The Association for Women in Science national chapters committee has recognized the West Virginia chapter as one of its 2013 star chapter award winners.
The AWIS West Virginia chapter was formed in 1991 by faculty at West Virginia University and Marshall University. It is a statewide chapter of approximately 30 members located across the state at WVU, Marshall University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, the U.S. Forest Service, and IBM, among other organizations.
Amy Keesee, a research assistant professor in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy, serves as the AWIS West Virginia chapter president. The chapter organizes professional development and networking events for students and faculty, including events with guest speakers, panels and workshops. The organization does significant work to promote women in STEM careers.
The AWIS West Virginia chapter also organizes Expanding Your Horizons, an annual outreach event for middle school girls. Hosted annually in different state locations, Expanding Your Horizons gives students the opportunity to participate in four hands-on STEM workshops and meet women in STEM careers.
The national organization works to change current public policy while advocating for the retention and advancement of women in scientific leadership positions in industry, non-profit organizations and academia. AWIS also promotes gender-specific data collection by national, state and private entities.
WVU recently renewed its institutional partnership with AWIS. This partnership now provides all WVU graduate students with a complimentary one-year membership to the national organization.
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