WIC Lunch with Professors Buchwald and Van Voorhis (Associate Department Heads)

We are excited to announce the next WIC lunch with Professors Steve Buchwald and Troy Van Voorhis! They are the Associate Department Heads and are on the new Quality of Life Committee. Join us for this opportunity to get to know Professors Buchwald and Van Voorhis, talk about the current state and future of the department, and discuss any other topics of interest to the group.

The lunch will be on Tuesday, November 10th at noon in the Moore Room (6-321). Sign up here by noon on Wednesday 11/4: http://signup.mit.edu/lunch_buchwald_vanvoorhis

— WIC Board —

Upcoming WIC Outreach Event – Girls Day at the MIT Museum!

WIC will be participating in Girls Day at the MIT Museum on November 7th, 2015! The theme this year is It’s Not Magic, It’s Science! and features groups from chemistry and materials science. We will have two WIC members giving short talks about their path in science and a group of us running fun, interactive activities based on fluorescence, protein folding and denaturation, and magnetism. ClubChem and Dr. Patti Christie will also be participating. This fun event is geared towards ages 10+, so help us spread the word and engage more girls in STEM!

Check out the website for full details and the event schedule:

Stay tuned for other opportunities to participate in WIC Outreach events: service opportunity at Rosie’s Place in Boston and the new WIC Chemistry Day Camp for local area girls!

Apple Picking Retreat 2015!


We made our annual trek to Shelburne Farm on October 4th! Despite a rainy week leading up to our trip, it turned into a beautiful day to be outdoors. Many apple varieties were ripe for picking, so we had a lot to choose from. And of course, after apple picking, we had to get our fill of cider donuts (yum!). Spending time with new and old friends was a great way to kick off the fall season!

WIC Alumnae Lunch: Professor Shana Sturla and Dr. Dana Buske


We were delighted to welcome Professor Shana Sturla and Dr. Dana Buske back to MIT campus to have lunch with members of Women in Chemistry! Shana is an Associate Professor at the ETH in Zurich and Dana is an environmental consultant at Tech Environmental in Boston. It was interesting to hear about their different career paths – what their job is like, what motivated their choices, and how they prepared and progressed to each stage in their career. Dana and Shana were both instrumental in starting Women in Chemistry when they were graduate students at MIT, so it was especially exciting for us to meet and spend time with them!

2014-2015: WIC Lunch Series with the Female Faculty

In the summer of 2014 we started the WIC Lunch Series with the Female Faculty. The goal of this series is to provide an opportunity, in a more informal setting, for community building between WIC members and the female faculty in the Department of Chemistry. These lunches have spanned an entire year, and in addition to the female faculty, we were able to invite the chemistry lecturers and MLK visiting professor. Looking back, it was a unique opportunity for us to hear many different perspectives on topics ranging from mentorship, finding balance, gender issues, applying to faculty positions, and transitioning from graduate student to post doc to faculty. So much great advice was shared by the inspiring women in our department! We look forward to planning future events that bring students and faculty together.

Professor Cathy Drennan
— Go for the thing you’re interested and passionate about. Just go for it.Drennan_lunchProfessor Liz Nolan
— On transitioning from a post doc to managing a lab as a faculty member: You learn not to make the same mistake twice.

Professor Mei Hong
— On choosing a research focus: Follow your heart as much as your mind.Hong_lunchProfessor Alice Ting
— You have all these resources and you’re only limited by your creativity. It’s exciting and scary. 
— Having scientific conversations are extremely important for idea development.

Dr. Beth Vogel Taylor
— In teaching, it’s useful to have had bench experience. You use it for stories and context.Beth_lunchProfessor Gabriela Schlau-Cohen
— On advising: You don’t need a style. The most important thing is having communication and being able to adapt.Schlau-Cohen_lunch

Professor Susan Solomon
— On formulating research questions: I don’t do work that is derivative of others. I’m often trying to consciously think outside the box.
— On time management: Women are really good at being helpful. Always ask yourself if this would be asked of a guy. Never say yes to something on the telephone. Manage your calendar in the privacy of your own mind.
— Strategies for combatting implicit bias: Have a sense of humor. You don’t want to get mad and create barriers for someone to be more thoughtful about these things.Solomon_lunchProfessor Sylvia Ceyer
— Skills are needed to address bias. If these things take you by surprise, you’re not going to react in the best way. More training and thinking ahead of time about what the best strategies are will help you to react in a constructive way.Ceyer_lunch

Dr. Patti Christie
— If you’re given an opportunity, you take it.Patti_lunchProfessor JoAnne Stubbe
— On the strength of MIT: I’ve been able to do things here that I couldn’t do anywhere else.
— All of you can find something that excites you.Stubbe_lunch

Professor Malika Jeffries-EL
— I knew I was a chemist early in. I was that girl melting her crayons to find out what happens.
— It’s a sprint and not a marathon. Take a detour, even if it slows down your research. Pick up some other things along the way.
— On being a professor: This is the best job ever.Jeffries_lunch