Graduate Students Revive BME Women’s Group

By: Carolyn Chlebek, Regan Stephenson and Monideepa Chatterjee

This past year, Meinig School graduate students revived the Cornell Biomedical Engineering Women’s (BMEW) as a resource for students in the graduate field of biomedical engineering (BME)! With strong support from the Meinig School, the group aims to create an inclusive environment and to foster community among the women within the biomedical engineering field at Cornell. Some activities in support of this goal organized so far this year by BMEW include:

  • Establishing a mentoring program, including a mentoring network that pairs third and fourth-year graduate students and post-docs with newer graduate students to ensure smooth transition into the program. The program also serves to distribute knowledge of campus resources for incoming female students and to expand the network of female graduate students across cohorts.
  • Hosting networking events to facilitate networking connections with prominent women visiting campus. The group hosted meet-and-greets with academic visitors Drs. Rhima Coleman and Linda Griffith. The group also featured a networking event with Dr. Nas Zahir from the National Cancer Institute, who provided insight into alternative career paths at the NIH.
  • Creating safe spaces to discuss challenges to female scientists. The group hosted journal clubs as a forum for members to discuss negotiating skills and the recruitment of allies. They also read scientific articles featuring prominent female scientists and discussed the obstacles they overcame to publish. By exchanging stories, the group helped each other identify common obstacles and discussed strategies to overcome these hurdles.

BMEW Women's Group members selfie
BMEW members selfie

In the coming year, the BMEW hopes to increase connections within the Meinig School through more informal socials with female faculty to gain insight into their unique career paths. They also hope to collaborate on more events with other like-minded women's groups across campus to expand members' networks as well as allow for larger organized seminars and speakers.

Based on this year’s success, the BMEW seeks to expand the network to include and engaged alumni! To join, to visit as a speaker or participate as a mentor, get in touch! E-mail for more information.

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