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Graduate Programs: WiSE-FPP
Slepecky Lecture & Prize
WiSE Women of Color in STEM

Past WiSE-FPP Cohorts

WiSE-FPP 2014-2015 Cohort2014-2015


WiSE-FPP Cohort 2013-2014



2012-2013 WiSE-Future Professionals Program



2011-2012 WiSE FPP Cohort







2008 - 2009






Future Professionals Program


WiSE-FPP 2015-2016 Cohort

WiSE welcomes the 2015-2016 cohort of the Future Professionals Program (WiSE-FPP), the largest cohort of participants to date.

This year 51 nominees, nominated by 40 different faculty members, were accepted. WiSE-FPP Associates are women PhD students who represent the full range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. They come from 15 different Syracuse University departments within 4 colleges/schools including Arts & Sciences, Engineering & Computer Science, Education, and Information Studies. The group is equally diverse in nationality hailing from Bangladesh, China, England, Hungary, India, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Myanmar, and the US.


The program is led by Faculty Advisors including Dr. Laura Lautz (Earth Sciences), Dr. Qinru Qiu (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), and Dr. Laura VanderDrift (Psychology).  They, along with professional staff, are responsible for selection of nominees, program development, and mentoring the WiSE-FPP Associates. Read Full Article from SU Today, October 20, 2015 edition.


WiSE-FPP Associates in the News

Kayleigh McGovern Part of Team Studying Insatiable Hunger


Kayleigh McGovern




WiSE-FPP Associate Xiaoli Zhou

Xiaoli Zhou




WiSE-FPP Associate Ariel Ash-Shakoor


Ariel Ash-Shakoor

Web Interview with Ariel - Lady Paragons for Women in STEM



WiSE-FPP Associate Liz Droge-Young


Elizabeth Droge-Young (video)

video transcript



Graduate and Doctoral Student Support Program

Under the direction of faculty leaders, Drs. Shobha Bhatia and Susan Older, the WiSE- FPP program focuses on graduate and doctoral student career development, planning, and preparation, as well as addressing persistence in science and engineering. WiSE-FPP is a professional development and academic support program that began in the 2007-08 academic year from a partnership between the WiSE Program, the Graduate School, and the Colleges of Engineering & Computer Science and Arts & Sciences. WiSE-FPP is designed for Masters and Doctoral students in any of the sciences and engineering subfields at Syracuse University.


WiSE-FPP reflects both: (a.) the different disciplines of its members across the sciences and engineering and (b.) the different career goals that participating graduate students pursue in academia, organizations, and industry.  WiSE-FPP is uniquely designed to be collaborative, interdisciplinary, and self-directed, with WiSE-FPP participants (“Associates”) taking a lead role in developing programming and events. This vision is predicated on the belief that when graduate students take a proactive role they help to design the terms for their own academic and professional success. To this end we have targeted programs in two best practice areas:


1. Introduction and facilitation of a career planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives.

a. These programs will support career development through self-assessment opportunities, professional portfolio development and coaching/mentoring addressing a wide range of issues associated with career development.


b. Provision of opportunities for informal mentoring, networking and peer-to-peer connection. Through informal mentoring by faculty and guest presenters students are provided with opportunities to discover and access resources that support their academics and career goals. Peer-to-peer connection opportunities helps to build community among women students, whom often feel isolated in these male-dominated fields. Finally, we often bring in former alumni and community professionals for programs to facilitate and practice networking.


c. Note: Corresponding faculty development should include training on the provision of high quality advising and the facilitation of a student’s pursuit of research careers. (Lord and Cahoon, 2006) This corresponding area will be addressed through the Faculty Mentoring programs provided by WiSE.


2. Integration of students into the research culture of science and engineering at Syracuse University as well as the professional community.

a. These programs will enhance the student’s knowledge and skills which fosters successful inclusion in research and persistence towards her degree. It could take the form of work/life balance programs, leadership and collaboration skill development, support to participate in professional activities such as conferences & grant writing, etc. Wherever possible, FPP programs will coordinate activities with other WiSE programs and activities to maximize our efforts on behalf of students and faculty.


To learn more about the WiSE Future Professionals Program click here.


Recommended Reading for Women Graduate Students in STEM

Wellcome Trust Study of Ph.D. students identifies key factors that influence how women graduate students make career decisions, as well as the challenges they face. See article by Alex Philippidis published in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Online October 15, 2013, and the report itself, "Risks and Rewards: How Ph.D. Students Choose their Careers."


When Dr. Danielle E. Lee declined to contribute free content to Biology Online, the blogger who contacted her (and whom has since been dismissed) compared her to a "whore." The incident highlights difficulties faced by women in STEM, and particularly women of color in STEM. Article by Stacey Patton for The Chronicle of Higher Education published October 15, 2013: Scientist or 'Whore'? Incident Symbolizes Familiar Struggle for Women of Color in Science.


Women graduate students often feel that they are "imposters" in their fields and thus change their career goals to match their self-perception, which is harmful to both individual women and to the academic institutions that they might serve as tenure-track professors. Reported by Michael Price in Science Careers of the journal Science published September 4, 2013: "Imposters" Downshift Career Goals.