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Women in Science and Engineering - WISE (University of Michigan)

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. See the organization’s website for its latest information.

For the past two decades, the University of Michigan (UM) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program has developed and implemented a host of programmatic activities to increase the number of women students who successfully pursue majors, advanced degrees and careers in science, mathematics and engineering (SME). Program services range from summer workshops that have served 1,300 middle school girls to a living-learning residential program that has been home for more than 1,000 first- and second- year undergraduate women; from a summer research program aimed at encouraging women to undertake graduate studies in science and engineering to a peer mentoring network for women graduate students. The WISE program has made a significant impact in the recruitment and retention of women in SME fields. For example, UM engineering undergraduate enrollment of women increased from 17 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 1999. In 1980, only 18 percent of the science and mathematics degrees awarded by UM went to women. Today, 42 percent of the biochemistry majors are women; 46 percent of the cellular and molecular biology majors; 44 percent of the mathematics majors; and 45 percent of the geology majors.