Women In Science
Multiple organizations on campus offer professional development opportunities while connecting you with people who share your passion in the Dartmouth community. One of such opportunities is WISP.
WISP stands for Women in Science Program. Since its inception in 1990, WISP has aimed to increase the representation of women in STEM fields by creating learning opportunities in collaborative environments, especially for first-year women. As a prospective psychology & neuroscience major, I have been trying to make the most of what WISP has to offer. Here is how I have been involved with WISP so far and what I'm looking forward to!
Peer Mentor Program
Through the peer mentoring program, first-year students are matched with upperclassmen mentors with similar academic interests who provide advice in many aspects of being a STEM student at Dartmouth: helping with course selection, finding research positions, and more. Each mentor group is part of a larger mentor family, so you have the opportunity to interact with not only your mentor but also your peers who are passionate about different STEM areas. The mentoring program also organizes social events such as ice skating on Occom Pond, movie nights and discussions, and study break events with free treats during finals week.
WISP winter program was developed in winter 2021 as a way for students to build technical skills and stay in touch with the scientific community at Dartmouth when most of the campus was taking online classes. It offers virtual training opportunities in commonly used research software and practices as well as documentaries and past information sessions. The training modules include the python bites workshop series, spatial data in R, GIS / spatial training, and more.
Through WISP, first-year students are matched with faculty mentors in paid, part-time internships for winter and spring terms. Students search for available projects on the WISP database and request interviews from faculty members whose research they find interesting. Even though some knowledge of sciences is helpful, faculty members look for a level of engagement and curiosity rather than prior experience. After the interviews, there is a matching process: faculty mentors rank students, and students rank the labs they want to work in. I was fortunate to be offered a WISP internship in Reading Brains Lab to work with Professor Coch. Professor Coch investigates reading and reading-related processes using both behavioral and brain-based electrophysiological measures. As a literature nerd, a prospective psychology major, and an education minor, interning in the Reading Brains Lab is the opportunity that got me most excited to be studying at Dartmouth so far. For my work in the lab, I have completed the necessary training for responsible conduct of research and human research for social/behavioral studies. I am currently practicing the research protocol before we start conducting behavioral experiments on subjects again. Stay tuned!