Women in Science and Health (WISH)

WISH is an organization of women faculty at University at Abany, SUNY that fosters scientific networking and provides skill-building opportunities for students, postdocs, and faculty in the STEM fields to promote gender equality and work-life balance.

WISH was established in 2014 by Elga Wulfert, Professor of Psychology and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Marlene Belfort, Professor of Biology and Scientific Director of the interdisciplinary Life Sciences Initiative.


Recent News

December 7, 2016 - Portrait of Biological Sciences Graduate student Marissa Louis at the Pager Lab of the RNA Institute. Photo by Carlo de Jesus

UAlbany Receives $1M grant to enhance gender equity in STEM research

Co-principal investigators include WISH Steering Committee members Professors Elga Wulfert, Marlene Belfort and Melinda Larsen, and WISH member Christine Wagner

July 2021 - The National Science Foundation has awarded the University at Albany a $1 million, three-year grant from to create an academic climate where female faculty in the fields of science, technology engineering and math can develop their careers to the fullest potential.

The three-year grant will fund the Striving to Achieve Gender Equity in STEM (SAGES) project to offer increased campus support, departmental mentorship opportunities for women faculty, ally training and the implementation of unbiased recruitment and hiring strategies.

Read more about the grant on the Albany Times Union, Business Review, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.


2021 WISH Excellence award winners, top row, L to R: Danielle Saint Hilaire, Sammantha Robyn Montague; second row, L to R: Megan Chambers, Kate Tubbesing; bottom row: Rae Drach.

2021 Excellence at the Intersection of Science and Life WISH Award Winners

The Women in Science and Health (WISH) established an award to recognize students and postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing degrees/careers in STEM fields, achieving excellence in their field while also being exemplars in excelling at life and finding balance.

This short-essay competition is open to UAlbany undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, of any gender in STEM fields, with awards of $100.

The winners of the 2021 Awards are:

  • Undergraduate: Danielle Saint Hilaire (Biological Sciences)
  • Master’s: Sammantha Robyn Montague (Forensic Biology)
  • PhD: Megan Chambers (Chemistry)
  • PhD: Rae Drach (Clinical Psychology)
  • Post doc: Kate Tubbesing (Biomedical Research)

Watch the winners read their essays

Pictured, top row, L to R: Danielle Saint Hilaire, Sammantha Robyn Montague; second row, L to R: Megan Chambers, Kate Tubbesing; bottom row: Rae Drach.

The agenda for the Fall 2021 includes: September: Women Collaborating for Inclusion, October: Maintaining Equilibrium, November: Male Ambassadors, December: Holiday Networking.


Male Ambassadors Friday, April 16, 2021, 12-1pm

Male Ambassadors, Friday, April 16

A panel discussion on the importance of men in the quest for gender equity

Please join the Women in Science and Health Virtual Meeting: Male Ambassadors - A panel discussion on the importance of men in the quest for gender equity, with: Dr. Christopher Thorncroft - Director, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, Dr. Robert Griffin - Dean, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security & Cybersecurity, and Dr. David Holtgrave - Dean, School of Public Health. A discussion led by Dr. Kristen Corbosiero of the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Janice Pata of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Elga Wulfert of Psychology.

Friday April 16, 2021, 12:00-1:00pm

Please click here to join the conversation
986 9336 1870 Passcode: WISH-2021


Women Collaborating for Inclusion, Dr. Dorcey Applyrs, A candid conversation about how to change culture to create inclusive environments. Thursday, March 25, 2021, 12-1pm

Women Collaborating for Inclusion, Dr. Dorcey Applyrs, Thursday, March 25

Hosted by Profs Marlene Belfort (Biological Sciences), Janice Pata and Joan Curcio (Biomedical Sciences)

Please join us for the second in the series, Women Collaborating for Inclusion, for a candid conversation with the Honorable Dorcey Applyrs about how to change culture to create inclusive environments.

Thursday March 25, 2021, 12:00-1:00pm

Please click here to join the conversation
936 7725 1983 Passcode: 033083


Managing stress and distress during covid-19 presentation and discussion led by Drs. Elga Wulfert and Julia M. Hormes (Psychology) 3-4-21

Managing Stress and Distress During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Thursday, March 4

Presentation, discussion by Drs. Elga Wulfert and Julia M. Hormes

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating depression, anxiety, and stress at a time when access to usual ways of coping and mental health care is limited for many. This WISH meeting, led by Elga Wulfert and Julia Hormes, will review data on the mental health impacts of the pandemic, discuss ways in which depression, anxiety, and stress can manifest, and suggest straight-forward and efficient strategies to prioritize self-care at a time when many are stretched to the limit in professional and personal domains. We hope you will be able to join us for this presentation and group discussion.

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 12:30-1:30pm via Zoom

Please click here to join the webinar
Meeting ID: 990 2203 5992, Passcode: 701101


Shirley Malcom

Science in the Time of COVID and America’s Reckoning with Race, a Talk by Dr. Shirley Malcom

Life Science Research Symposium, Fri., Jan. 22 at 9:45am

Dr Shirley Malcom of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be giving a talk at the Life Science Research Symposium on Friday, January 22nd at 9.45 am, entitled, Science in the Time of COVID and America’s Reckoning with Race. Dr. Malcom is the director of AAAS’s STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA Change) Program. In this position she works to improve the quality of and increase access to education and careers in STEMM.

Please click here to join the webinar

There will be an opportunity to visit with Dr. Malcom as a group at 10:45am after her talk.

View the Symposium schedule


Picture A Scientist logo

WISH Spring 2021 Programs Announced

Women in Science and Health (WISH) has exciting programs planned for the Spring 2021 semester. Please contact individual steering committee members if you wish to contribute.

  • January 21, 2021, 1pm-2pm, Picture A Scientist, Movie Discussion (video to be made available Sun-Tue prior). Discussion leaders: Profs. Mindy Larsen and Elga Wulfert
  • March 4, 2021, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Academic Stressors and Mental Health, Discussion leaders: Profs. Julia Hormes and Elga Wulfert
  • March 25, 2021, Time TBD, Women collaborating for Inclusion, Discussion leaders: Profs. Marlene Belfort and Janice Pata
  • April 16, 2021, Time TBD, Male Ambassadors, Discussion leaders: Profs. Kristen Corbosiero and Janice Pata
  • May 6, 2021, 12pm-1pm, Student and Postdoc Awards: Excellence at the interface of Science and Life, Discussion leaders: Profs. Kristen Corbosiero and Julia Hormes

Stay tuned for details of the events!

WISH Steering Committee (Marlene Belfort, Kristen Corbosiero, Julia Hormes, Mindy Larsen, Janice Pata and Elga Wulfert).


WISH logo

WISH Fall 2020 Programs Announced

Women in Science and Health (WISH) has exciting programs planned for the Fall 2020 semester. Please contact individual steering committee members if you wish to contribute. All sessions will be virtual.   

  • Women Collaborating for Inclusion, with Yolanda Caldwell and faculty panelists Dr. Joan Curcio (BMS), Dr. Rabi Musah (Chemistry) and Dr. Cara Pager (Biology) – Wed Sept 9th 11:30 a.m.
  • Women in the Time of COVID-19 with Drs. Julia Hormes and Ho Kwan Cheung (Pyschology) – Fri Oct 2nd 12:00 p.m.
  • Negotiating Skills with Dr. Janice Pata (BMS) – Wednesday Nov 18th at 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Holiday Networking Event with Dr. Elga Wulfert (Psychology) – Thu Dec 10th at 5:00 p.m.

WISH Steering Committee (Marlene Belfort, Kristen Corbosiero, Julia Hormes, Mindy Larsen, Janice Pata and Elga Wulfert).


Imposter Syndrome flyer

Friday, May 8, 2020 - WISH Virtual Meeting: The Imposter Syndrome Book Discussion

Women in Science and Health will hold a virtual meeting via Zoom on Friday, May 8, 2020 from 12 - 1:30 p.m. to discuss The Impostor Syndrome: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valerie Young, Ed.D. Janice Pata, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, will lead the book discussion. Please RSVP to [email protected] to receive the link to the Zoom meeting.


Pictured: Top row: Mary Fucci, Lauriana Gaudet. Second row: Rebecca Orrison, Noreen Guilfoyle

Friday April 17th: “Excellence at the interface of Science and Life” Student Awards

Life is hard – it can be even harder for those pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields, but many individuals achieve school/work–life integration by succeeding academically or in their careers without losing sight of other important areas of their life. The Women in Science and Health (WISH) group has established an award to recognize students and postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields and are achieving excellence in their field while also being exemplars in excelling at life. The awards will take place Friday, April 17th at Noon via Zoom. RSVP to Irene Andrea at [email protected] to receive the Zoom link. Here are the winners: Undergraduate 1st: Mary Fucci, Physics, 2nd: Noreen Guilfoyle, Biology. Graduate 1st: Lauriana Gaudet, Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd: Rebecca Orrison, Atmospheric Sciences. (Pictured: Top row: Mary Fucci, Lauriana Gaudet. Second row: Rebecca Orrison, Noreen Guilfoyle)


Gabi Belfort and Rosa Tarng

WISH / RNA Cafe Careers in Industry Event on Thursday, February 27 with Gabi Belfort and Rosa Tarng

Women in Science and Health and RNA Cafe are sponsoring a Careers in Industry meeting on Thursday, February 27 at 12 noon. The presenters will be Rosa Tarng, Vice President, Portfolio Management, with "From Bench to Bedside: A True Story" and Gabi Belfort, MD, PhD, Senior Medical Director, Praxis Precision Medicines, on "Precison Oligonucleotide Therapeutics for a Rare Genetic Epilepsy." The event will take place in the Life Sciences Research Building room 1143 on the uptown University at Albany campus. Read More


Male Ambassadors

Male Faculty ‘Ambassadors’ Promote Gender Equity in the STEM Fields

While making slow progress, women faculty are still underrepresented in the STEM fields at UAlbany. Given this reality, one group of women faculty is promoting the need to advance gender equity on campus with active participation from male faculty. This was reflected in a recent panel discussion of “male ambassadors” hosted on Feb. 3 by the campus group Women in Science and Health (WISH). Five male participants pledged a more active role in achieving gender equity among faculty in science and health fields. Read More



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