Dr. Lydia Prendergast

A New Era for Women in STEM at Douglass: Announcing the Douglass Women in Science and Engineering Program (Douglass WiSE)

Since 1986, the award-winning Douglass Project for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has offered Douglass students in STEM transformative opportunities for academic and professional enrichment. From creating pathways for undergraduate women in scholarly research to establishing cutting-edge living-learning communities, The Douglass Project has contributed to higher rates of retention of women in STEM, set a high standard for inclusion in the STEM sphere at Rutgers University, and touched the lives of generations of Douglass students.

As we celebrate the many decades of success of the Douglass Project, we also look ahead to the future of the program. Throughout the country, STEM initiatives for women are often known by a common name—Women in Science and Engineering Programs (WiSE programs). As such, starting this academic year, the Douglass Project will be known as the Douglass WiSE Program.

While the core programming and mission of STEM initiatives at Douglass will remain the same, this name change reflects the next phase of the program’s evolution as well as the College’s rising status as a critical player in STEM education on the national stage. In addition to leading programs that are proven to retain women students in STEM, Douglass is the founder and leader of the Big Ten Academic Alliance for Advancing Women in STEM, an inter-university collaborative group seeking best practices and solutions for underrepresentation in STEM fields. By renaming The Douglass Project to The Douglass Women in Science and Engineering Program, our impactful initiatives will be more recognizable to students, faculty, and partner universities.

Students in Douglass WiSE will continue to have access to Douglass’ transformative signature programs, including Project SUPER, a program which provides Douglass students the opportunity to participate in faculty-led STEM research early in their education; The Reilly Douglass Engineering Living-Learning Community, which boasts a 98 percent overall retention rate in the School of Engineering; The Bristol Myers Squibb Mentoring Program, a professional career preparation mentoring program for Douglass women in STEM; and Advancing Women in Computer Science, a university-wide initiative that Douglass helps to lead. We also will continue to innovate new programming that meets the needs of future generations of Douglass STEM students.

The mission of Douglass College will always include a commitment to advancing women in STEM. As I begin my tenure leading these crucial programs, I am grateful for the many years of The Douglass Project’s success and deeply looking forward to where Douglass WiSE programs will take the College. I hope you will join Douglass staff and students in our excitement as we usher in a new era for women in STEM at Douglass.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lydia Prendergast

Associate Dean and Director

Douglass Women in Science and Engineering Programs (WiSE)