Past Events

Watch Party for JANE Documentary

For those that missed our watch party for the documentary JANE, I’d  highly recommend looking for the it through National Geographic. Nearly all the footage was original shots of Jane Goodall at her research station. It was really well done and fascinating to learn more about the life and career of such an inspirational female scientist.  Congrats to those that did join and won door prizes!



3rd Annual Women’s History Month Symposium

Resolutions for Revolutions: Making Plans for Big (and Small) Changes

A lecture by Dr. Elaine Hamm

This year we were proud to host our keynote speaker, Dr. Elaine Hamm, COO, Accele Biopharma Inc. Dr. Hamm is an OU alumna and since receiving her Ph.D. from OU, she has gone on to a successful career in industry and entrepreneurship, working at biotech companies as well as funding them. She currently is the head of research and operations for a portfolio of early stage pharmaceutical companies.

Dr Hamm gave an inspiring talk titled, “Resolutions for Revolutions: Making Plans for Big (and Small) Changes”. In this lecture she shared personal experiences and discussed finding the resolve to stand up for yourself and others, learning the power of “No”, championing diversity in the workplace, and being direct, honest, and authentic.

In her lecture, Dr. Hamm shared numerous tips, resources, books suggestions, and her personal contact information. She urged attendees to touch base if they’d like to chat over coffee. Her full lecture is available here: AWIS_Hamm_lecure_3.8.18



Social and Tour of Scientific Glass Blowing Laboratory

In February, we hosted a brown bag lunch followed by a tour of OU’s Scientific Glassblowing Laboratory led by by Erin Mayberry. Erin Mayberry has been working with glass since 2010. She was the recipient of the Memorial Award from the American Scientific Glassblowing Society in 2016, and was only the fifth woman to receive this accolade. She also volunteers annually at The Michigan Glass Project, which raises money to give art funding back to Detroit Public Schools. In 2017, she accepted the position of Scientific Glassblower/Instructor/Lab Manager at The University of Oklahoma, and moved to Norman! There are approximately twelve colleges in the US with Scientific Glassblowing facilities, and Erin is only the third woman to run a University glass laboratory. Oklahoma University is one of only six colleges that offers a class to students in the subject of scientific glassblowing. It is the only scientific glassblowing laboratory in the whole state, and one of the most up-to-date facilities in the country.  Thanks to Erin for a great tour and so many insights into the world of scientific glassware.

January Social

We had insightful conversations and lots of laughs over shared appetizers and drinks at Kamps Cafe. It was a pleasure to meet new AWIS members and catch up with established members. Thanks to all who made it out!



Fun and Games Social

Thanks to all that came out to Loot&XP in Norman to play board games. Ten of us enjoyed rounds of Wits and Wagers, Joking Hazard, and Dixit. It was great to get to know everyone and share some laughs. A big thank you to Loot&XP owners Justin and DC who discounted the entry fee for our event.


AWIS Roundtable Discussions: Thinking Beyond your Graduate Degree

We followed up our wonderful roundtable mentoring discussions with a second event wherein graduate students and early career Ph.D.’s heard from a diverse group of career professionals from the academia, industry, and government employment sectors. We held this event in November 2017 at Kamps in OKC and had a successful turnout of about 40 mentees and 15 mentors. The discussions were causal and allowed for uplifting and  informative insights from our mentors. Thank you to all who joined for this event.


AWIS Roundtable Discussions: Thinking Beyond your Bachelor’s Degree

In October, 2017, we had about 30  undergraduate students and 18 graduate students and postdocs  come together to discuss navigating STEM course loads, getting involved with undergraduate research, and applying to and succeeding in graduate programs. Thank you to all who joined and shared advice. We had lots of great input from mentors as well as wonderful peer mentoring among our undergraduate attendees. Dr. Donna Nelson closed out these fantastic discussions with some personal advice on accomplishing your full potential. We asked participants to contribute to a document with recaps, resources, and tips they learned about during the event. Feel free to download and share this compiled document. It is full of wonderful resources for OU students and graduates interested in pursuing STEM fields or graduate degrees in general.

Downloadable Document: AWIS_undergrad_mentoring_roundtables_recaps&resources


FabLab Tour and Social

Thanks to the FabLab for hosting us and to everyone who spent the afternoon with AWIS! We had a great turnout, got to hear about all of the equipment available at the FabLab, and designed and laser-etched some pretty cool wooden coasters. If you haven’t checked out the OU Innovation Hub, get over there soon and play with all of their cool toys!

AWIS members checking out the FabLab then designing and laser-etching custom coasters.


Professional Development Workshop Series: Part Two, The Power of Pause

We enjoyed hearing from Kate Stanton, Assistant Vice President of Health Science Center Student Affairs, who coordinated a fantastic workshop. She discussed a topic, The Power of Pause, regarding our hesitation to pause in life, before posting, before responding, before accepting, and before speaking. In this workshop Ms. Stanton urged attendees to consider how prioritizing time for reflection can help us to accomplish our goals, drawing connections between the power of taking pause and effective task manage and completion. This workshop was interactive with engagement and participation between attendees and very well received.


2nd Annual Women’s History Month Symposium

We hosted a second successful Women’s History Month Symposium in March 2017Professor Kirsten de Beurs of OU’s Landscape Land Use Change Institute shared an informative and inspiring lecture on motherhood in academia. She tackled difficult topics such as the possible bias towards mothers in academia, personal examples of individuals who promoted the success of mothers and those that detracted from it. Among her experiences she entailed tips for vetting potential employers for family-friendly policies that are supported within a department’s culture. Slides from Dr. de Beurs lecture are available here; deBeurs_lecture_slides_AWIS_Symosium_2017

We greatly appreciate the sponsorship of the symposium from the OU Student Government Association and the reception from the Departments of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Geology and Geophysics, and the OU President’s Office.


Professor Rena Cook explains how to avoid the “denial” and “bluff” postures to find your centered self.

Professional Development Workshop Series: Part Two, Power without Press

Rena Cook, OU Professor Emeritus, hosted a fantastic workshop, “Power Without Press”. This was one of our most well-received events to-date! During the workshop she shared tips for posture, breathing, and speaking that promote vocal resonance and projection, allowing all voices to be heard. She also provided suggestions and structures for navigating difficult conversions using transactional analysis and nonviolent communication techniques. She generously provided the workshop handout for us to share with those who could not attend Rena_Cook_AWIS_handout_2.8.17

It was great to see those who came out for our social on Thursday, December 8th at 6:00 pm at Kamp’s 1910 Café at 10th Street. Those in attendance enjoyed a meet-and-greet of AWIS members, ranging from faculty to graduate students and professionals, from OU Norman and HSC campuses and OK State Government. We also took advantage of Kamp’s $1.25 draft beers. Look out for more socials in the future.


Women in Science Wiki Edit-a-thon

As part of Ada Lovelace Day on Tuesday, October 11, the OU Libraries hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to help raise awareness of women in science. You can find more information about the event on its Wikipedia Event Page. Wikipedia:Meetup/Women in Science Edit-a-thon 2016 – Oklahoma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


OKBio BrewFest

The OKBio BrewFest, hosted by the Oklahoma Bioscience Association, was held on November 10th 2016. This annual event showcases Oklahoma breweries while raising awareness of Oklahoma’s diverse bioscience industry.  Many of the state’s most popular breweries, wineries and distilleries were featured and more than 500 people across the community attended.

The mission of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association is to promote the growth of biosciences in Oklahoma through partnership building, education and outreach, networking, policy development and publicity.

AWIS-OK members were in attendance and spoke highly of the event. Look out for information on next year’s event.

More info and tickets:


To kick off the new year, we had a wine social Sunday, August 21st and those interested continued to the last Norman Summer Breeze Concert Series Event of the summer. Email to receive email invitations to future AWIS-OK socials.

  • What: AWIS welcome back social
  • When: Sunday, 8/21/16, 5:30- 9:30 pm
  • 5:30- 7:15 pm, Wine social, Lauren’s house, 504 West Comanche St Norman OK, 73069
  • 7:30- 9:30 pm Summer breeze concert, Lions Park, 450 South Flood Avenue, Norman, OK 73069


Career Panel;

Academia, Industry, and Government

We held an AWIS-OK career panel on April 27th featuring women in STEM fields who have made outstanding career achievements in academia, industry, and government sectors. See the below information for resources mentioned during the panel or to stay in contact with our panelists.


The University of Oklahoma’s Passport Career tool provides job/internship search strategies, guidance and resources for 75+ countries (250+ cities.)

OU has committed to hosting The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Start Smart and Work Smart programs  for the next 3 years. These workshops are designed to empower women with the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. We will solicit these workshops when they are offered. Email if you are not already on our listserv and would like to be notified of these programs.


Rhonda Williams, Ph.D.
Senior Criminalist, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Kathryn Hester, Ph.D.
Patent Agent and Risk Manager, Dunlap Codding Intellectual Property Law

Ying Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Mathematics, University of Oklahoma

Yuhong Tang, Ph.D
Genomics Core Manager II, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.
Career Panel Flyer


Inaugural Women’s History Month Symposium

The AWIS-OK Symposium for Women’s History Month was held on March 22nd. Dr. Anne Pereira, of OU’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences provided an inspiring lecture titled “Challenges, Excitement and Discovery Reflections on a Scientific Journey”. Her talk, available here (Pereira lecture), stimulated a thoughtful discussion and was followed by a reception. We had about 50 men and women attend from OU HSC and Norman campuses and industry partners. Photos from the lecture and reception are below.

Lecture and Discussion

Lecture and Discussion

Wine and Cheese Reception

Wine and Cheese Reception


OU Daily event announcement



Career Advice: Experiences from a teaching-focused university

OU’s Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology hosted a great event on March 11th, 2016.  Dr. Anne Spain, a former OU Microbiology grad student and now a professor, shared her experiences in searching for a position and then in teaching at Ferris State University (an undergraduate institution). This was an opportunity to learn about what skills and experience, employers are looking for and the challenges of working at a primarily undergraduate university.



Coffee Social

Thank you to all of the women and men who attended our first Norman evAWIS OKent. This networking social attracted more than 60 individuals from nine STEM disciplines. We look forward to continued interactions with all of you