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: 04/2017

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 2016 - 2017

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

Sarah is a third 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 a motorcycle ride on a clear, beautiful day!

Sarah Lum

Suzie Neidhart Vice President

Email: skucera at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Currently, Suzanne Neidhart is a third 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. 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 fourth 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

Emily Amenson Secretary

Email: eamenson at nd dot edu

Emily Amenson is from Lugoff, SC, and attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC for her B.S. in Chemistry. Currently, she is a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As part of Norman Dovichi's research group, she is using capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence and mass spectrometry to measure the activity of single enzyme molecules. In her spare time, she bakes and spends time with her boys (two cats and a fiance). She also participates in Baraka Bouts as Emily "Say Your Prayers" Amenson. Emily looks forward to another new opportunity to support AWIS as secretary, where she will use her organizational communication skills to ensure that members are well informed of events and opportunities! #likeagirl

Emily Amenson

Hope Pearson Outreach Chair

Email: hpearson at nd dot edu

Hope Pearson is from North Dakota and graduated in 2015 from the University of Minnesota with her B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering. Currently she is a 2nd year graduate student in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. As part of the Boerckel research group, she is investigating the mechanical control of vascularized bone regeneration. She is an active volunteer at the Robinson Community Center and a committee member for EYH Notre Dame, and is looking forward to working on scientific outreach for AWIS-ND.

Hope Pearson

Abby Cao Professional Development Chair

Email: tcao at nd dot edu

Abby Cao is from Shanghai, China, and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from Nanjing University in 2015. She is now a second year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Her current research focuses on developing noble analytical methods involving Raman imaging and THz spectroscopy to detect and analyze model membranes and other biomolecules. Abby is also a celebration choir member at Campus Ministry, an international ambassador for ISSA and a player in CSSA women’s basketball team. She enjoys making new friends and participating in various social events as well as voluntary work. Having learned a lot from AWIS-ND last year, Abby is looking forward to take advantage of her position and organize more interesting and meaningful events this year.

Abby Cao

Madeline Smith Social Chair

Email: Msmith60 at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Madeline is currently a second year graduate student in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She works in Dr. Smith's lab doing organic synthesis of fluorescent probes. She received her BS in chemistry from Georgia Southern University. When not in lab Madeline enjoys volunteering at La Casa de Amistad and enjoys being outside.

Madeline Smith

Arielle Lopez Special Events Chair

Email: alopez7 at nd dot edu
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Arielle is a second 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

Claire Bowen Social Media Chair / Past-Pres Advisor

Email: cchow1 at nd dot edu
Personal Website: Claire's Website
LinkedIn: Public Profile

Claire Bowen is fourth year graduate student in the Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics Department. In 2012, she graduated from Idaho State University with a Honors Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics. Currently, she is studying statistical disclosure limitation, methods of data privacy and confidentiality, in big data, using Bayesian Statistics.

Claire Bowen

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2015 - 2016

  • President: Claire Bowen
  • Vice President: Diana LaTorre
  • Treasurer: Bonnie Huge
  • Secretary: Sarah Lum
  • Outreach Chair: Emily Amenson
  • Professional Development Chair: Erica Gonzales
  • Social Chair: Suzie Neidhart

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2014 - 2015

  • President: Karen Antonio
  • Vice President: Claire Bowen
  • Treasurer: Bonnie Huge
  • Secretary: Diana LaTorre
  • Professional Development Chair: Yi Liu

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2013 - 2014

  • President: Erin Wilson
  • Vice President: Karen Antonio
  • Treasurer: Katie Rueff
  • Secretary: Lindsay Baxter
  • Past-Pres (advisory only): Stephanie Lyons

Meet AWIS-ND Officers 2012 - 2013

  • President: Stephanie Lyons
  • Vice President: Lindsay Baxter
  • Treasurer: Karen Antonio
  • Secretary: MacKenzie Warren

Meet AWIS-ND Founding Committee

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