WISE formed in the fall of 2004 with the mission of ascertaining the needs of the female faculty in science and engineering disciplines within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering at Boston University.  The first meetings were planned by Mary Erskine from CAS Biology and Sheryl Grace from Mechanical Engineering aided by Cynthia Brossman from LERNET (who had previously run the Pathways event which brought together women faculty in STEM for a high school outreach program).   WISE was sanctioned by Provost David Campbell and Sheryl Grace became the first Chair.

Past Chairs:

  • Fall 2004/Spring 2005: Sheryl Grace (chair)
  • Fall 2005/Spring 2006: Meena Narain (chair), Sheryl Grace (co-chair)
  • Fall 2006/Spring 2007:  Deborah Belle (chair), Sheryl Grace (co-chair)
  • Fall 2007/Spring 2008: Deborah Belle (chair), Margrit Betke (co-chair)
  • Fall 2008/Spring 2009: Margrit Betke (chair)
  • Fall 2009/Spring 2010: Rama Bansil (chair), Laurel Smith-Doerr (co-chair)
  • Fall 2010/Spring, 2011: Laurel-Smith-Doerr (chair), Alice Cronin-Golomb (co-chair)


Snipets of the WISE history

Spring 2005:

  • Suzanne Brainerd from U. of Washington studies available information and focus group comments and prepares a report on the status of STEM women faculty at BU.
  • WISE report is offered to Department Chairs describing its intent to rovide opportunities for women faculty members in science and engineering to network, mentor each other, and access leadership training, and to speak with a united voice about work climate concerns

Fall 2005:

  • NSF PAID proposal is submitted by Meena Nairain and Sheryl Grace (not funded)
  • Mary Erskine negotiates for a half-time staff person to support WISE efforts

Spring 2006:

  • WISE begins formal programming which includes regular lunches, mentoring lunches for assistant professors, and university-wide events
  • Carol Neidle and Roscoe Giles present a salary study to the faculty as part of the faculty assembly general meeting

Fall 2007:

  • Council for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion is formed — Deborah Belle, Sheryl Grace, Carol Neidle, and Gloria Waters bring WISE interests to the committee
  • Search handbook is adopted by BU

Spring 2007:

  • Deborah Belle secures increased funding for WISE activities from President Brown and Provost Campbell

Fall 2008:

  • WISE holds first receptions for new faculty in STEM fields
  • Deborah Belle completes retroactive exit-interviews and reports on findings
  • Mary Erskine passes away
  • Gina Sapiro becomes Dean of CAS
  • Cynthia Brossman of LERNet leads steering committee to launch WISE@Warren Residential floor for ugrad women in STEM

Spring 2008:

  • NSF ADVANCE PAID proposal is submitted by Deborah Belle and Sheryl Grace (funded – becomes WIN)
  • Deborah Belle and Cynthia Brossman work to get official GWISE group off the ground securing funds from CAS via Gina Sapiro

Fall 2008/Spring 2009:

  • WIN programming begins : pretenure mentoring program, new faculty networking receptions, Erskine grants, WIN Colloqiuia

Fall 2009:

  • Julie Sandell becomes first Associate Provost for faculty development
  • Francine Montemurro becomes first Ombuds
  • WISE book club forms
  • WISE time out group forms

Spring 2010

  • Deborah Belle named director of Women’s Studies

Fall 2010

  • Carol Neidle completes WIN NSF data analysis
  • New leave policy is put into place

Spring 2011

  • Jean Morrison becomes new provost