Upcoming GradWISE Events

Thursday, April 21, 2016

GradWISE presents "Being a STEM Academic (and a Woman)" featuring a panel of female science and engineering faculty members discussing their experiences in academia. This event is free, open to all, and refreshments will be served. It will be held Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Large Conference Room at the UC San Diego Women's Center from 12:00-1:30 PM. Thanks to GSA for supporting this event. Questions? Contact

Some Past GradWISE Events

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WISE and GradWISE partnered to present a "Women in Technology and Engineering" panel discussion on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Career Services Center.

The panelists were: Dr. Jane Moores, Assistant Vice Chancellor - Technology Transfer; Dr. Tajana Simunic-Rosing, Professor CSE - ECE ; and Dr. Marian Stewart-Bartlett, now one of the leaders of the Emotient start-up company. Together with Movellan, she won one of the 2015 Women Who Mean Business awards.

Dr. Jane Moores is Assistant Vice Chancellor – Technology Transfer at the University of California, San Diego. The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is responsible for protecting, managing and licensing UCSD’s intellectual property, including inventions in the biomedical, life science and physical sciences sectors, copyright-protected materials such as software and images, and tangible research materials. Dr. Moores is also involved in establishing relationships with local, national and international business and academic communities. Before joining the TTO in 1999 as a Senior Licensing Officer, Dr. Moores spent 12 years at Stratagene, a San Diego company that supplied biological reagents and instruments to the research community. During her time at Stratagene, Dr. Moores worked in product research and development, and also in several aspects of business development. Dr. Moores holds BSc and PhD degrees in microbiology from University College, London. She performed post-doctoral research at UC San Diego in the Chemistry Department, where she was involved in cloning bacterial genes, and in the School of Medicine, where she contributed to the development of retroviral vectors for gene therapy.

Marian Bartlett is Full Research Professor at University of California, San Diego, Institute for Neural Computation, and studies computer vision and machine learning for automated facial expression analysis. In 2012 she co-Founded a San Diego start-up company, Emotient, based on her work. Over the past 20 years, Marian and her colleagues pioneered machine learning and computer vision methods for facial behavior analysis. Marian has authored over 80 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings, as well as a book, Face Image Analysis by Unsupervised Learning, published by Kluwer in 2001. Her work is multidisciplinary, spanning machine learning, human behavior, perception, and cognitive neuroscience. Marian received her B.A. from Middlebury College in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1988, and her Ph.D. from University of California, San Diego in Cognitive Science and Psychology in 1998. Marian was a winner of the 2014 Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal.

Tajana Šimunic Rosing is a Professor, a holder of the Fatamico Endowed Chair, and a director of System Energy Efficiency Lab at UCSD. She is currently heading the effort in SmartCities as a part of DARPA and industry funded TerraSwarm center. During 2009-2012 she led the energy efficient datacenters theme as a part of the MuSyC center. Her research interests are energy efficient computing, embedded and distributed systems. Prior to this she was a full time researcher at HP Labs while being leading research part-time at Stanford University. She finished her PhD in 2001 at Stanford University, concurrently with finishing her Masters in Engineering Management. Her PhD topic was Dynamic Management of Power Consumption. Prior to pursuing the PhD, she worked as a Senior Design Engineer at Altera Corporation.

  • Download the flyer.
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    On Tuesday, April 21, GradWISE hosted an event on Understanding Startups -Things you should know either if you want to start one, or work for one featuring Silvia Mah.

    Structure: Known startup Frameworks were discussed and clarified with case studies

    Overall purpose: Demystifying startups and the funding environment surrounding them is the way to understand them, piece by piece … and marrying that with your skills and passions will bring clarity as to your next steps.

    1. Categories of Startups (software, hardware, service, network based, biotech, pharma etc.)

        a. Timeframes to exit

        b. Working environments

    2. Stages of Startups (seed, round 1, round 2 etc.)

        a. Operations dynamics: from Co-founders to a small team to larger (opportunity vs stability)

        b. Funding stages

            i. Angel, VC, government funding (SBIR, WISB, etc.)

            ii. Other “soft” considerations: Sweat Equity, Cash Flow

    3. Risk and Reward (stock options and pays)

    4. What to do next? Join a large company vs a startup

        a. Value and character is the answer

        b. Know your risk tolerance and embrace it

    Dr. Silvia Mah is a leading advocate for empowering women-owned businesses on a global level. Her mission is to promote, nurture, and invest in small businesses that allow women to excel around the world.

    Through her work, Dr. Mah has identified challenges unique to female entrepreneurs. To address these challenges, she has created a unique combination of supportive endeavors.

    Dr. Mah serves as CEO of Hera-Labs, an accelerator program for women-owned businesses, co-founder of Hera Fund, an angel investment group, and supporter of Hera Hub, a supportive women-focused co-working franchise. Her portfolio of angel investments, using a specific gender lens, includes: Hera Hub, Hera Therapeutics, The Sash Bag, and Women Investing in Women Digital.

    Dr. Mah's mission is to create more examples of successful women entrepreneurs for future generations, and educate and develop new angel investors. Through financial investment, she believes women can be the catalyst to creating examples of successful women entrepreneurs for future generations.

    Dr. Mah’s own success includes previous roles as a Commercialization Analyst at the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement - UC San Diego, Director of the Teams in Engineering Service program at the Jacobs School of Engineering, and an Instructor to over 200 students on social entrepreneurship, project management, and leadership.

    Dr. Mah holds a Ph.D. in Marine Molecular Biology from UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an M.B.A. from UC San Diego Rady School of Management, and a B.S. in Biology with Honors from Pepperdine University.

    When not working, Dr. Mah spends time with her husband and 3 children in San Diego. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Mah believes in integrating family and work to create a lifestyle that serves both.

  • Download the flyer.
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Entrepreneur Challenge hosted a Women in Business Conference on March 31 at "The Basement" in Mandeville B202.

    The evening featured a keynote speech presented by Ann Winblad, co-founder and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. This was followed by a panel moderated by Nikki Truitt, co-founder of the Entrepreneur Challenge and founder of Metamer Materials (and UCSD GradWISE alum!). Panelists are listed on the flyer.

    The event included a chance to learn about various free resources for potential and starting entrepreneurs. Attendees learned not only what services and resources the Basement and Entrepreneur's Challenge offer, but also mystartupxx, CONNECT, ecoNexus, Moxie Center, von Liebig Center and I-Corps, and startR accelerator.

    The event culminated in a pitch competition that highlighted the women owned or oriented entrepreneurial organizations throughout the college and the greater San Diego region.

  • Download the flyer.
  • More info at the website
  • Thursday, January 22, 2015

    GradWISE partnered with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park for a reception and film screening of "Sepideh," a true story of a young Iranian woman who resists entering an arranged marriage as she wishes to pursue her aspiration of becoming an astronaut. These events were followed by a moderated panel discussion.

  • More info at the website
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Download the flyer (pdf)WISE and GradWISE co-hosted an Open House featuring a keynote talk by the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Sandra Brown, who spoke about “Career Development – Creating Your Own Trajectory". The audience learned about the exciting plans WISE and GradWISE have in store and how they could get involved as we showcased a successful role model of a woman leader in STEMM. Vice Chancellor Brown's professional trajectory was an inspirational example of possible career paths in research leadership and administration; she discussed her career and how the choices she has made affected it and were affected by it, shared lessons learned, and offered advice for and insights into research careers from her varied experiences and perspectives.

    Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19, 2014

    Download the flyer (pdf)GradWISE at UCSD was fortunate to be a partner in the inaugural "Women Investing in Women" Summit!

    Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014

    Download the flyer (pdf)Hosted by GradWISE, the Take The Lead Challenge Launch inspired women to step into their own power to close the pay and leadership gaps.

    The challenge theme calls women, men, and organizations to action and gives women the tools they need to succeed in work, civic leadership, and personal life. Women earn 77 cents to men’s dollar and make up half the workforce — but only 18 percent of top leadership positions. The reasons have been researched ad infinitum. Take The Lead shifts the focus from problems to solutions.

    For more information, visit

    Thursday, Nov 21, 2013

    “Balancing Act: Career and Personal Life for Women in STEMM,” — Professional women often consider the decision of whether to have children, and if so, when. Many women fear professional repercussions of having children at the “wrong” time or fertility issues should they wait to have them at the “perfect” time.

    San Diego State University Professor of Psychology and author of “The Impatient Women's Guide to Getting Pregnant,” Dr. Jean Twenge, recently authored an Atlantic article entitled, “How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?” which takes a critical look at current fertility data.

    Dr Twenge spoke regarding her article, followed by a STEMM faculty panel discussion to share stories and approaches to this topic. There was a candid discussion of our fears and concerns regarding parenthood as it pertains to our professional lives. Hosted by UCSD AMWA and GradWISE.

    Download the flyer (pdf).

    Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013

    International Science and Engineering for Women: STEMM Women Going Global, featuring a panel discussion moderated by Dr Pamela Surko, followed by Q&A.

    Part of International Education Week, this event was co-sponsored by GradWISE and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) Women Going Global.

    The event:

    The panel:

    Moderator Dr Pamela Surko is the Principal Investigator for the Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability courses for UCSD Academic Connections, in conjunction with The Kohala Center on the Island of Hawaii. Dr. Surko was formerly the Director of Research for Public Programs, for UCSD Global CONNECT's research activities from 2007 through 2010. Her artificial intelligence and data mining expertise contributed to Global CONNECT's quantitative research programs.

    Dr Surko received her Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from UC Berkeley; taught and did research in the Physics department of Princeton University; changed fields to artificial intelligence and became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories; then joined Science Applications International Corporation in San Diego, where she was an SAIC Technology Fellow. She has also worked at Qualcomm and was the 2009 ATHENA award recipient for Technology.

    Janet White, a Development Director at Pfizer where she provides project management support for preclinical and early clinical therapeutic vaccine, ophthalmology and oncology development projects.

    Janet graduated in Chemistry from Cambridge University in the UK and started her pharmaceutical industry career working at the bench as an NMR spectroscopist at Beecham Pharmaceuticals. On completing her MBA, for which she studied part time, Janet changed career, moving into strategy consulting with a major consulting firm in London.

    In 2002, she moved to California to become Director of Strategic Management at Pfizer’s La Jolla R&D center. In 2005 she left Pfizer to become Director of Business Development, first at SGX Pharmaceuticals and subsequently at Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, both based in San Diego. She returned to Pfizer La Jolla in 2010 in a project and portfolio management role.

    In summer 2012, Janet served as a Pfizer Global Health Fellow in Uganda, where she developed a five year strategic plan for the Infectious Diseases Institute, a center of excellence for research into serious diseases in sub-saharan Africa.

    Jesse Saveriano, Senior Product Manager at Qualcomm Inc, is an 8+ year veteran of Qualcomm’s Hardware Engineering and Product Management teams and serves as a board member for the Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering (QWise) employee group. She does business extensively in Asia, North America, Europe, and Israel.

    Jesse’s current technological focus is mobile security and she has worked with Qualcomm’s international customers to launch smartphone and tablets that have sold billions of units all over the globe.

    Jesse received her Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from UC Berkeley.

    Dr Jennifer Burney is an environmental scientist whose research focuses on simultaneously achieving global food security and mitigating climate change.

    Much of Jennifer’s current research focuses on the developing world. She designs and evaluates technologies for poverty alleviation and agricultural adaptation, and she studies the links between energy poverty and food and nutrition security, the mechanisms by which energy services can help alleviate poverty, the environmental impacts of food production and consumption, and climate impacts on agriculture. She is especially interested in impacts and mitigation opportunities for short-lived climate pollutants.

    Dr Sarah Gille is a professor of physical oceanography at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She completed her PhD in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and held a postdoctoral position at the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom. She has also held sabbatical appointments in Paris and Toulouse, France.

    Thursday, Nov 7, 2013

    Works in Progress Speaker Series: GradWISE Edition showcased research being performed by graduate women in STEMM fields at UCSD.

    Featured speakers:

    Download the flyer (jpg). For more information, email

    Friday, Oct 18, 2013

    Roaming Social Hour: Meet and mingle with grad students from other disciplines over free food and drinks, sponsored by GradWISE and the GSA.

    Friday, Oct 4, 2013

    Founder Friday San Diego, a Women 2.0 networking event to promote the creation of new networks among current and aspiring entrepreneurs and investors in innovative cities around the world, hosted by Procopio. The guest speaker was Danielle Lowry, Founder/Managing Director, Business English Place.

    May 9th 2013 -- Leadership Skills for Women in 
    STEMM Professions -- A One-Night, 2-Part Event funded by Triton Community Fund

    "Gender in STEMM Professions: Implicit Biases and the
    Importance of Professional Development"

    Keynote speech - Dr. Mary Blair-Loy, Professor of Sociology
    Discussion of the obstacles women in science, technology,
    engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) face as
    they attempt to advance and become leaders in their fields

    Interactive leadership workshop
    Facilitated by the UCSD Center for Communication and Leadership (CCL).

    April 5, 2013 —Women in STEMM: A Sociological Perspective. Bring your lunch and join GradWISE for a discussion with Dr. Erin Cech, Assistant Professor from Rice University. Dr. Cech will be speaking about her sociological research on the progress and
    challenges of women in STEMM fields, followed by an open discussion.

    March 8th 2013 — Women in STEMM: Problems and Progress. Co-hosted by GradWISE and Gender Buffet

    February 20th, 2013 — Meeting with Vice Chancellor Greene. Today campus women in STEMM group representatives meet with Vice Chancellor Linda Greene to discuss the accomplishments and missions of each group, and to understand her vision for the future.

    Tuesday, December 4th, 6:15-8pm— Women in Entrepreneurship." Four distinguished, successful female entrepreneurs sharing about their journeys to becoming leaders in their industries. Sponsored by UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge and co-hosted by GradWISE.

    June 11th 2012, — Breaking the Glass Ceiling Flyer.

    Thursday, May 24, 12-1pm— Interview and Negotiation Skills 101. Flyer.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012, 3-5pm— Connecting Women in Science from Middle School to Beyond Graduate School: Being Part of a Diverse Science and Engineering Community and Building Networks. Location: Thurgood Marshall College Room (2nd floor Price Center). A satellite event of the USa Science and Engineering Festival. Sponsored by GSA. Flyer

    Thursday, December 1, 2011, 6-8pm — Improv for Professional Development. Take a break and have fun. Improve public speaking, communication, and interview skills with improv. Flyer.

    Friday, May 6, 2011, at 7pm, — Truth Values. Played by Gioia De Cari. Created as a response to former Harvard President Lawrence Summers' now infamous suggestion that women are less represented than men in the sciences because of innate gender differences, Truth Valuse is a true-life tale that offers a humorous, scathing, insightful and ultimately uplifting look at the challenges of being a professional woman in a male-dominated field. Flyer

    Monday, April 18, 2011, at 2-3:30pm, — Meritocracy, Gender, and Faculty Rewards, Panel Discussion. Prof. Emilio Castilla (MIT) talked about his research on how the pursuit of meritocracy can mask gender bias in employee rewards in the private sector and universiy settings. Flyer.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at 3-4pm, — Where Are All the Women in Science and Engineering? Erin Cech discuss the myths and the realities of women's representation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Flyer.