The UW System Women and Science Program
An NSF grant to the UW System Women’s Studies Consortium funded initial activities with visiting professors traveling to various campuses. The activities are described in Flickering clusters: women, science, and collaborative transformations edited by Cheryl Ney, Jacqueline Ross and Laura Stempel (2001).
In 1996 the Program was institutionalized in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Astrophysicist Dr. Heidi Fencl served as the first director (and also directed the UW Oshkosh Science Outreach Program) until 2001. She established the spring retreat and fall Opening Workshop for new STEM faculty which are still important annual events for the Program. For 2001-2002 Zoologist Dr. Fran Garb served as Interim Director, splitting her time between Oshkosh and Madison where she was a senior academic planner for UW System Administration. In 2002-2003 Chemist Dr. Kimberly Kostka served as Interim Director in addition to teaching at UW Rock County.
Environmental scientist Dr. Susannah Sandrin was the next Director of both Women & Science and Science Outreach from 2003-2008. She was able to combine her two interests in the NSF Funded “Opportunities for Wisconsin Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Course” for secondary school teachers and counselors. Kinesiologist Dr. Leigh Ann Mrotek Gorzek served as interim Women and Science director 2008-2009, and again from 2014-2015.
Physical chemist Dr. Jennifer Mihalick served as Director from 2009-2014. In 2010 and 2011 the spring conference was combined with other System-wide programming to create the UW System President’s Summit on Excellence in Teaching and Learning. A 2011 NSF ADVANCE grant is being used to provide additional professional development opportunities for women in System STEM departments, specifically postdoctoral scholars and tenured women.
Chemist Dr. Jennifer Schuttlefield Christus is the current Program Director.