Founded in 1992, the award-winning Women in Medicine and Science program is dedicated to furthering the professional goals of women faculty, graduate students and medical students at VCU. The mission of the Women in Medicine and Science Program is to advance opportunities for women leaders in the VCU family by promoting effective networking and fostering mentorship between students, residents and faculty. Stimulate fruitful research and collaborations and work cooperatively to change organizational culture and break down stereotypes.
Led by its steering committee the program consists of four components:
- Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine (WISDM), which serves faculty members
- Women in Medicine Student Organization, which serves medical students
- Women in Science, which serves graduate students and other trainees in scientific research
- The steering committee, which manages strategic planning for the program as a whole
In recognition of its institutional commitment to helping women realize their potential and to improving the environment for women in academic medicine, the Women in Medicine Program received the AAMC’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Development Award in 2000.
WISDM Faculty Organization
Established in 1992, the WISDM Faculty Organization seeks to further the professional goals of women physicians, scientists and dentists at the VCU Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
Faculty development is an important goal for all faculty—especially for women, who are underrepresented at the highest levels of leadership in academic medicine. By integrating Women in Medicine as part of the faculty development, the School of Medicine is able to facilitate, guide and conduct a variety of faculty development activities and programs. A multifaceted approach provides opportunities to include special focus on concerns and circumstances of women at VCU School of Medicine.
Membership is open to all women faculty (clinical, basic science, administrative, full-time, part-time, any rank), students, housestaff, fellows and post-docs at VCU who pay a one-time membership fee of $100. Members are invited and encouraged to participate in any and all events and meetings.
Fees are requested and collected at the time an individual initiates membership in WISDM. Our male colleagues are welcome to participate in our professional development programs as well.
To become a sustaining member, please complete the WISDM Membership Form. Checks should be made out to WISDM and sent to:
Jennifer Koblinski, Ph.D., Treasurer
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Richmond, VA 23298-0038
The annual WISDM conference is designed to promote professional development through enhancement of leadership skills. Community practitioners, academic faculty, administrators and other healthcare professionals, as well as medical, dental and graduate students, post docs, residents and community leaders are welcome. Both women and men in medicine and science will gain skills that will enhance personal growth and advance careers. The conference provides an opportunity to network with other professionals and share advice and experience.
This annual conference is sponsored by the VCU School of Medicine, the VCU School of Dentistry, the VCU Health System and McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Programs from past conferences:
The WISDM Professional Achievement Award is presented annually by the Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine (WISDM) Faculty Organization, VCU School of Medicine, MCV Campus. This unique award was established in 1993 to acknowledge the special contributions and accomplishments of women faculty in the School of Medicine. The primary purpose of this award is to recognize a woman who is a role model and mentor, promoting the professional development of other women faculty. Nominees should demonstrate excellence in the following areas:
- Success as a mentor and role model for women faculty
- Professional excellence: accomplished in their primary area of practice (clinical, basic sciences, etc.)
- Leadership: university administrative duties and other leadership roles
- Teaching expertise
School of Medicine instructions for nomination
Nominations are solicited annually from all School of Medicine faculty members and should include a letter from the primary nominator, a CV, and no more than five (5) support letters from supervisors, faculty, trainees, and/or students addressing the five areas of excellence. Previous nominees can be re-nominated with an updated CV and no more than five (5) support letters, which may include old and/or new letters, from supervisors, faculty, trainees, and/or students addressing the five areas of excellence. The letters should be addressed to Rita Shiang, Ph.D., WISDM President.
Submit nomination packages to Kim Isringhausen, chair of the nominating committee, firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions, contact Jody Hedstrom, email@example.com or Kim Isringhausen, firstname.lastname@example.org
The award will be presented at the annual WISDM Leadership Conference and at the SOM Faculty Excellence Awards in the fall. Nominations are sought for SOM women faculty only.
School of Dentistry instructions for nomination
The VCU School of Dentistry manages their WISDM Professional Achievement award process separately. For criteria and selection process contact: Kim Isringhausen, email@example.com.
All faculty members in the schools of medicine and dentistry are invited to submit nominations to their respective schools. The awardees will be notified in time to accept the award at the Annual WISDM Leadership Conference.
The executive council prioritizes goals, plans and directs activities for the WISDM Faculty Organization. The council meets on the first Wednesday of each month, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., September through June. All faculty of the VCU Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are welcome.
Executive council positions
The Executive Council consists of the following:
- The officers of the organization
- The chairpersons of all the committees
- Women in Medicine Student Organization (WIMSO) faculty advisor
- Women in Science (WIS) faculty advisor
- Student delegates (one elected representative from each student body)
- Housestaff delegates (maximum of two representatives)
- Postdoctoral delegates (maximum of two representatives)
- Members-at-large: (maximum of three elected members at large)
- Ex-officio (non-voting) members of the executive council shall include the women's liaison officer (WLO) to the AAMC, senior associate dean for faculty affairs, and the associate dean for professional instruction and faculty development.
All members of the executive council, except as noted, are entitled to vote on matters that come before the council.
- President: Jennifer Koblinksi, Ph.D.
- Past President: Rita Shiang, Ph.D.
- Immediate Past President: Kim Isringhausen, B.S.D.H., R.D.H., M.P.H
- Secretary: Pamela Dillon, Pharm.D.
- Treasurer: Jennifer Koblinski, Ph.D.
- Chair, Graduate Student Committee: Rita Shiang, Ph.D.
- Chair, Medical Student Committee: Michelle Whitehurst-Cook, M.D.
- Chair, Nominating Committee: Rita Shiang, Ph.D.
- Medical Student Representatives: Rebecca Pilkington, Lauren Calvert, Dima Malkawi
- Graduate Student Representatives: Haley Adcox
- Sarah Glass, D.D.S.
- Caroline Carrico, Ph.D.
- Kellie Carlyle, Ph.D., MPH
- Jennifer Puetzer, Ph.D.
- Betsy Ripley, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, School of Medicine
- B. Ellen Byrne, D.D.S., Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean, School of Dentistry
- Lenore Joseph, M.D., Associate Chief of Staff - Education, Central Virginia VA Health Care System
The steering committee provides overall strategic vision and management for the Women in Medicine and Science program. It also serves as an advocacy group, facilitating the election and appointment of distinguished women leaders to prominent leadership positions within the VCU Health System, school and university administration and the Commonwealth. Membership is drawn from past and present leaders of the WISDM faculty organization.
Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University Women In Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Faculty Organization
ARTICLE I: Purpose
- To support and promote the career development of women faculty who work in the fields of Science, Dentistry, Medicine, and other health science professions.
- To promote scientific and teaching excellence in women faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University
- To increase the representation, participation and leadership of women in the organizational structure of Virginia Commonwealth University and its standing committees.
- To promote equity for women with regard to faculty status, salary, and promotion and tenure.
- To promote the development and enhancement of leadership skills, networking opportunities, scholarship and career development.
- To facilitate communication and networking among women in science, dentistry and medicine and at the undergraduate, post-graduate, and faculty levels.
- To provide mentorship and support for women housestaff, faculty, post-docs and medical, dental and graduate students.
- To support VCU policies related to the prevention of discrimination and harassment at all levels.
- To promote a positive and healthy work environment for women.
- To sponsor and support high-quality faculty development opportunities for all faculty within Virginia Commonwealth University.
- To build a supportive community for women, from both within and outside the institution.
ARTICLE II: Membership
Membership in this organization is open to those who meet the qualifications for membership, pay the membership fees as determined by the organization, and comply with these bylaws.
- Members: Membership is open to all women faculty, students, housestaff, fellows, and post-docs at VCU who pay a one-time membership fee.
- Members are invited and encouraged to participate in any and all events and meetings.
- Our male colleagues are welcome to participate in our professional development programs, as well.
- Fees are requested and collected at the time an individual initiates membership in WISDM.
- The organization may reprimand or expel any member for conduct which is determined to be detrimental to the best interests of the organization. Such action shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Council. The member against whom such action is taken shall be afforded the opportunity to be heard according to reasonable procedures established by the council.
ARTICLE III: Officers
- The Officers of the organization shall be Immediate Past-President, President, President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary, and Members at Large. No person may be elected to more than one office concurrently.
- Nominations for slates of officers shall be proposed by the Nominating Committee.
- The officers shall be elected by ballot of the members. Term of office shall be two years with the right of renewal for one additional term.
- Duties of the officers:
Section 1. Immediate Past-President
The duties of the Past-President shall include (1) serving as an advisor to the officers and the Executive Council (2) serving as a voting member of the Executive Council, and (3) serving as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
Section 2. President
The President shall manage and direct the overall functioning of the organization. The specific duties of the president shall include (1) serving as Chairperson of the Executive Council, (2) presiding at the general business portion of all meetings, (3) calling special meetings as needed, (4) appointing members to the Nominating Committee and to special ad hoc committees as needed, (5) filling any vacancy that arises on the Council with the approval of the Executive Council, and (6) assuring that incoming Officers and Chairpersons are properly oriented.
Section 3. President-Elect
The president-elect shall (1) serve as a voting member of the Executive Council and (2) assist the President and act in the President's absence.
Section 4. Secretary
The duties of the Secretary shall include (1) taking and keeping all minutes of the Executive Council and of the business portion of all general meetings, (2) keeping reports on file when appropriate, (3) handling the correspondence of the group, (4) notifying members of the Executive Council of meeting dates, and (5) maintaining the archives of the association.
Section 5. Treasurer
The duties of the Treasurer shall include (1) handling all funds of the organization, (2) paying all bills, (3) keeping accounts of all expenditures and receipts of the group, (4) making monthly status reports to the Executive Council, (5) maintaining the roster of members.
Section 6. Member at Large
The duties of member-at-large shall include (1) becoming familiar with the operations of the organization and (2) performing any duties requested by the President. No more than three members-at-large shall serve as officers.
ARTICLE IV: Executive Council
- The Executive Council will consist of the following:
- The Officers of the organization
- The Chairpersons of all the committees
- Women in Medicine Student Organization (WIMSO) Faculty Advisor
- Women in Science (WIS) Faculty Advisor
- Student Delegates (one elected representative from each student body)
- Housestaff Delegates (maximum of 2 representatives)
- Postdoctoral Delegates (maximum of 2 representatives)
- Members at Large: (maximum of 3 elected members at large)
- Ex-officio (non-voting) members of the Executive Council shall include the Women's Liaison Officer (WLO) to the AAMC, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and the Associate Dean for Professional Instruction and Faculty Development.
- All members of the Executive Council, except as noted, are entitled to vote on matters that come before the Council.
ARTICLE V: Committees of the organization
- Membership on committees is open to all members. Committee chairs are appointed by the president and serve at least a one-year term of office. Chairs may be relieved of their positions at the discretion of the president, with concurrence of the Executive Council. Committee members shall be entitled to vote on matters that come before the committee.
- Nominating and Awards Committee: This committee shall recruit potential candidates to serve as officers of the organization and review and make selections for the WISDM Professional Achievement Awards.
- Professional Development and Programming Committee: This committee shall plan and direct any yearly activities, including professional development functions, the annual meeting, and any others as decided upon by the Executive Council.
- At any later date and time, the Executive Council may vote to establish new committees or abolish old committees in ways that further the best interests of the organization.
ARTICLE VI: Meetings
- Meetings shall be scheduled at the discretion of the Executive Council. There shall be no less than six meetings per year.
- All meetings shall be open to all organization members and their guests. The dates will be published in advance on the organization's website and through University announcements.
ARTICLE VII: Elections
- Nominees for Officers of the Executive Council and Members-at-Large will be solicited at the beginning of the spring semester each year when vacancies arise. Candidates will be presented to the general membership during the annual conference in May and by ballot during the summer. Elections will be held by email no later than July 1. Terms of office shall begin in the fall semester following the election.
ARTICLE VIII: Amendment of the Bylaws
An amendment of these bylaws may be proposed by majority vote of the Executive Council, or by written petition of 20 or more members in good standing. The proposed amendments, with an attached ballot, shall be sent by email to all members in good standing. Approval shall require an affirmative vote by a majority of the members voting. At least three weeks shall be allowed between the mailing of the ballots and the determination of the results of the proposed amendments. Bylaws amendments may be added to the election ballots annually.
ARTICLE IX: Ratification of these bylaws
These bylaws shall become effective when approved by a majority of the organization's members voting. Bylaws shall be given to all new members of the Executive Council on a yearly basis. Changes in the bylaws should be considered by the Executive Council before submission to the general membership.
With support from faculty and WISDM, both medical and graduate students have developed organizations.
Since 1978, the Women in Medicine Student Organization has served as a forum to discuss women’s health topics, increase awareness of the obstacles facing women in professional careers, and promote the advancement and achievement of women in all stages of medical education.
The Women in Medicine Student Organization has more than 80 members for all four classes of medical school. The organization is led by traditional officers and incorporates a special liaisons coordinator that provides WIMSO representation to WISDM and the Medical Student Government. In addition, students from the incoming medical class are elected in the fall to serve a four-year term as Women in Medicine class representatives.
The Women in Medicine Student Organization organizes a variety of events throughout the year, including collaborations with community organizations, lecture series and networking opportunities. Learn more about these events by contacting a student representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The faculty adviser for the Women in Medicine Student Organization is Michelle Whitehurst-Cook, M.D., Associate Dean of Admissions, email@example.com. Faculty advisers serve on the WISDM Faculty Organization as liaisons between the medical students and faculty.
For additional information regarding the Women in Medicine Student Organization, feel free to contact any student representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of Women in Science is to support and promote the career development of women scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University by increasing the representation, participation and leadership of women in scientific disciplines and by promoting the leadership skills, visibility and academic policies required for success at Virginia Commonwealth University and in the sciences.
Women in Science serves to facilitate communication and networking among its members and to provide support to all women students and trainees in science in order to build a supportive community of women scientists that will nurture the professional development of current and future women in science.
VCU is an institutional member of the Association for Women in Science.
- VCU Institute for Womens Health
- ACE Women’s Network Virginia
- National Institutes of Health Women in Biomedical Careers
- The American Medical Women’s Association
- The American Society for Cell Biology Women in Cell Biology Committee
- Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM)
- The Association of Women Surgeons
- NIH Women in Biomedical Careers
- Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute
Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine
Established in 1995, The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women is the nation's only in-depth program focused on preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine, dentistry and public health to move into positions of institutional leadership where they can effect positive change. Part of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine, ELAM continues the institution's legacy that began with the Medical College of Pennsylvania's roots as the nation's first woman's medical school.
ELAM's year-long program develops the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage successfully in today's complex healthcare environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions. VCU is proud to have sponsored over a dozen ELAM scholars.
For more information about these organizations and opportunities for women in science, please contact:
Faculty Affairs and Development Coordinator