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 2015-2016 academic year.

Last Updated: 08/2017

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 2017 - 2018

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

Sarah Lum President

Email: Sarah.N.Lum.8 at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Sarah is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Biola University in Los Angeles, CA. Her current research is in bioanalytical chemistry in the Dovichi Lab where she develops analytical instruments for the forensic analysis of DNA in sexual assault cases. Outside the laboratory, you'll find her chilling in the sound booth at her church, career counseling at the Crossing high school or enjoying the outdoors on her motorcycle!

Sarah Lum

Suzie Neidhart Vice President

Email: skucera at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Currently, Suzanne Neidhart is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, working for Dr. J.D. Gezelter. She is a computational chemist that specializes in molecular dynamics. Her work examines the fundamentals of heat transfer through nanoparticle systems. She is originally from Wichita, KS where she received a B.S. in Chemistry from Newman University.

Suzie Neidhart

Rusha Chatterjee Treasurer

Email: Rusha.Chatterjee.7 at nd dot edu

Rusha Chatterjee hails from New Delhi, India and graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) with a Masters in Chemistry. She is currently a fifth year graduate student with Prof. Masaru Kuno in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Her research involves the use of a home-built absorption spectroscopy technique to study nanostructure photophysics at the single particle level.

Rusha Chatterjee

Arielle Lopez Secretary

Email: alopez7 at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Arielle is a third year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is currently working in Dr. Aaron Timperman’s lab, developing novel techniques for pathogen detection utilizing microfluidics. The first member of this group, she has helped to establish a lab presence and environment here at Notre Dame. She attended Illinois State University where she received a B.S. in Chemistry. Arielle is looking forward to getting involved in such a helpful organization as AWIS and becoming an active member of the Notre Dame community.

Arielle Lopez

Mauna Dasari Outreach Chair

Email: mdasari at nd dot edu

LinkedIn: Public Profile

Mauna is a third year graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences. She graduated with a B.S. in Microbial Biology and a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. Her research in the Archie Lab focuses on how the bacterial composition of the gut changes over time in wild baboons. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with local organizations dedicated to communicating science to broader (and younger!) audiences.

Mauna Dasari

Chissa Rivaldi Professional Development Chair

Email: crivaldi at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Chissa Rivaldi is a 3rd year PhD student in the biology deptartment . After completing her B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Texas at Austin, she received a M.Sc. in biology from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is studying computational genomics under Dr. Hope Hollocher and is currently focused on population dynamics by studying the genetics of primates in southeast Asia. Her current work implements bioinformatic methods to gain metagenomic adaption and epidemiological information on a population level. She is committed to promoting equality and open communication in science, and looks forward to a great year working with AWIS!

Chissa Rivaldi

Madeline Smith Social Chair

Email: Msmith60 at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Madeline is currently a third year graduate student in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She works in Professor Marya Lieberman's lab developing paper analytical devices to detect chemotherapy drugs. She received her BS in chemistry from Georgia Southern University. When not in lab Madeline enjoys volunteering at La Casa de Amistad. She also enjoys spending time outside.

Madeline Smith

Janice Love Social Media Chair

Email: jlove5 at nd dot edu
Personal Website: Janice's Website
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Janice is a third year graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences working for Dr. Rebecca Wingert. She received her BA in Biology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston Texas. When she's not in lab, Janice enjoys volunteering with SAWS and spending time outdoors with her dogs.

Janice Love

Departmental Representatives 2017 - 2018

  • Electrical engineering: Ke Feng
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: Megan Levis
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry: Melissa Hoffbauer
  • Biological Sciences: Anne-Marie Overstreet
  • ACMS: Samantha Sherman
  • Physics: Elizabeth DeWaard
  • Psychology: Raquael Joiner

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2016-2017

  • President: Sarah Lum
  • Vice President: Suzie Neidhart
  • Treasurer: Rusha Chatterjee
  • Secretary: Emily Amenson
  • Outreach Chair: Hope Pearson
  • Professional Development Chair: Abby Cao
  • Social Chair: Madeline Smith
  • Special Events Chair: Arielle Lopez
  • Social Media Chair / Past president advisor: Claire Bowen

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