The University of Iowa Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program was established in August of 1994 with joint support from the offices of the Vice President for Research (VPR) and the Provost. Establishing a formal UI WiSE program was the first on a list of recommended initiatives put forward by a group of UI faculty, staff, and students who recognized the need for a more structured approach to increasing the number of women in STEM, in their Campus Action Plan: Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, April 1993. The action plan was developed in the months following the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Conference at Indiana University, October 1992, sponsored by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and attended by 25 UI participants.

The overall goals of the 1993 Campus Action Plan were as follows.

  • To increase the participation of women at all levels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs at the University of Iowa, with particular emphasis for ensuring equal access and opportunity for women in STEM disciplines in which they are traditionally underrepresented.
  • To provide support and opportunity to all women currently participating in STEM programs at the University of Iowa, including women of color and women with disabilities, so that these individuals may reach their full professional potential.
  • To integrate the ideas, strengths, and approaches of women into the research, teaching and service provided by the University.

The specific recommendation that lead to the formalization of the UI WiSE Program is as follows:

  1. Establish a Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program.

Women in STEM at the University of Iowa share common concerns, including mentoring/networking and career development. To coordinate our efforts, we recommend that the University of Iowa develop a Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program modeled after the one at the University of Michigan. This program provides offerings to pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students as well as support for research, seminars, and services. In addition, the program could provide support services for women faculty and staff. A central program such as this would provide more focus to our efforts. The University should set the goal of establishing this program by the end of calendar year 1994.

The Campus Action Plan was taken very seriously by upper administration and the recommendation to develop a formal WiSE Program was approved. The task of developing the structure and function of the anticipated WiSE Program fell to the WiSE Interim Advisory Committee, which consisted of seven members, five of whom are still at the University of Iowa. They are listed here with their current titles.

Susan Johnson, M.D. - Associate Provost for Faculty, University of Iowa
Alice Fulton, Ph.D. - Professor in Biochemistry, University of Iowa
Kenneth Moore - Director of the Central Electron Microscopy Facility, University of Iowa
Irith Pomeranz, Ph.D. - Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
Gerene Denning, Ph.D. - Research Scientist in Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa
Martha Monick - Senior Research Assistant in Internal Medicine, University of Iowa

The move to College of Engineering in July 2013.

On July 1, 2013 WiSE Program moved from the Graduate College to the College of Engineering organizationally, with a physical move to the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences. Currently, WiSE is a part of the Outreach, Admissions, Scholarships & Inclusion Services (OASIS) group, under the leadership of Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach for the College of Engineering, Dr. Tanya Peeples.

In a message announcing the WiSE move to the College of Engineering, Dean Alec Scranton stated, “Because the WiSE mission correlates so closely to that of the College of Engineering itself, this move is a natural transition to strengthen the focus on helping university women achieve their educational goals even more.” Dean Scranton also underscored that the WiSE Program will continue to serve women across sciences disciplines and engineering as it has for the past nineteen years.

Over the years, the WiSE program has benefited from the time and talent of many students, staff and faculty at the University of Iowa.

The list below is not all-inclusive but does identify those employees who gave considerable time to WiSE over the years. If you feel your name should appear on this list or you know of someone we have inadvertently left off, please let us know.

WiSE Program Directors

Beverly Marshall-Goodell Director 1994 - 1998
Chris Peterson Brus Director 1998 - 2015
Jacquett Wade  Interim Director 2015 - 2016
Chelle Lehman  Co-Director for Recruitment and Outreach 2016 - Present
Linda Varvel  Co-Director for On Campus Programs 2016 - Present


WiSE Associate Director

Gerene Denning Research Scientist, VAH/COM 2000 - 2005


WiSE Assistant Director

Andrea Beloy Undergraduate Programs 2006 - 2008


WiSE Faculty Directors

Alice Fulton Professor, Biochemistry  1994 - 1998
Henrietta Logan Professor, Dentistry 1998 - 1999
Mary Hall (Hallsie) Reno Professor, Physics 2000 - 2005


WiSE Program Staff

Kay Mescher WiSE Faculty Consultant
Associate Professor, Preventive & Community Dentistry
1995 - 1999
Betsy Riesz Peer Mentoring Coordinator 1996 - 2006 (retired)


WiSE Graduate Assistants

Ann Bossen Nursing
Jill Smith Urban and Regional Planning
Sara Sauers Center for the Book
Yolanda Edwards Preventive & Community Dentistry
Janelle Torres y Torres Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry
Vandana Cheerala Preventive Medicine & Environmental Health
Ruchika Chandran Physical Rehabilitation Science
Kelly Finn Mathematics Education
Bethany Lewis Medicine and Master's in Public Health
Julie Hill Law
Lili Zhao Statistics
Shan Bao Industrial Engineering, Human Factors
Lisa Jones-Hall Law
Maria (Tess) Barker Law and Higher Ed Administration
Amy Carey Education
Kelly Giese Higher Education and Student Affairs
Angel Yiting Cheng Counseling Psychology
Rene Martin English Education
Melanie Reichwald English Education
Kristen Wurster Counseling Psychology
Amanda Gallogly Social Work
Samantha Vancel School Psychology
Megan McDowell Higher Education and Student Affairs
Anne Ghinazzi Higher Education Administration and Policy
Elizabeth Healy Higher Education and Student Affairs
Aralia Ramirez Higher Education and Student Affairs


WiSE Support Staff
Shari Heick
Kathleen Testin
Ruth Kenton
Angie Dickey
Ann Dudley
Melissa Ward
Cynthia Hernandez
Jennifer Haywood
Kristina Venzke 

WiSE Learning Community Resident Assistants and Liaisons

Stacey Lens RA 1999 - 2002
Sanela Zenkovic RA 2002 - 2004
Katherine Bunce RA 2003 - 2006
Andrea Rogers Liaison 2004 - 2006
Shameika Wilmington RA
2004 - 2006
2006 - 2007
Sara Estrin RA 2006 - 2007
Julie Brasefield RA 2006 - 2008
Crystal Moody RA 2007 - 2010
Elizabeth Breitbach RA 2008 - 2010
Alesha Nickeson Liason 2008 - 2010
Elizabeth Alonzi RA 2010 - 2011
Samantha Bornmann RA 2010 - 2012
Kaitlyn Wren RA 2011
Kathryn Hill RA 2011 - 2012
Hannah Glanz RA 2011 - 2014
Mariah Bankert RA 2012 - 2013, 2014 - 2015
Kyleigh Kreiner Liason 2012 - 2013
Rai Tokuhisa Student Programmer 2012 - 2014
Michelle Sanchez Acosta Student Programmer 2012
Sarah Salomon RA 2013 - 2014
Corinne Andresen Student Programmer 2014 - 2015
Tatiana Delima Student Programmer
2015 - 2106
Cassie Webber Student Programmer 2015 - 2016
Monica Kettelson RA 2015 - Present
Shelby Clarton RA 2016 - Present
Gabrielle Kershaw Student Programmer 2016 - Present
Akpevwe Ikoba RA 2017 - Present 
Francesca Spencer  RA 2017 - Present 


Undergraduate Mentoring Program Assistants
Heidi Zahner
Joan Griebenow
Meagan Mulvey
Tracey Cook
Amanda Stahle
Nora Wilson
Cephas Miningou
Kelsey Montross
Madeline Godar
Sarah Pettijohn
Kaitlin Glagola
Rojahn Kakavandi
Deeksha Chada

Undergraduate Office Assistants
Rhea Golveo
Egbe Osamwonyi
Tangelia Robinson
Laura Itle
Amanda Smith
Kristina Kuraitis
Jennifer Lahr
Christy Lahr
Lauren Lasak
Jaime Tanner
Sarah Stabler
Adrienne Frederick
Rita Shapiro

Current WiSE Advisory Board Members

Jackie Christopher Alumna, BA Math, MBA, Deere & Company
Barbara Hogg Alumna, BA Math & Economics, MS Statistic, Aon Hewitt
Sharon Tinker Alumna, BSE Chemical Engineering
Shelia Baker Faculty, Biochemistry and Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Leslie Flynn Faculty, Science Education
Maurine Neiman Faculty, Biology
Kyle Rector Faculty, Computer Science
Fatima Toor Faculty, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, UI Informatics Initiative
Angelle Johnson Community and Industry Partner, Systems Engineer, Rockwell Collins
Kate Metcalf  UI Foundation, Executive Director of Development for CLAS
Sara Ring UI Foundation, Associate Director of Development for CLAS
Krista Wahlstrom Graduate Student, President of GWIS
Rojahn Kakavandi Undergraduate Student, former President of WiSE Ambassadors
Emily Brunner Staff, CLAS Academic Advisor, Liaison to WiSE
Chelle Lehman WiSE Co-Director for Recruitment and Outreach
Linda Varvel WiSE Co-Director for On Campus Programs


Past WiSE Advisory Board Members (listed with their historic units)

John Achrazoglou Faculty, Director Info Tech. Mgmt III, College of Education
Rachel Anderson Faculty, Health Management & Policy, College of Public Health
Sheila Barron Faculty, Educational Measurement & Statistics, College of Education
Linda Boyle Faculty, Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering
Mary Campbell Faculty, Sociology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Kate Cowles Faculty, Statistics & Biostatistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Deborah Dawson Faculty, Dows Institute for Research, College of Dentistry
Susan Everett Faculty, Science Education, College of Education
Carol Fethke Faculty, Economics, College of Business
Minnetta Gardinier Faculty, Pharmacology, College of Medicine
Lois Garland-Patterson Faculty, College of Pharmacy
Vicki Grassian Faculty, Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts & Science
Nicole Grosland Faculty, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
Julie Jessop Faculty, Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
Nancy Lill Faculty, Pharmacology, College of Medicine
Heather MacDonald Faculty, Urban & Regional Planning, Graduate College
Horacio Olivo Faculty, Medicinal & Natural Products Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Norb Pienta Faculty, Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Tom Rocklin Faculty, Center for Teaching, Office of the Provost
Victor Rodgers Faculty, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Debbie Segaloff Faculty, Physiology & Biophysics, College of Medicine
Padmini Srinivasan Faculty, Library & Information Science, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Lisa Troyer Faculty, Sociology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Val Garr Staff, Opportunity at Iowa, Office of the Provost
Carolyn Lieberg Staff, Center for Teaching, Office of the Provost
Lynda Ostedgaard Staff, Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
Dottie Persson Staff Librarian, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
James Schmeling Staff, Law, Health Policy & Disability Center, College of Law
Doty Simpson-Taylor Staff, Director of Diversity Resources, Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity
Billie Townsend Staff, Administration - Office of the Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Janelle Torres y Torres Postdoctoral fellow, Medicinal & Natural Products Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Sara Hill Graduate student, College of Law
Sondra Miller Graduate student, College of Engineering
Teresa Garcia Graduate student, Social Foundations, College of Education
Jill Smith Graduate student, Urban & Regional Planning, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Michelle Sukup Graduate student, Biomedical Engineering/Integrative Physiology, College of Engineering
Arielle Hardré Undergraduate student
Stacey Lens Undergraduate student
Megan Mulvey Undergraduate student
Andrea Rogers Undergraduate student
Shameika Wilmington Undergraduate student