Past Events

2020 Spring to Action at Northeastern University – POSTPONED

March 7th, 2020: Due to concerns related to COVID-19, we decided to postpone our 2020 Spring to Action event, “Advocating for Ourselves and Others: How to Build Inclusive Communities.” We’ve included the incredible program we had lined up above. Although we are disappointed that we were unable to host the full event as planned, we look forward to having a modified, virtual version of this programming in late summer and fall.

2019 Retreat at Tufts University, Medford Campus

August 10th, 2019: NE GWiSE hosted our third annual Retreat at Tufts Medford on campus inclusivity. Graduate students from over 8 universities across New England heard from leading researchers, practitioners, and advocates about key challenges and solutions in empowering individuals to foster an inclusive campus climate.

To a passionate audience, speakers shared inspirational stories about why diversity and inclusivity matter more than ever. They gave examples of how unspoken rules persist in academia and how implicit bias can be tackled. Graduate students from all walks of life shared their identity struggles on campus and how they fought back against discrimination. It was an opportunity to reconnect with individuals and groups and to remind people of the power of individual and synergistic efforts to foster a better and more inclusive campus climate.

Read more about the retreat here.

2019 Spring to Action at Harvard University

April 6th, 2019: NE GWiSE hosted our second annual Spring to Action Summit at Harvard University. Each year, the summit is held for local schools to tackle issues present in academic and STEM fields. This year the summit focused on mentorship in the sciences. The day featured a keynote address form Tamara Brown, current Director of Sustainable Development and Community Engagement at Praxair, Inc. and Founder of Tech Savvy. Tamara is former president AAUW’s Buffalo New York branch, and has been recognized for her outreach efforts being named Champion of Change by the White House in 2011 and a Hero of the 500 by Fortune 500 in 2014.

The summit also featured workshops on mentorship led by Dr. Avi Rodal (Professor, Brandeis University) and Dr. Kylie Huckleberry (postdoc, NEU), and a panel discussion featuring Dr. Kıvılcım Kılıç (Research scientist, BU), Dr. Shaun Patel (Neuroscientist and Bioinformatician, HMS and MGH), Dr. Simina Ticau (Senior Scientist at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals), Dr. Caroline Uhler (Associate Professor,MIT) and Mounika Vutukuru (PhD candidate and GWISE President, BU). Attendees devised concrete strategies to improve mentorship for graduate women in science and left the event armed with action items to change mentorship programs at their schools.

Read more about the summit here.

2018 Retreat at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August 17th, 2018: NE GWiSE hosted our second annual Summer Retreat at MIT on August 17th. Each year, the retreat is held to bring the constituents of NE GWiSE together to network, meet new members, and socialize around a central topic. Since we often play dual roles as both mentees and mentors, we focused 2018’s retreat on Navigating Power Dynamics & Building Confident Mentalities as STEM graduate students in academia.

The event featured a keynote lecture from MIT Professor of Astrophysics Sara Seager. She walked us through the milestones of her academic career leading up to her present day success. As she described her research and the methods she has pioneered to identify exoplanets, she paused at key points to recount anecdotal interactions with peers, mentors, and colleagues. Workshops were run throughout the day addressing strategies to prepare for, and overcome the obstacles graduate students will likely face as they continue their careers in STEM fields. The first workshop session equipped attendees with strategies of how to interact with superiors, and how to form meaningful mentor-mentee relationships. The second session discussed power dynamics, and privilege in STEM, and how to maintain professional relationships. The final session focused on empowerment, how to respond to misused power, and mindful decision making.

Read more about the retreat here.

2018 Spring to Action at Tufts University School of Medicine

March 4th, 2018: NE GWiSE hosted its Inaugural Spring to Action event at Tufts University School of Medicine. Spring to Action is an annual series focused on advocacy and policy building around a specific issue of importance to the graduate student community. This year, the focus was on sexual harassment, with the event title “Breaking the silence, building a collective: A forum on sexual harassment in higher education.” #SpringtoAction18

Below is a transcript from the Tufts Sackler Insight article highlighting the event, written by Tufts Sackler Neuroscience PhD Cadidate, Alyssa DiLeo.

Read more about Spring to Action here.

2017 Inaugural Retreat at Boston University

August 19th 2017: NE GWiSE’s Inaugural Retreat was a day of connecting graduate women from different universities and collaborating to help make NE GWiSE an organization that can effectively address the issues we face to create change within our community!

We started off the day being inspired by our opening keynote speaker. Were delighted host Nina Dudnik, PhD, founder and CEO of Seeding Labs. For an overview of her keynote, see the article in the Sackler Insight Newsletter.

Next, we had introductions by partner GWiSE groups and breakout sessions to discuss how NE GWiSE will function. Finally, we ended the day with a scavenger hunt and BBQ social! It was a fantastic day of networking with graduate women from different departments and universities, sharing best practices and recurring issues, and fostering  collaborations and friendships across the region.