WISP will receive $10,000 from NSF
By David Kung, Staff Writer
Published on Wednesday, October 2, 1996
As a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the Women in Science Project has received a $10,000 grant to further their mentoring programs and activities.
The National Science Foundation created the award this year to recognize institutions and people with outstanding mentoring programs that encourage the involvement of women, minorities and those with disabilities in sciences and engineering.
WISP Director Mary Pavone represented the organization at an award ceremony held in the White House last week, which also recognized 10 individuals and five other institutions.
Pavone said the award "is a great honor to the College and to this program and the women who began it."
"I was accepting the award but really it was coming to the Women in Science Project and the College," Pavone said. "I was happy to accept on behalf of all the people that have contributed-- faculty, students and administrators."
Chemistry Professor Karen Wetterhahn and former Associate Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering Carol Muller founded WISP in 1990 to encourage more women at the College to explore the sciences.
This program for freshman women has research and mentoring components.
The research program enables these students to pursue research programs one-on-one with science faculty members. The mentoring programs include a peer mentoring between older and younger women and the electronic mentoring program, which enables students to correspond with women in scientific industries through e-mail, are WISP's current mentoring programs.
Pavone said she does not yet know how WISP will use the award money.
"We are not sure yet how we will use it but we know we will use it in some fashion for continuing mentor programs," she said.
The College nominated WISP for the award last April, Pavone said. There were about 90 nominations for individuals and about 45 institutions nominated for the award, she said.
One of the requirements was to demonstrate that "the program was part of the fabric of the institution, and securely supported by the institution and not just a marginal program," Pavone said.
"The WISP program is unique in a couple of ways," Pavone said. "It is very comprehensive with the role models, info and the newsletter. It is unique because sometimes campus program focus on only one thing."