About Us

Founded in August 2012, the Association for Women in Science – Notre Dame Chapter (AWIS-ND) has become the most active graduate student group at the University of Notre Dame, organizing 25 activities in partnership with 11 other graduate student and university groups during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Last Updated: 1/28/2021

Our Mission Statement

"AWIS champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, AWIS strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential."

Our mission is to initiate, encourage, and engage women in STEM in a welcoming and supportive environment, creating a sense of belonging and providing opportunities for success.


Meet the AWIS-ND Officers

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2020 - 2021

Dr. Rebecca Wingert Faculty Advisor since 2012

Email: rwingert@nd.edu

Dr. Rebecca Ann Wingert is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Gallagher Family Professor of Stem Cell Research at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Wingert received dual undergraduate degrees in Biology and English from Muhlenberg College in 1999, and subsequently earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard University in 2005. She worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School until 2010, where she accrued further training in Genetics and Stem Cell Biology. Dr. Wingert came to Notre Dame in 2010 to start her independent research laboratory, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Stem Cell Biology, Stem Cell Aging, Development and Organ Regeneration.

At Notre Dame, the Wingert laboratory studies the mechanisms that direct kidney formation. They perform basic research to elucidate how nephrons, the functional unit of the kidney, are made during development and regenerate after injury using the zebrafish, Danio rerio. The long-term goals are to discover new biomedical interventions that can be used to treat or prevent kidney disease. To support these endeavors, Dr. Wingert received a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes in 2011, which recognizes promising young investigators pursuing research that aims to understand and treat developmental defects in children. Research in the Wingert lab is also supported by several multi-year grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the Director’s New Innovator Award (2011-2016) to study the mechanisms of kidney regeneration, and a Research Project (R01) Award (2013-2018) to identify genetic models of kidney birth defects using zebrafish.

Rebecca Wingert

Claire Nelmark President

Email: cnelmark@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Claire Nelmark is a third year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated from College of St. Benedict (MN) with Chemistry and Applied Physics majors and a Mathematics minor. She currently works in Professor Arnaldo Serrano’s lab where her research concerns 2DIR spectroscopy, protein dynamics, and spectroscopic system development. Claire is excited to promote and support women of all ages in STEM, as well as form lasting collaborations that further our mission.

Claire Nelmark

Aubrey Jeffries Vice President

Email: ajeffrie@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Aubrey Jeffries is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and minor in Geology. She currently works in Hicks and O’Brien groups where her research concerns the conversion of derivatives of biomass compounds to fuel-like or high grade chemicals. Aubrey is passionate about supporting and promoting the inclusion of women in fields of science as well as encouraging the younger generation of female students to explore STEM through the AWIS community.

Aubrey Jeffries

Joseph Liberko Treasurer

Email: jliberko@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Joseph Liberko is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Lawrence University with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. He currently works in Professor Jon Camden’s lab where his research concerns interactions between plasmonic and phonic materials. Joseph joined the Association for Women in Science at Notre Dame to show support for women in his department and learn more about their experiences.

Joseph Liberko

Naviya Schuster-Little Secretary

Email: nschuste@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Naviya Schuster-Little is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Biochemistry. She currently works in Professor Rebecca Whelan’s lab where her research concerns studying women's health problems through the lens of analytical chemistry. Naviya is currently working on developing new analytical assays for detecting early-stage ovarian cancer and the peptide hormone oxytocin. Naviya is excited about connecting with other women scientists and raising her new Corgi puppy, Louie.

Naviya Schuster-Little

S. Gulberk Ozcebe Outreach Chair

Email: sozcebe@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

S. Gulberk Ozcebe is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering program. She graduated from Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She currently works in Professor Pinar Zorlutuna’s lab where her research investigates the role of aging in cardiovascular diseases. Gulberk mainly works with cardiac extracellular matrix and uses it as a biomaterial to control cellular aging, cardiac cell maturation and post injury recovery. She is passionate about outreach and science education, especially for underprivileged students. She believes outreach events are amazing opportunities to interact with people outside of the academic bubble and correct misconceptions that public and scientists might have of each other. Gulberk aims to increase public scientific literacy and she is excited about reaching more people via this position.

S. Gulberk Ozcebe

Ansley Nemeth Professional Development Chair

Email: anemeth2@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Ansley Nemeth is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated from Winthrop University with a B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Biology. She currently works in Professor Christian Melander’s lab where her research uses small molecule adjuvants to combat bacterial resistance. Ansley is excited or the spring semester to plan a career panel of women scientists among other events to further advance the professional development of the members of AWIS.

Ansley Nemeth

Marissa Andersen Social Chair

Email: mander40@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Marissa Andersen is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences. She graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead with a B.A. in Biology and minor in Psychology. She currently works in Professor Flores-Mireles' lab where her research concerns testing and developing new urinary catheter materials. Marissa is excited to get experience working on a committee and planning events to bring together the women for science members socially.

Marissa Andersen

Sarah Bliese STEMentorship Chair

Email: sbliese@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Sarah Bliese is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated from Hamline University with a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Biology. She currently works in Professor Marya Lieberman’s lab where her research is developing paper analytical devices for screening pharmaceuticals and for monitoring air pollution in low resource settings. Sarah is excited about providing opportunities for female undergraduate and graduate students to connect with each other through social and professional development events. STEMentorship is a great way for mentees to learn from someone that has followed a career path they are interested in while also allowing the mentors an opportunity to reflect on their experiences to empower females in STEM.

Sarah Bliese

Himani Patel Social Media Chair

Email: hpatel1@nd.edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Himani Patel is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated from McKendree University with a B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Biochemistry. She currently works in Professor Olaf Wiest's lab where her research concerns delineating atomistic details of a multistep enzyme mechanism using computational chemistry tools. She is excited to be using various social media platforms to build a virtual community for women in science especially during this pandemic year.

Himani Patel

Departmental Representatives 2020 - 2021

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2019-2020

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2018-2019

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2017-2018

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2016-2017

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2015 - 2016

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2014 - 2015

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2013 - 2014

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2012 - 2013

Meet AWIS-ND Founding Committee

Stephanie Lyons, MacKenzie Warren, Melissa Davidson, and Katie Grayshan