughout the organization.

Omicron’s success stems from the magical melting pot within the beltway and through communicating opportunities and activities regularly through our newsletters. Our national service enriches the chapter and connects us closely to the whole GWIS organization. Our stumbling blocks are the distances we have to travel to see one another, the paucity of locally supportive industries, and difficulties of finding accessible meeting places. But Omicronians still manage to toast one another’s success with a great glass of hard cider, local wine, freshly brewed beer, or something healthier on our field trips. Whenever you find yourself scheduled to come to DC, just let us know. Omicron is ready to give you transportation, shelter, good company and fine food. United in friendship through science!

Start a new chapter near you!

Starting a chapter is easy and only requires seven founding members. Find out how on our website.

On-Line Book Club Begins February 28th

It's not too late to join the GWIS on-line book club for its first session. The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club by Eileen Pollack is a "bracingly honest, no-holds-barred examination of the social, interpersonal, and institutional barriers confronting women—and minorities—in the STEM fields."  We will be using an online forum and conference calls to hold our discussions. Our first book club meeting will be Sunday, February 28 at 5pm. Until then, please feel free to post discussion items or thoughts in our online discussion forum on the GWIS website. Email Gina Moreno if you would like to be added to the club email list.

Xi Chapter gathers

in January, Xi Chapter met at Urban Growler -- the first woman-owned and brewed microbrewery in Minnesota -- and heard from Rebecca Seidel, General Manager of the Infection Control Business at Medtronic, Inc. Rebecca discussed her own career path and outlined different jobs for scientists in industry by using her business unit at Medtronic as an example.

Rebecca also offered advice for women that are hoping to succeed in an industry setting including: find a mentor that is candid and honest; be open-minded to all positions; do your job better than people expect you to; have a plan and know what your next step is; and help others. For women hoping to get their first job outside academia, Rebecca emphasized the importance of being able to clearly identify and articulate your individual contributions to a team project and being open to others' questions and ways of thinking.

Rebecca Seidel

Xi Chapter members enjoy microbrews and a good presentation

Personal celebrations in South Dakota

GWIS Bulletin Editor and Sigma Delta member, Rozzy Finn, welcomed a healthy baby boy, Lee Robert, on January 8; 9 pounds 8 ounces, 20.5 in long. We wish mother and son a restful time together! The next Bulletin will be issued, um...soon!

Crowdfunding Funds Small Grants, Invites Public In

Sites such as Experiment.com are raising funds for small research grants directly from the public; $5 million for nearly 400 projects since 2012. In addition to gaining funding, scientists have a new way to engage the public and get them excited about their research. Investigators are mainly, but not exclusively, academics, most frequently in the early stages of their careers. Their projects are reviewed and approved by the site managers prior to posting. Researchers share their results with the public as the project progresses.

GWIS member and former Mu Sigma president, Julie Fleischman is currently using the crowdfunding site Instrumentl.com to raise supplemental funds for her grant to assess the traumatic injuries on the human skeletal remains from the Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 1970s in Cambodia. The site takes donations ranging from $10-$100.
Preserving Evidence of the Khmer Rouge Genocide

Dish the Scoop

Whether demonstrating the relevance of one's work to a trending news story or alerting the media to an upcoming publication, some scientists are bypassing their institution's media relations office and contacting the press directly. To do so takes some savvy on who to call and how to pitch it.

"Knowing what makes a good read can be difficult for a researcher who has been immersed in a field of study for years, but the difference can become clear as you try to describe your research to a nonscientist." News articles must be brief and clearly written for the nonscientist, researchers should have journals or journalists in mind for their stories, and timing is key.
The Scientist


Persian Proclivity

How would you like to live in a country where 70% of science and engineering students are women? Does such a place exist? It does, and you might be able to at least visit there soon as sanctions in Iran were lifted just last month. Educational opportunities to women that were put in place following economic turmoil several decades ago have delivered an abundance of women skilled in science and technology, poised to make an impact for their country's economy as markets open up.

Lady Science: Perspectives on Women in Science

Lady Science is a collaborative writing project focused on women in science, technology, and medicine. This month, Leila A. McNeill celebrates the new television series,  Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, featuring a female detective lead and stories told through a feminist perspective, and Anna Reser examines women's roles and the treatment of science in the long-running CSI series on CBS. Writers are invited to contribute their own stories for publication on the website. The site includes recommendations for quality works in television, film, and fiction.
Lady Science

"If you don't aim high, you won't go far. In the end, never let others define what your life can be."

- Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Get Involved with SDE-GWIS!

Support and be part of a growing network of women scientists.


Founded in 1921, Sigma Delta Epsilon-Graduate Women in Science is an inter-disciplinary society of scientists who collectively seek to advance the participation and recognition of women in science and to foster research through grants, awards and fellowships. We comprise 20 active chapters of over 800 women who are "United in Friendship through Science" to support and inspire member professional goals and mutual appreciation of science. Learn more at www.gwis.org.

Contact SDE-GWIS

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Minneapolis, MN 55458

President: Laura Havens
SDE Broadcaster Editor: Jane Sharer Maier Membership Secretary: Laura Arneson

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