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July Scientist of the Month

By: Shreyoshi Chakraborti

Wanda M. Austin

Born in the Bronx, New York City in 1954, Wanda M Austin served as a former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation and a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. She was both the first woman and the first African American to hold this position. She retired from the position on October 1, 2016. Today she serves as a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors of the company. Austin also served as an interim president for the University of Southern California. She continues to serve as the board of directors of the Space Foundation and Chevron Corporation and a member of the board of trustees for the University of Southern California and the National Geographic Society.

Austin graduated from Bronx High School, following her B.S in mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College. She obtained her Master’s in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. After completing her degree, she worked at Rockwell International before joining Aerospace Corporation in 1979. Her work in applied mathematics during master’s involved modeling traffic systems.

In Aerospace Corporation she worked in several projects involving satellite communications and defense. In 1988, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California working on Natural Language in Application of Systems Dynamics Modelling. She served as a senior vice president before becoming the CEO of the Aerospace Corporation. In 2015 she was elected by President Barack Obama to serve as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2009, she was elected as a member of NASA Advisory Council and U.S Human Space Flight Plans Committee.

wanda.jpg
Headshot, Wanda M. Austin

In 2010 Austin was appointed to the Defense Science Board. She also became a member of the California Council of Science and Technology, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, Austin published a book called Making Space: Strategic Leadership for a Complex World.

She is the recipient of the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious service; the Air Force scroll of Achievement. In 2010, she received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Braun Award of Excellence in Space Program Management. In 2012 she was awarded Horatio Alger Award, NDIA Peter B Teets Industry Award. She also received the USC Presidential Medal in 2018.

References:
http://www.idvl.org/sciencemakers/Bio40.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Austin

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BlackLivesMatter

GWiSE is in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement. #BLM

First, we want to acknowledge all our Black peers: we love you and your lives matter. You belong here and have the right to have your voices heard. We are devastated that the Black members of our community are murdered and mistreated either directly at the hands of those who claim to serve and protect or due to the systematic racism that makes up the infrastructure in our society. We acknowledge that systematic racism fails Black people at every single step from access to education to proper healthcare to daily stigmatizing interactions.

We acknowledge that every Black student, Black graduate student, Black faculty member in academia has never had the freedom to exist without facing extreme racial duress. As a community, we will continue to fight for the day when that is no longer true. We acknowledge that racial oppression is intersectional, and that Black students may be multiply marginalized by their gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc.

We acknowledge that we cannot champion diversity and equity in academia without confronting inequalities more broadly in our society.

To our non-Black peers: Speak up. When you see an injustice say something. Now is not the time to be quiet. Now is the time to be loud. That may mean confronting your colleagues, friends, and family members. Have hard conversations.

Please be mindful to not talk over those who are Black and instead think of using your privilege and your platform to LISTEN and AMPLIFY their voices and their experiences. Please use your research skills to educate yourself on our history of racial inequality, rather than asking your Black peers to explain it to you. Check on your Black friends, labmates, professors and listen.

Remember their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade. And so many others.

Join a protest and remember to wear a mask. You can find local events here.

If you are able please donate. There are so many good causes you can financially support to see the much-needed change in our community:
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
The Bail Project, Inc
ACLU
Minneapolis Relief Fund

Lastly, Stony Brook University we are watching you and we are disappointed. Like many institutions of higher education, you make grand claims of promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity but where is the real action? A pledge is not enough. We need to do better.

In Solidarity,
GWiSE

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COVID-19 Questions? 10 Answers from SBU

Stony Brook has set up a Coronavirus Information website with press releases and lots of information on the virus and how the school is handling it. Perhaps the best section for getting your questions answered is the FAQs, which are frequently updated with new information: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/coronavirus/faq/index.php

Here are 10 Questions and Answers we found the most relevant for graduate students at SBU.

Continue reading “COVID-19 Questions? 10 Answers from SBU”
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Grad Moms: Meet Kelly

In our second week of celebrating moms, say hello to Kelly, a PhD candidate in the Genetics program and mother of one!

EDUCATION: B.S. in Biology from Barry University; currently pursing a Ph.D. in Genetics

RESEARCH: Studies the temporal and spatial regulation of the C. elegans miRNA, lin-4

Continue reading “Grad Moms: Meet Kelly”
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Grad Moms: Meet Krithika

Say hello to Krithika, a graduate student and mother who is pursing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stony Brook University! Keep reading to learn more about her work on computer and electronic safety as well as the advice she has for new moms!

EDUCATION: M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stony Brook University

CURRENT RESEARCH: Fun fact: There are literally 250 million battery disposals a day! What do I do? : Harvesting ambient energy to power electronic devices is gaining a lot of momentum over battery powered devices.My team has designed an encryption circuit using a novel energy harvesting technique and my research work in specific focuses on making this hardware trusted and secure from getting hacked.
FUTURE GOALS: Be a major contributor to make technology safe and secure for people to use by joining organizations such as the NSA. Just aiming 🙂

Continue reading “Grad Moms: Meet Krithika”
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Funding opportunities for graduate students with disabilities

By: Kate Corbin

Following up on our last post, here are potential funding opportunities for graduate students with disabilities.
Note: These resources were collected and summarized with Stony Brook University graduate students in mind. Your results may vary.

Continue reading “Funding opportunities for graduate students with disabilities”
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10 Tips to Manage UP!

BY: Donna L. Buehler, Stony Brook University Ombuds

What is Managing UP?

“Is about learning how to work within the confines of an organization to get what you need, while helping your boss and the organization meet their objectives.  It’s about using influence and acting with integrity and purpose.”

From Suddenly in Charge by Roberta Chinsky Matuson

“Is simply a conscious approach to working with your supervisor toward goals you both care about.”

“The aim is to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship.”

From Managing Up, 20 Minute Manager Series, Harvard Review Press
Continue reading “10 Tips to Manage UP!”
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10 Women Scientists You Should Know

If you are needing a little mid-week inspiration, get to know these 10 incredible women who made – or are making – great strides that may not always land them in the history books.

Here’s to great women. May we know them, may we be them.

ONE – Marie Curie – Chemist

Marie Curie holding laboratory equipment.

Born in Warsaw in 1867, Marie Curie started her journey in science with her father as her teacher. She went on to study physics and mathematics in Paris, where she met her husband, Pierre Curie. She was the first woman to be the Professor of General Physics.

Continue reading “10 Women Scientists You Should Know”
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February 2020 Woman Scientist of the Month

Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, National Academy of Sciences member, MacArthur Fellow

Image result for Ingrid Daubechies

Born in August 17th, 1954, Ingrid Daubechis, a Belgian physicist and mathematician, revolutionized signal processing with her work on orthogonal bases of compact support, which has impacted audio, image, video devices and communication systems. Her ‘Daubechis wavelets’, are used for signal coding and data compression, are now an crucial tool for signal processors.

Continue reading “February 2020 Woman Scientist of the Month”
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The Mystery of Fellowship Taxes

BY: Diana Lutz

Every graduate student who has ever applied for a fellowship, like the NSF GRFP or GAANN, has heard those sweet, sweet words. Tax. Free. Year after year, students spend hours crafting their personal statements and research proposals, and every year they hear that winning this fellowship comes with 0 taxes as a cherry on top. As a recent recipient of the NSF GRFP, I am here to dispel the myth that fellowships are magical, non-taxable free money.

Fellowship – You mean free money?
Continue reading “The Mystery of Fellowship Taxes”
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Get Slimy with GWISE!

By: Caitlyn Cardetti 

We had a great time showing kids and adults how to make slime this past weekend at Stony Brook University’s CommUniversity Day! We chose to do slime because… who doesn’t love slime?! It’s appropriate for essentially all ages and we thought teaching our community about polymers really unites the science of all our members – chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and (a bit of a stretch but) psychology too. Well, psychology in the sense that slime doubles really well as a stress ball, the clean up maybe not so much…

Continue reading “Get Slimy with GWISE!”
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Interview with the Ombudsman

With a new year ahead of us, it’s important that graduate students (and everyone else) know about the resources at Stony Brook University for handling issues and conflict. With that in mind, we interviewed the University ombuds, Donna Buehler, to find out more about what she does, and how she can help improve both students and faculty experiences at SBU.

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Interview with the Ombudsman”
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National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Winner: Meet Katherine

Say hello to Katherine! A foodie, fencer, and fellowship winner for this year’s National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship! Keep reading to learn more about her work on cell and organ regeneration!

EDUCATION: B.S. in Biology with a developmental genetics specialization from Stony Brook University. This Fall I will be starting a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences program.
RESEARCH: I am interested in studying stem cell biology, specifically their roles in animal development and in organ regeneration.

Continue reading “National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Winner: Meet Katherine”
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National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Winner: Meet Gabrielle

Say hello to Gabrielle! One of the many winners of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship, Gabrielle works to better human’s understanding of lymphomas by developing a gene-editing system that could prevent their development.

A photo of Gabrielle in lab gear, holding a micropipetter.

EDUCATION: B.S in Biochemistry at Stony Brook; starting a Ph.D. at Rockefeller University in the Fall.
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Viral evolution and innate immunity against viruses.
FUTURE GOALS:My immediate goal is to get my Ph.D. and after that I plan to continue doing research. I’d love to do a post-doc at a place like the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Continue reading “National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Winner: Meet Gabrielle”
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Resources for Mothers and Mom’s-to-be at Stony Brook University

BY: Sindhuja Tirumalai Govindarajan

First things first.

Are you pregnant? Are you thinking about getting pregnant? If you just discovered you are pregnant, or if you are planning to get pregnant while in graduate school, you’ll already have a thousand questions in your head. Things will happen real quick and you will want to set up a system that will help you in your quest to be a badass grad-mom. We know some of you are worriers, guess what, we are too! This article was put together after talking to fellow moms on campus, and we want to share our list of resources that we found useful both before, during, and after pregnancy. If you are a mom or mom-to-be at Stony Brook University, reach out to us at sbu.gradmoms@gmail.com and we will help you get acquainted with the Grad Mom’s group at SBU!

Continue reading “Resources for Mothers and Mom’s-to-be at Stony Brook University”
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STEM Moms: Meet Taylor

In honor of the women who fed and housed us before we were even born, we are turning Mother’s Day into Mother’s Week! For the rest of the week we will be posting about the amazing women at SBU who research all day and raise children all night. Our first STEM Mom is Taylor Medwig-Kinney, whose research on cell fate determination and development can help humans better understand evolution and how disease affects development.

Taylor with a sign that shows Rosie the Riveter holding a pipette, with the words "Women in Science, we grab by the pipette" surrounding it.
Taylor with the poster she made for the inaugural March for Science, held in Washington, D.C. in 2017.
Continue reading “STEM Moms: Meet Taylor”
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Women in Science & Medicine: Meet Margaret

This Saturday, May 11th, SBU’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) will be hosting its First Annual Northeast Regional Symposium for Advocates of Women in Science and Medicine! To help kick off the event, we decided to interview the woman behind it all, Margaret Shevik, who wants to inspire other women in her field to pursue careers in science and medicine.

EDUCATION: B.S. in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences; B.A. in Art History, University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, MD/Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacology, student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Stony Brook University

Continue reading “Women in Science & Medicine: Meet Margaret”
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Thank You SBU Grads, You Really Showed Up for the Showcase

First and foremost, we would like to thank everyone who joined us earlier this month to celebrate and support the the amazing research being done by the amazing scientists here at Stony Brook University. It is through events like these that we can further our cause of promoting women scientists in science and engineering. We had a great turnout this year and we hope to see everyone at future events!

BY: Caitlyn Cardetti

Continue reading “Thank You SBU Grads, You Really Showed Up for the Showcase”
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Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Jillian Nissen

Our final panelist for the Women’s Research in STEM Showcase is Dr. Jillian Nissen of SUNY College at Old Westbury. Dr. Nissen works to understand the differences between women and men’s immune systems in response to glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from Stony Brook University
CURRENT POSITION: Assistant Professor at SUNY College at Old Westbury
CURRENT RESEARCH: My current research focuses on the phenomenon that men are not only more likely to be diagnosed with glioblastoma than women, but are also more likely to succumb to this disease following diagnosis.

Continue reading “Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Jillian Nissen”
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Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Marci Lobel

Our third panelist for tomorrows Women’s Research in STEM Showcase is Dr. Marci Lobel of Stony Brook University. Dr. Lobel directs the Stress And Reproduction (STAR) lab, which seeks to understand the psychosocial affects of reproductive health.

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in Social Psychology (with minors in Health Psychology and Measurement) from the University of California, Los Angeles
CURRENT POSITION: Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Stress, coping, and their impact on health, especially women’s reproductive health.

Continue reading “Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Marci Lobel”
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Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Harini Krishnan

With the Showcase only days away, we’re continuing our interviews of the professors who will take part in our panel on being a women in STEM. Say hello to our second panelist, Dr. Harini Krishnan of Stony Brook University.

CURRENT POSITION:
Postdoctoral Fellow, Miller Lab, Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Stony Brook University, NY, (This is my second postdoc).

Continue reading “Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Harini Krishnan”
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Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Carol A. Carter

A part of the upcoming Women’s Research in STEM Showcase, includes a panel of women professors who are prepared to talk about being a women in STEM and answer questions from the audience. We wanted to introduce our panelists and therefore say hello to Dr. Carol Carter of Stony Brook University.

EDUCATION: B.S. from City College of New York;
M.Ph. from Yale University;
Ph.D. from Yale University
CURRENT POSITION: Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at Stony Brook University

CURRENT RESEARCH: Infections caused by HIV and other viruses; anti-viral drug development; cellular protein trafficking

FUTURE GOALS: Translation of basic science discoveries to clinical use

Continue reading “Spring 2019 Showcase: Meet Dr. Carol A. Carter”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Six

Finally the last, but not the least, of our presenters at the upcoming Women’s Research in STEM Showcase that is happening on Thursday, April 4th, from 6 to 9 pm. The following scientists study bluff erosion, the genetics of epilepsy, parallel programming, cancer stem cells, and the effect of global change on marine life.

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Six”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Five

We’re not done yet! These scientists are currently studying space rocks, the movement of cancer, dialog agents, and the environment of tumors. Keep reading to learn more about their hard work!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Five”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Four

Say hello to four more amazing scientists who are studying areas like how social media profiles users, the spine’s played a role in human evolution, the chemistry of antibiotics, and how fungus becomes resistant. Learn more about them below and next Thursday, April 4th, at our Showcase!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Four”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Three

Our third installment of scientists conduct research on prostate cancer, safety materials for chemical warfare, cellular life cycles, and software security. Keep reading for information about the people that make this research possible!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Three”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Two

What do monkeys, electrons, and pharmacology all have to do with one another? They’re all topics at our upcoming Showcase where the following ladies will be presenting their work on such subjects!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part Two”
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Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part One

One of GWiSE’s main goals is to actively promote women in science and engineering. That is why we are hosting a showcase on April 4th from 6 – 9 pm to highlight graduate student research at Stony Brook University. To take it a step further, we will be posting regularly about the student’s who are making this showcase possible. Keep checking in for more installments!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Women’s Research in STEM Showcase: Meet the Scientists – Part One”
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The GWiSE Guide to Finding a Research Group

As an undergraduate, you go for the school. As a graduate, you go for the research. Selecting an advisor for your thesis quickly becomes the most important task you have in graduate school, not just for your research, but also for your personal happiness. In short, the best tip I have is: DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.

Continue reading “The GWiSE Guide to Finding a Research Group”
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Meet Shruti

Say hello to Shruti, our mentorship coordinator with the undergraduate WiSE group at Stony Brook and globetrotter. When she’s not researching our genome to better understand it’s relationship to cancer and psychiatric disorders, she loves to travel, meet people, and try new things. Check out what she has to say on getting more women interested in STEM!

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Meet Shruti”
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Stats from Angela Saini’s Inferior

We’re kicking off Spring Semester 2019 right – with a new book club and a new outlook on how science impacts society’s view on women. Our inaugural book is Angela Saini’s Inferior, where she tackles years of data, biases, and up-and-coming research that is taking what it means to be female in a whole different direction.

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Stats from Angela Saini’s Inferior”
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New Year, New Funding: Top 10 Fellowships for Women

As graduate students we are always on that grant grind. Not only for the accolades, but also for the extra funding because, hey – it can’t hurt right? So we gathered together some grants (in no particular order) that you can look out for throughout the year!

BY: Alison McCarthy

Continue reading “New Year, New Funding: Top 10 Fellowships for Women”
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Meet Alison

Say hello to Ali, our secretary and cannoli connoisseur. In addition to research and helping run GWiSE, Ali serves as the Vermont and New Hampshire Chapter Liaison for She’s the First, where she works with campus chapters to further girl’s education in low income countries.

BY: Mikaela Dunkin

Continue reading “Meet Alison”