Inclusive. United. Whole.

What is WISDOM?

Women in Science Deserve Opportunities and Mentoring (WISDOM) is a grassroots initiative that was created in 2012 with the mission and purpose of supporting and advancing UNC women postdoctoral fellows and faculty across all scientific disciplines. With over 80 members, we continuously strive for diversity and welcome new members from across UNC’s campus.

WISDOM is lead by Susan Girdler, Ph.D., FABMR and co-lead by Crystal Schiller, Ph.D.,     Christine Peat, Ph.D., Zoe McElligott, Ph.D., and Stephanie Zerwas, Ph.D.

Why join WISDOM?

Are you a female who is up-and-coming in the world of academia? Do you have questions or concerns surrounding female leadership development, career-life balance, promotion and retention of female faculty, and gender disparities? Join WISDOM for answers, support, and mentoring from women who have walked those same steps.

The Art of Mentoring


Mary Shen is a third year medical student. She’s been a leader of the Association of Women Surgeons and worked to build a bidirectional mentoring program where medical students offer guidance to pre-med students, but also receive mentoring from residents and faculty.

Susan Girdler, PhD, professor and associate chair for junior investigator development in the Department of Psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine, has helped build a mentoring network for female faculty members.

Both Shen and Girdler have been honored for their work, earning UNC’s University Award for the Advancement of Women in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The two award winners recently discussed their experiences and insights about mentorship. Their discussion appeared in the April 13, 2017 edition of Vital Signs. Read more.

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