Penn WiC consists of a board of women that is divided into committees, each focused on planning and hosting events that support the overarching mission of WiC.  See below for a list of the committees with descriptions. Feel free to reach out to the committee chair or anyone on the board for more information


Chair: Lucille Wells
Members: Rachel Lackner

The Mentoring Committee’s overarching goal is to provide students, both women and men alike, the opportunity to engage with scientists in all aspects of the chemical world. These opportunities provide the chance for students to ask question, explore different avenues within chemistry, and establish a network of professionals they can seek out for advice. Largely, WiC has seen to this mission through the GEMS program–Graduate Students Engaging with Mentor Scientists. This is a monthly event where the committee seeks out a guest scientist either within Penn’s chemistry department or outside of it to come and share their experiences with graduate students and post doctoral fellows and provide insight into their daily lives and relatable struggles some of our own graduate students may be facing. As a group, WiC members acts as mentors for each other, open discussions within board meetings leading to connections between members. A new potential goal moving forward may be to further expand mentoring programming to include another event in addition to GEMS. Mentoring styles grow and adapt, and as a committee, we hope to grow and adapt our programs to better benefit our graduate student community.

Women Specific Events

Chair: Taylor Barrett
Members: Carolyn White

Women in Chemistry’s women-specific event committee organizes events that are only for women in the department. The goal of these events is to strengthen the relationships between women in the department, and to provide a space to discuss what exactly it’s like to be a woman in the department. In the past, we’ve held events where the female students come together with the female faculty to discuss life in the department and career trajectory (Discussions with Female Faculty). We’ve also held events where the female graduate students and post-docs can come together in an informal setting to provide advice, support, and everything in-between to one another (Whine About It). Looking forward, we are planning on holding some women-only career building events that center around practicing talks and posters for upcoming conferences. Through these events, the women-specific event committee aims to create an accepting and supportive environment for the women of the chemistry department.

Science Outreach

Chair: Jennifer Lee
Members: Katelyn Bustin

Women in Chemistry’s Science Outreach aims to promote a diverse and well-educated scientific work force and a scientifically-literate general public. To address these aims, we partner with a variety of groups to advance the participation of women and underrepresented groups in chemistry and increase the awareness of scientific issues in our community. Our major effort is informal education for children and teens. We design hands-on experiments to complement formal education and encourage the next generation of scientists. Our past activities have included:


Chair: Adriana Jemison
Members: Alison Knaisin

The social subgroup aims to create a strong, supportive community of Penn chemists by providing activities and opportunities for engagement for women chemists as well as the entire department. In the past we have hosted a welcome pizza social for incoming grad students, meditated with Penn Wellness, destressed with Therapy Dogs International, shared our experiences over a potluck dinner, and competed in a friendly round of Quizzo open to all graduate Penn Chemistry students and postdocs. Be sure to say hello at our next event!

Professional Advancement (PAC)

Chair: Becky Wiles
Members: Jennifer Lee, Alison Knasin, Marshall Lougee, Josh Bulos, Katie Elbert, Paris Watson

The goal of PAC is to help students in the department achieve their professional goals by hosting events where students can develop professional skills and learn about various career opportunities. A few of our past events include: alternatives career panel, networking dinner, how to get the most out of conferences, mentoring, and maintaining a professional online presence. One of our biggest events of the year is a Pop Talks Competition, focused on developing public speaking, where contestants have 60 seconds to explain their research without using any scientific jargon! If you ever have an idea for an event or want to get involved, please reach out!


Chair: Paris Watson
Members: Rachel Lackner, Katie Bustin

The communications committee strives to promote the work of WiC and the accomplishments of women in the chemical sciences. The communications committee is responsible for:

  • Maintaining/messaging on Facebook
  • Website creation and maintenance

Book Club

Chair: Judith Currano

This subgroup helps to facilitate selection of a book for WiC bookclub and organises the discussion.