Boston University Women in Chemistry strives to promote the advancement of women and other under-represented minorities in the sciences. We seek to improve the future of chemists by providing means for professional development and social networking. In addition, fellowship and grant resources are made readily available to BUWIC members. BUWIC is unique in the sense that it creates a personal and supportive community for chemists – of all gender identities. Not only does the organization provide the listed benefits, but it also weeks answers for the difficult choices that chemists are challenged to make both personally and professionally. By inviting speakers from industry, academia, and ‘non-traditional’ sectors, members may ask those appropriate questions such as “What happens after graduation?” or “What kind of career path will support and enable me to have a family?” As graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduates who are committed to making the field of chemistry more diverse, inclusive, and equitable, we are obligated to ask such questions. The BUWIC helps to answer these questions while providing a sense of community and support.
In 2005, the concept of a student-run organization focused on professional development and networking opportunities for graduate students, especially women, was first discussed. Chemistry graduate students, Sujata Bardhab and Dani Solano, approached Katinka Csigi, Director of Grants Development, and Professor Rosina Georgiadis for support and guidance. The group decided to move forward with the idea and successfully interested their peers in forming BU Women In Chemisty. BUWIC has the full support of the Chemistry Department and is part of a larger Boston University movement of developing groups focused on issues related to the advancement of women in the sciences.
Since our establishment in 2005, we have provided our members with educational workshops and social networking opportunities and have hosted accomplished speakers from both ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ scientific fields.
We help graduate and post-graduate students make challenging career decisions and continuously address uncertainties and questions every student harbors: “What happens after graduation?” “What kind of career path will support and enable me to have a family?” “Is academia or industry right for me?”
BUWIC is widely known for its informative and candid luncheons where members sit alongside professionals holding chemistry-based positions in academia, government, journalism, industry, patent law and the arts. Members get the opportunity to actively question and learn from each speaker’s professional insight and personal decisions.
BUWIC supports the university community through various collaborations, recruitment events and off-campus educational outreach. We continue to financially support graduate and postdoctoral researchers attending the National Meetings of the American Chemical Society and participate in the Chemistry Department’s Colloquium Series by recruiting BUWIC-funded speakers.
You can see the BUWIC constitution here.
Sujata earned her doctorate degree in April 2007 from the laboratory of Professor John Porco where she worked on the synthesis of epoxyquinoid compounds and the asymmetric synthesis of spiroisoxazoline natural products. In 2004 – 2005 she became the first recipient of the Novartis Fellowship in Organic Chemistry for Women and Minorities. Sujata received her master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD), where she investigated model studies of DNA photorepair with Professor Daniel E. Falvey and has a bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India). Sujata is currently conducting post-doctoral research at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
Dani Solano earned her master’s degree in 2006 under Professor John Porco where her research focused on the expansion of ESIPT photocycloaddition methodology towards 3-hydroxyquinolinones to generate novel tricyclic alkaloid derivatives. She received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, CA) where she worked with Professor Eric J. Kantorowski, to access nine-membered rings from eight-membered rings via free-radical chemistry. A native of California, following her Summer 2006 internship with Amgen, Inc., Dani returned to her home state to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis under the supervision of Professor Mark J. Kurth. Dani’s research is focused on heterocyclic chemistry including library synthesis, insecticidal applications and the development of α4β1 integrin antagonists towards the treatment of lymphoma.