Life as a graduate student is a constant balancing act, and organizers of the upcoming 2016 Susan M. Arseven '75 Conference for Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) guarantee multiple opportunities to learn from some of the best multitaskers within the STEM professions and Aggieland later this month on the Texas A&M campus.

Registration currently is underway for the popular annual WISE Conference, now in its 24th year and set for Saturday, Feb. 20, in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus. This year's theme, "One-Woman Show: Juggling Career, Family Life and Well-Being," focuses on balancing both the professional and the personal in order to successfully navigate the many facets and phases of life.

The event will feature a day of common ground, conversation and inspiration among friends in a series of interactive workshops featuring speakers who are examples of diversified strength in action who will share their insights gained along the journey from diploma to career and all points in between. Topics include networking, leadership, transitioning into new careers, making choices and many other areas of interest to women as they move out into the technological workforce.

"This is a two-way participatory opportunity to discuss a variety of challenges women face in preparing for and pursuing successful science, engineering and technological careers, with knowledgeable speakers addressing obstacles and opportunities they have encountered in both their personal and professional lives," said Dr. Nancy Magnussen, director of Educational Outreach and Women's Programs in the College of Science, which organizes and hosts the annual event. "Whether trying to get out of graduate school or deciding if the current career path is the correct one, everyone should take away new thoughts and ideas from our motivated and inspired speakers."

The daylong conference (see schedule here) will feature a keynote presentation by the Honorable Kathie L. Olsen, Ph.D., former Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation, former Chief Scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and founder and managing director of ScienceWorks International, LLC. Her presentation, "Careers for the WISE and Extra-Ordinary," will address the incredible diversity of career opportunities available to women in science and engineering. In adddition, Olsen will share many lessons she's learned in her own variety of extra- (as in, "beyond") ordinary career choices, only one of which she actually envisioned during her time as a graduate student.

A complete list of speakers is available here.

"In my opinion, the best part about this conference are the feelings of empowerment and inspiration you will walk away with," said Sarah E. Elmore '10, 2015-16 president of WISE and a Ph.D. candidate in toxicology in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "This not only comes from our dynamic speakers, but also the amazing women sitting next to you in the audience. Every year, we try very hard to have a diverse group of STEM speakers that appeals to our attendees, and this year is no different."

The conference is named in honor of the late Dr. Susan M. Arseven '75, one of the leading strategists in information technology during a career spanning several disciplines and a pioneering example of Aggie leadership. Thanks to generous funding from a permanent endowment established through the Texas A&M Foundation by Arseven's husband, biostatistician Dr. Ersen Arseven '74, the event also showcases the Susan M. Arseven Make-A-Difference Award -- two $1,000 awards presented to female graduate students pursuing master's or doctoral degrees in science, engineering or technology as part of the conference.

The registration fee is $50 ($25 for students) and includes a pre-conference reception on Friday, Feb. 19, a registration packet and lunch on Saturday. Participants can register online at http://outreach.science.tamu.edu/wise/2016/wise_online_registration.php. The deadline is Feb. 15.

Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) at Texas A&M is a university-recognized organization of graduate students, staff and faculty from various science and engineering backgrounds. The group was created to address specific problems faced by women in non-traditional fields.

For more information about the conference or other outreach events and women's programs in the College of Science, visit http://outreach.science.tamu.edu.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Nancy Magnussen, (979) 845-5587 or nancy@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Kathie L. Olsen, Ph.D.

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