Learning from 2016, to make 2017 WISeR’s best year yet

Many of us are relieved that 2016 has finally come to a close, but even with its struggles, 2016 was a great year for WISeR and Rockefeller.

In this new year, I want to thank you all for your investment into this group and participation in our activities. I’m excited to share with you both some highlights from 2016, as well as our plans for this new year (and how you can get more involved). We had a huge jump in volunteers and feedback from our members in 2016, and I’m looking forward to have even more folks come together in 2017 to make Rockefeller a better place for women and minorities.

WISeR ended 2015 with a survey of campus and started 2016 evaluating the survey results and sharing them with committees and campus leaders. We are happy to see at least two of the suggestions we made were already in the works or have emerged:

  • As we post this, construction has started on the faculty club bathrooms, which have long been bemoaned by women on campus. The men’s bathroom (3 urinals, 3 stalls) and women’s bathroom (1 stall) are being merged to create a spacious, modern, gender neutral bathroom with 8 fully private stalls.

  • We have also already seen the benefits of a serious investment in revamping the open search for junior faculty. Rockefeller recruited several great new faculty members, including two women and our first black faculty member, Dr. Erich Jarvis! We look forward to the other amazing talent we continue to recruit with this increased attention to and appreciation of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to push to make sure the tenure process to is or will be similarly evaluated for bias and improved.

These victories would not be possible without feedback from you, members, and we’ve enjoyed hearing from you as we’ve continued our yearly traditions, like our breakfast series (which we now share with PRISM), our annual end-of-year BBQ, and our members meetings. We’ve also launched several new programs and events, which you can learn more about by reading and clicking the links below:

New Programs in 2016

  • Elections. We had our first elections and elected a fantastic board to lead and administrate this great group this year. We hope this increases transparency and opportunities to get involved.

  • Woman of the month. We launched a blog series highlighting amazing alumnae from Rockefeller. So far, we’ve met with Monica Mugnier who just started her lab at Johns Hopkins, and Jeanne Garbarino, head of Outreach. (If you have an alumna you’d love to meet and write about, let us know. We’ll help you get in touch, pay for your coffee/lunch, and help you write about the experience!)

  • Tri-I Women in Science Mixer. We had our first Tri-I Women in Science Mixer, where we brought together all of the women’s groups and met, talked about science, and shared some of thoughts and experiences. We definitely plan to do this again next year!

  • Faculty Search Bootcamp. Along with the PDA and Andrea Morris, we helped start the now annual faculty search bootcamp which prepares a small group of currently-applying postdocs to face the academic job market through a few intensive days covering everything from cover letters to chalk talks and negotiating start ups.

  • Improv(e) Your ScienceDr. Aniek Ivens, a postdoc in the Kronauer lab, has been leading improv workshops to help scientists improve their presentation skills in a fun and accessible way. We’ve held a few of these workshops, and Aniek plans to hold a few more in the new year (as well as a level 2 workshop!).

  • Anti-Harassment Workshops. WISeR hired Dr. Sherry Martz to come talk about how individual women can learn to spot, stop, and prevent certain forms of harassment, and also techniques to safely remove yourself from some difficult situations.

  • Feminist Book Club. I am most proud of our new Feminist Book Club, which meets ~monthly to discuss feminist readings. The goal of this group is not only to get people together and talk about feminism, but also to increase the awareness of feminist thought and topics at Rockefeller and hopefully impact the discourse at our events and around campus. Also, it’s just great to have an excuse to read fantastic work! You can join in the next meeting by reading Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and joining the group on January 23, 8pm in the Faculty Club.

Things to Look Forward to in 2017

  • Survey. We will again survey the campus specifically about issues relevant to women and gender minorities on campus as well as issues that particularly affect women and gender minorities. To do this, we need to know what is important to our community, what levels of support already exist on campus, and where we can better educate people about our community’s needs.

  • Mentorship Program. I am so excited to see the launch of our mentorship program January 28th! Sign up here if you’re interested in helping out.

  • Letters of Recommendation. We are working on a blog post to raise awareness about how letters of recommendation are often biased, and how our faculty can make sure our female trainees are getting the same leg up that our male trainees have from the ever-coveted recommendation letters from faculty.

  • Campus Lecture Series. Many of our members have noticed that not all campus seminars are created equal. We’ll be launching an awareness and improvement campaign directed at making our campus lecture series more diverse.

  • Outreach: Lab Out Loud. We’re partnering up with one of Rockefeller’s greatest assets, RockEdu, to co-host Lab Out Loud on February 28th. We’ll be looking for members to share their stories of failure as an important aspect of science that isn’t often highlighted for young folks interested in our career paths. We’ll also get to meet and talk to each other and high schoolers about what it’s like to be a scientist.

  • Wikipedia edit-a-thon. Wikipedia entries for female scientists are few and far between, and usually have very little information compared to their male peers. We’re aiming to change that by editing existing entries and adding new ones under the guidance of certified Wikipedians with fellow women in science from around the city.

  • And more… We’re always open to new ideas, and have some flexibility in our budget to make new things happen. Some of these new ideas include:

    • Writing workshops

    • Financial planning

    • Leaning into academia bootcamp

    • Leadership workshops

We’ve also had a lot of folks talk to us about anxiety around policies to come under the new Presidential administration that target women, minorities, and immigrant communities. WISeR is addressing these concerns in a few ways:

  • Sharing your concerns anonymously. We will communicate your concerns to the Rockefeller administration and will pressure them to provide resources and a statement of how we will protect the amazing community we have on campus as many are concerned about their lives, bodies, and their immigration status. The more stories we have, the more powerful our case, so please share your story here.

  • Providing (low energy barrier) places for action. We will provide a few political action events, as well as places to use our skills and knowledge to improve the lives of women in science. Outreach like our Lab Out Loud event on February 28th provides opportunities to meet with and talk to students, and our Wikipedia edit-a-thon address problems in science that we can actively impact immediately.

  • Providing a place for positive change. WISeR can’t change the outcome of the election, but we can make our labs safer and better places, we can improve the lives of women at Rockefeller, and we can work toward a more equal scientific enterprise. We can also make sure your voices are heard through our blog, and build a community focused on helping each other and lifting each other up. Every bit matters, and we will provide as many places for you to improve the world we live in as we can.

What can you do to get more involved? You can always contact us and we can either find a place where you would like to get involved in one of our ongoing programs, or we can help you launch an idea or project of your own. To join some ongoing programs, you can:

  • Join our mailing list (and follow us on Facebook) we always have new projects and events, some which are only available to our community through our email list.

  • Recommend a woman or minority speaker. We’ll do a big push for speakers later in 2017, but we’re constantly accepting ideas and will keep an ongoing list for the different groups on campus (and if the list is big enough, for the whole scientific community).

  • Host a breakfast with a FLS speaker by emailing our awesome breakfast coordinator, Sarah Stern.

  • Join the mentorship team for our January 28th launch!

  • Interview an alumna! We’ll buy you both lunch, you write about her for the blog. It can be a former postdocgraduate student, or faculty member.

  • Give input on the 2017 survey! Help us make sure it’s as useful and great as our last survey.

  • Volunteer for Lab Out Loud! Tell a short story about a time you failed, or come talk to high schoolers after the event, or both!

  • Write for our blog. We’ve sent people to see Ghostbusters and to talks around the city. Check in with us before you go and we can buy your ticket and/or help you write. Email Maryam Zaringhalam with ideas or questions!

  • Join our board. We’ll be looking for a few new board members in May as we have a few of our current board members leaving Rockefeller for new jobs. To become a board member you must demonstrate interest/commitment like being involved in one of our ongoing activities so definitely volunteer for one or more of the activities above and let us know if you want to be more involved.

I became President of this great group at the end of 2015. I am so proud of what we have accomplished over the last year, and I can not wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2017. If there’s anything I can do to help us serve you better, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Now, let’s get to work.

AuthorEmily DennisPosted onJanuary 2, 2017CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsTalking PointsLeave a commenton Learning from 2016, to make 2017 WISeR’s best year yetEdit"Learning from 2016, to make 2017 WISeR’s best year yet"

Recap: Tri-I Women in Science Meet at First Annual Mixer

Last Spring WISeR worked with Weill-Cornell and MSKCC’s women in science groups to throw the first Tri-I women in science mixer.

We had 71 people attend, evenly distributed from each of our women in science groups (25-31% from each group). Over wine, beer, and snacks, we learned more about each other over an icebreaker, as we asked folks to collect the initials or signature of 2 people who could say they:

  • Have a tattoo

  • Have gone skydiving

  • Are a graduate student

  • Are vegetarian

… and many more!

Ali Ehrlich (who is now one of the WISeR board members!) completed this task in the fastest time and won a gift card to Amazon.

We then broke up into teams to compete in relevant trivia. You can test your own skills by seeing if you can match the scientist to her discovery here!

You can follow this link for the answer key.

We want to thank our co-sponsors at Weill-Cornell and MSKCC, Andrea Morris in the Dean’s Office, and one of our members, Veronica Jove, for helping us run this great event! Also thanks to all of you who came and made this event so much fun. See you next year!

AuthorEmily DennisPosted onAugust 22, 2016CategoriesCampus EventsOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton Recap: Tri-I Women in Science Meet at First Annual MixerEdit"Recap: Tri-I Women in Science Meet at First Annual Mixer

The Results Are In: 2015 WISeR Survey Responses

In October 2015, WISeR surveyed the campus to find out how we can best serve our community. Now, we’re sharing the results with you!

In October 2015, WISeR sent out a survey to the campus community. We designed this survey ourselves in collaboration with a group of our members and members of the Parent’s Association. We received 255 responses (and only two joke responses, one from a yeast and one from a dinosaur, which were both discarded from further analysis).

Our goal for this survey was to help us figure out what the Rockefeller community actually needs and wants so WISeR can better serve the community. We were pleased to see so many people were interested and invested enough to respond and provide their opinions. We have used these data many times as we make decisions on events to hold and new projects to start. Since this survey went out, we want to note that a few things have changed on campus:

  • PRISM (People at Rockefeller Identifying as Sexual Minorities) successfully launched!

  • Rockefeller instituted Title IX (Title VII continues to protect all employees)

  • Rockefeller has hired Dr. Li Xhao, an amazing evolutionary biologist

  • HR added additional Bright Horizon’s options for parents

  • CFC expanded to accommodate more children

  • WISeR and the Dean’s Office co-hosted an anti-harassment workshop

After the survey, we held committee meetings with interested WISeR members to discuss these data and our interpretations. We used those meetings to form this document (and a few other more detailed documents) which we opened for comment for a few weeks, and then incorporated feedback. Emily Dennis presented the final document to RUDI (Rockefeller University Diversity Initiative) in the spring of 2016 and to Rockefeller’s incoming president, Dr. Richard Lifton, in June. All of the information below were presented to these groups.

We also have had several discussions with different administrators about these data, which led to a few corrections:

  • Rockefeller does have a few avenues for parental leave, from 5 days for partners immediately following birth (or for either/both parents after an adoption), and 12 weeks paid leave for those giving birth. HR also works with individuals to tailor leave to their needs.

  • HR does track employee salaries and breakdowns by gender. There are no significant differences in pay between genders.

  • General Counsel asked us to remove the word ‘quotas’ from our results because quotas are not legal under Equal Opportunity Employment.

  • HR currently receives anonymous complaints through phone calls, emails, and letters.

We are pleased that these documents generated so much interest from both the trainees and administrators, and hope the administration completes their own surveys of trainees, staff, and faculty to help guide future decisions. We at WISeR also plan to re-survey trainees each year to help us guide our programming.

Thanks to everyone who responded and took part in these many discussions, and please let us know if you have additional thoughts or questions by commenting here or emailing us at wiser(at)rockefeller.edu.


Questions 1-6:

The above figure shows the demographics of all survey responders.

This figure demonstrates how much of the Rockefeller population of trainees (research assistants, students postdocs, and research associates) who responded to our survey. Red bars are the percentage of the entire population, and the orange and blue bars reflect the percentage of women or men, respectively, responding to our survey. The raw numbers are written in white at the bottom of each bar. We do not have campus data for URM or sexual minority identification of individuals.

Executive summary of suggestions for the administration

From RUDI and/or the President’s Office

  1. A statement of importance of diversity here at Rockefeller, at all levels.

  2. An acknowledgement of the problems currently prohibiting the recruitment, success, and retention of women and minorities at Rockefeller.

  3. A statement of plans to address the problems identified. Open comment periods coupled with presented proposals would be ideal.

  4. Semi-annual or quarterly update detailing progress toward each problem area and area of growth.

For transparency:

  1. University should make available a campus snapshot of data for labs, awards, junior faculty hiring, etc. This should be built on examples like the Berkeley Diversity Snapshot and include information for all genders, sexual minorities, and URMs. We note that this would provide a great space to brag about our amazing alumni.

  2. A list of all outreach and recruitment programs as part of an action plan for increasing diversity should be publicized and available. We recommend reviewing NASA’s action plans as a template.

  3. Major changes or initiatives should include feedback from those who will be impacted. For example, a proposal to institute anonymous reporting could be released and feedback from trainees and employees collected for one week before final budgets or plans are made.

To make campus a better place for women and minorities:

  1. We recommend Rockefeller hire a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). This person can provide knowledge and consistency to Rockefeller’s plans and ensure diversity is a priority across campus endeavors like those suggested here. Additionally, Rockefeller’s faculty recruitment process has struggled to hire women and minorities. Therefore it is necessary to have outside help from individuals who have not been a part of the process and who can provide evidence-based guidance as we work to fix these problems. Rockefeller should include a diversity advisor, either the CDO or someone chosen by the CDO, in all major decision making processes regarding faculty: specifically, this advisor should be present in all junior faculty interview process discussions and in all tenure-related discussions. This person’s role is to ensure that all conversations relating to these important decisions are free from unconscious and conscious biases, and to oversee and implement best practices across campus.

  2. We recommend that the campus install an anonymous reporting system. We want to additionally recognize the need for efficient, well-communicated investigatory mechanisms to accompany any anonymous reporting. In short, anonymous reporting is necessary but not sufficient, as outlined in the AAUP guidelines here. Calling the Title IX coordinator and mailing letters is not sufficient.

  3. Provide gender neutral bathrooms. Ideally, this would include large gender-neutral bathrooms, paired with small, private, family bathrooms with changing tables.This requires converting existing bathrooms to gender neutral spaces in every building, and including gender neutral bathrooms in the plans for the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus. We recommend reviewing Cooper Union’s program and policies.

  4. Increase the artistic representation of women and URMs (underrepresented minorities) at Rockefeller. If the university cannot find equal representation, we recommend that they replace the surplus white, male art with non-portrait pieces from the university’s collection.

  5. Provide bystander intervention training at all levels by a trained professional(s). This could be either taught by or coordinated by the Chief Diversity Officer.

  6. We also recommend that Rockefeller complete a Campus Pride Index evaluation to determine areas to improve the lives of sexual minorities on campus. In general, groups like WISeR, PRISM, and TIMS (Tri-I Minority Society) should become a more integral part of campus.

For Faculty Recruitment: We created an entire document just on this very popular topic, but our current suggestions can be summarized here:

  1. Unconscious bias training should be required of all individuals with hiring and tenure decision making powers and not taught by the chief of staff, but by either the Chief Diversity Officer or someone similar.

  2. Anyone who has demonstrated an inability to create equal work environments should not be allowed to serve on committees involved in hiring and tenure decisions. We recommend the labs be ranked by % women and ideally, % minorities, and anyone with a lab larger than 4-6 trainees who is in the bottom 25% of this ranking should be excluded from these decisions.

  3. Ensure equal opportunity on campus: the tenure process at Rockefeller is incredibly opaque, and also may be a major factor in our lack of female faculty.

  4. Any strategy to increase female faculty should include a review of the tenure system.

  5. Faculty Climate Survey. We recommend that the administration complete a faculty climate survey, similar to MIT and Harvard.

  6. A Chief Officer of Diversity should be hired and involved in these decisions.

Main image adapted from freepik.com

AuthorEmily DennisPosted onJune 23, 2016CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsTalking PointsLeave a commenton The Results Are In: 2015 WISeR Survey ResponsesEdit"The Results Are In: 2015 WISeR Survey Responses"

March meeting minutes

March 3rd 2016 WISeR Board Meeting Minutes 
Location: Abby Dining Hall
In attendance: Catherine Lu, Alicia Gamboa, Emily Dennis, Aaron Mertz, Yamina Berchiche, Shruti Naik 
Minutes Compiled by: Shruti Naik 
Minutes edited by: Emily Dennis
*updates added by Emily Dennis late March

Interim Board Member Applications

Emily Dennis presented compiled applications to the group for four board member positions. Board members excused themselves from discussions or voting if an applicant was from the same laboratory as a board member. Four applicants were selected based on majority vote for in-person interviews. *These interviews were completed and we have added four great members to our board:

Alison (Ali) Ehrlich – Research Assistant – Vosshall lab
Linda Molla – Graduate Student – Papavasiliou Lab
Maryam Zaringhalam – Graduate Student – Papavasiliou Lab
Sarah Stern – Postdoct – Papavasiliou Lab

Budget Overview

Catherine Lu presented the WISeR budget proposal for FY2017 after meeting with Andrea Morris, Marta Delgado, and Emily Harms. The proposed budget includes administrative costs, networking events, members events, and also includes joint ventures that will be jointly funded with the career development office. New additions to the budget raised in the meeting include: Women of the Month lunches, additional members meetings, and Diversity Journal Club. Aaron will provide Catherine with a Woman of the Month budget, and Emily will provide Diversity Journal Club funding needs and will work with Emily Lorenzen to further refine requests and justifications for the mentorship project. *This budget was rejected, revised with help from the Dean’s Office, and will be re-submitted March 28th.

Career development update  

Alicia Gamboa presented her joint effort with Andrea Morris and the PDA to provide an “ Academic Boot Camp” event that will include young PIs and tenured faculty. The event is aimed at providing guidance for trainees who are planning on entering the academic job market. Catherine Lu and Shruti Naik will work with Alicia to move forward with this event starting with a meeting with HOL Dr. Leslie Vosshall to discuss specific topics.

Alicia also informed the board of an “improv for scientists” event put on by one of our members Aniek Ivens, which the board approved and Alicia will coordinate. Funds for snacks will be provided by Andrea Morris’ office.

Board guidelines

Shruti Naik raised the idea of codifying rules for the board, which the board agreed to discuss at a future meeting. The guidelines would outline standard operating procedures for board member interactions with the Rockefeller administration, the larger membership, and other board members. Shruti, Emily, and Yamina will compile this document for the rest of the board to edit. *will be the bulk of our May meeting discussion

Next Board Meeting

Meeting date is tentatively set for April 8th and will include new board members. Time/location TBD

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onMarch 10, 2016CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsEdit"March meeting minutes"

February Board Meeting Minutes

WISeR Board meets ~monthly to handle the administrative aspects of the group. This month’s meeting notes can be found below. We post these as part of our commitment to transparency. Please let us know if you have any questions or ideas.

WISeR Board Meeting Minutes

Date: February 1st, 5pm
In attendance: Emily Dennis, Catherine Lu, Aaron Mertz, Shruti Naik and Alicia Guemez Gamboa (correspondence provided by email).
Notes compiled by: Shruti Naik, Secretary.

Meeting start: 5:00 pm
Emily Dennis – makes brief introductions for all board members inclusion

Mentorship initiative update
Emily Lorenzen, WISeR member and lead on mentorship initiative provided an overview of this effort. Specifically, Emily outlined methods to recruit mentors and mentees and enhance faculty involvement, define the parameters of mentorship and means of review and re-matching unsatisfied mentors and mentees. The group also plans for Wine and Cheese mixers for mentors and mentees. Before launching this initiative, Emily will compile a survey to gauge the community’s interest and willingness to participate in this initiative and send it to the board for review and approval.

Discussion of individual board member duties, establish minimum responsibilities for board members, determine procedure for election of new board members.
The board went over each board members ‘existing responsibilities’ to include Emily – President; Shruti – Secretary Breakfasts; Catherine – Treasurer Social Events, Alicia – Career Development; Vicky – Social Events; Aaron – Vice President**, PRISM

**Mariko Kobayashi stepped down from the board in the last month, and the board voted Aaron in to fill the vacancy until elections in August.

The group discussed defining minimum responsibilities for each board member to include attendance of board meeting (not missing more than two in a row) and the requirement for response to WISeR board emails at least once a week.

The group determined the need for new board members with specific talents and interests in the area of social media maintenance, mentorship, and alumni outreach. Emily Dennis will send out a call for new board members amongst WISeR members to self-nominate. Any interested parties are required to be involved in at least one existing initiative (for example breakfast, mentorship, etc). If the response is overwhelming the board will discuss if additional requirements would be useful, and open up a general vote.

Budget discussion:

FY2016 (now-July)
Catherine presented the existing budget for FY2016 to the board. We plan to spend out much of our account  on already planned events including the yearly BBQ, Wine and Cheese members meeting, as well as administrative costs. Emily has also been working with Andrea Morris to set up a sexual harassment workshop (2, 90 minute sessions with 25 attendees per session and one of the sessions may include existing Rockefeller faculty. WISeR has agreed to cover half the cost of the consultant fees (Andrea Morris’ office will cover other half and transportation costs) if there is enough interest among members. If not, we will work to make this a Tri-I event and share costs accordingly, led by Andrea Morris and depending on attendance. Some funds will also be allocated to launching PRISM’s first event, if PRISM is unable to secure funds from the administration. Aaron discussed adding a women scientist of the month to the blog, which will conduct interviews over lunch in the Abby. Aaron will meet with members to determine interest and plan immediate next steps. We discussed including administrators.

FY2017 (July 2016-July 2017) The group discussed the budget request for the next year due March 7th. WISeR plans to request funds for quarterly members meetings, mentorship mixers, workshops on confidence and networking, and other administrative costs such as website maintenance. Catherine also brought up the possibility of publication parties, where members will share 3 minute vignettes of their publications. Networking funds will also be allocated for these events. Catherine will prepare budget for next meeting. Additional ideas are welcome.

Established March board meeting date
Tentatively set for March 3rd pending Vicky and Alicia’s approval, Abby Dinning Hall

Adjourned: 6:30pm

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onFebruary 5, 2016CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsTagsminutesLeave a commenton February Board Meeting MinutesEdit"February Board Meeting Minutes"

New Years Message from the President

This week, Marc Tessier-Lavigne sent out a glowing report on Rockefeller’s accomplishments in 2015 and what we can look forward to in 2016. WISeR was excited to see a mention of the ongoing and growing efforts to make our campus even-better for women and minorities.

We can also look forward to what I hope will be another robust year for faculty recruitment, which is crucial to maintaining our excellence in bioscience. In the coming months, we will hold discussions with five finalists identified by our mid-career hiring committee, as well as a dozen candidates who have come through our open search process. We are particularly mindful of the gender imbalance among our tenured and tenure-track scientists, and we have formed a committee specifically charged with examining the issue of diversity on campus and generating ideas for improvement in this area. The Rockefeller University Diversity Initiative (RUDI) consists of faculty, administrative, student, and postdoc representatives and will work closely with me to consider current practices and develop new recommendations. You will learn more about RUDI’s activities in the upcoming year.  

-Marc Tessier-Lavigne

We at WISeR also look forward to this new year and can’t wait to see what RUDI accomplishes.

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onJanuary 9, 2016CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton New Years Message from the PresidentEdit"New Years Message from the President"

WISeR restructuring meeting

As many of you may know, over the last few months WISeR has been  developing a constitution to clarify our purpose, provide a more formal structure, and to make our leadership board and activities more accessible and transparent for our members and the larger Rockefeller community that we serve.

On December 10th, the WISeR Board met and  finalized our constitution and held elections. We also updated our mission statement.

Our new mission statement reads:  To promote the institutional equality and success of women scientists at The Rockefeller University by serving as a platform for professional development and community advocacy.

A copy of the Constitution can be found here.

We also held elections and unanimously voted for
President: Emily Dennis
Vice-President: Mariko Kobayashi
Treasurer: Catherine Pei-Ju Lu
Secretary: Shruti Naik

through August 1, 2016, when we will hold our first elections as described in the Constitution.

Items tabled for future discussion:
Membership requirements: we decided to not include any requirements for membership at this time. It was suggested that members be required to attend one event and complete the WISeR survey each year. However, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible for now, especially since the membership program itself is so new, and we will determine if a tiered membership program would be useful in the future. We will revisit this in next year’s Constitution review meeting.

Board positions: We decided to include only a small set of descriptions in the constitution itself, but we also noted that each board member must lead or co-lead at least one major initiative of WISeR. Examples include: alumni outreach; social media and web presence; coordination of FLS breakfasts, WIS lunches, and Insight lecture teas; and member relations.

Other: We had a very productive meeting, but noted there were additional details that should be discussed early next year, like all roles for each existing board member and how to transition when we know board members are going to leave the group, especially if that occurs before the end of a persons’  term. We will discuss this at our next board members meeting.

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onDecember 14, 2015CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton WISeR restructuring meetingEdit"WISeR restructuring meeting"

First Members Meeting

On November 18th, we had our first members meeting.

The Board introduced ourselves, and then everyone enjoyed, wine, cheese, and each others company. We also discussed five major facets of WISeR, each had their own table:

  1. Mentor program

  2. Social Events

  3. Breakfasts and Scientific Meetings

  4. Website

  5. New Ideas

Each of us received many great ideas from our members and recruited volunteers for our initiatives. We were overwhelmed with the amazing response from our awesome members.

Thanks to all who came and made it such a successful event! We look forward to following up on all of these great ideas and contributions in the new year.

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onDecember 13, 2015CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton First Members MeetingEdit"First Members Meeting"

RUDI representatives

RUDI (Rockefeller University Diversity Initiative) is a new initiative began by co-chairs Leslie Vosshall and Chief of Staff Timothy O’Connor.

WISeR has nominated Devon Collins as the student representative and Aakanksha Singhvi as the postdoc/research associate representative.

We thank everyone who expressed interest in this position and can’t want to see what RUDI accomplishes!

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onDecember 13, 2015CategoriesOfficial Announcements3 Commentson RUDI representativesEdit"RUDI representatives"

2015 fall survey: complete

On October 26, WISeR released a 5 minute, 29 question survey and asked all research assistants, students, postdocs, research associates, and clinical scholars to take it. Within the week, 259 people responded, which is about 30% of all people emailed, including 95 dudes and 127 people who have never been to a WISeR event.

This is an amazing response! Thanks so much to everyone who took time to take the survey, and welcome to the 27 new members who joined WISeR since the survey began.

We are analyzing all of these data now, and are working with a group of members to create a list of suggestions for the administration and WISeR. Summary data are available on request for now, and will be released soon. Thanks again to everyone for taking the survey and making sure their co-workers took the survey as well!

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onNovember 4, 2015CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton 2015 fall survey: completeEdit

Words to the WISeR: a community blog

This space is for the WISeR leadership to communicate our activities to our members, and for our Rockefeller community to respond to and discuss events on campus and in science.

Interested in submitting a post or getting more involved? Email wiser(at)rockefeller.edu or Maryam Zaringhalam, our Senior Blog Editor! We are accepting posts from all members, including those who wish to post anonymously or under a pseudonym.

Check out these different categories of posts:
Official Announcements check out what WISeR has been up to
Campus Events read about anything specific to the Rockefeller campus here!
OpEds this category contains all of the opinion pieces written by you, our members!

AuthorwiseratrockefellerPosted onNovember 1, 2015CategoriesOfficial AnnouncementsLeave a commenton Words to the WISeR: a community blogEdit