University of Iowa. Women in Science and Engineering Program
Established in August 1994, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program's mission is to expand and improve educational and professional opportunities for women in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by facilitating individual, institutional, and social change. The idea developed in October 1992 when twenty-five University of Iowa (UI) participants attended the Women in Science and EngineeringConference at Indiana University sponsored by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). To create a formal WISE program at the UI 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 fields. In 1995, WISE initiated a peer-mentoring program to increase participation and support for women with STEM majors. The program established a mentee-mentor relationship between first year and upper level students for over 200 undergraduates with the same STEM major. To strengthen the students' studies, WISE Learning Communities began in the 1996-1997 school year as the first academic learning community on campus; it provides residential based community-building programs and academic and social support for undergraduate women with STEM concentrations. Both the peer mentoring program and the learning communities provided academic and social support to, on average, two-thirds of all incoming first year women in the College of Engineering. In addition, WISE students participated in the Learning Community Outreach Program that connected them with their home schools by acting as role models to younger women in grades K-12. In 2001, WISE started the Graduate Student Mentoring Program to increase relationships among undergraduates and graduate students continuing their studies or working in the fields of science and technology.
Citation:Author: Julie Zimmerman
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Program established in 1994 to expand and improve educational and professional opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and provide support for students in these fields.