The Women in Science and Engineering program was originally run by the Graduate Division until June 2009, when budget cuts forced the transition of the program into a student-run group. A group of five women, graduate students and postdocs, volunteered to organize events and meetings with the aim of retaining and recruiting women in STEM fields. The Graduate Division generously offered to provide funding for WiSE events.
WiSE kept the tradition of holding luncheons and panels to discuss topics relevant to women seeking a career in STEM, but introduced new events to foster interaction between members and create community. We have also aimed to provide professional development opportunities that are not traditionally offered by departments, as well as provide outreach to the community to recruit young students into STEM fields.
Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) at UC Santa Cruz is an organization run by graduate students, which welcomes the participation of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The overarching goal of WiSE is to advance women in the STEM fields both in percentage and position, in the face of historical, present, and future challenges. To achieve this goal, WiSE uses a strategy of recruitment and retention: we seek to increase the participation of women in the STEM fields, as well as to enable the advancement and success of women in these fields. WiSE encourages its members to engage in mentorship, networking, and outreach, as well as seminars and discussions to further learning. This enables members to interact with each other as well as the community at large and fosters the dynamic of reciprocity and support for the members of WiSE.
In recognition of the importance of this mission and the work of WiSE, Chancellor George Blumenthal and his committee honored WiSE with a 2011 Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity. WiSE was also featured in a 2012 article in UCSC's City on a Hill Press: "Breaking Social Barriers: How WiSE supports female scientists and engineers on campus and beyond" (link).
WiSE acknowledges the support and guidance from the following sponsors: