I’m using this post to salute the Women of Whiting (WOW). “Whiting” is the name of our engineering school, and this group of women are graduate students who have taken the initiative to come together, lift each other up and build their network.
When I give talks, I am often asked about what we can all do to nurture a more inclusive community. Among my answers is THIS: support each other at all levels. And what the Women of Whiting are doing is just one example of what each of us could do with our peers at any stage in our professional development.
Although WOW had existed in fits and starts in the past, Alexandra Sneider and Inez Lam re-started the Women of Whiting in Fall 2016. Its purpose is “support women in STEM through professional development, outreach, and social events”. Alexandra and Inez are now in their third year as Co-Presidents, and they have grown the organization to include over 200 members (students, staff, and faculty) across the many divisions of the University. They imagined and executed the annual Women in STEM Symposium, a one-day event providing communication, negotiation, and career planning guidance that draws over 150 attendees from Hopkins and surrounding universities with 20 diverse speakers, a poster session, networking, and career fair component.
In addition to WOW, Inez and Alexandra are involved in many outreach and leadership positions on campus. Inez has served on the Biomedical Engineering PhD Student Council as co-president and now as faculty-student liaison, and has helped in planning PhD student recruitment for the BME program. In addition, she is a mentor in the P-TECH Dunbar program, a speaker for prospective students at the Institute for Computational Medicine, and has served the BCI-EDGE advisory committee to promote career opportunities for biomedical PhD students.
Alexandra serves as the WOW representative on the Diversity Council for the School of Medicine graduate students, and as a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program mentor for the past two years. Alexandra is also actively involved in recruitment efforts for the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChemBE) PhD program, for prospective undergraduates through the Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research (HOUR), and as a speaker for the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Graduate Recruitment Day.