Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer shares her experience in starting Women in Science and Engineering. Photo courtesy of Lizaria Kraussmeier.

Kaitlyn Meisner Staff Writer

Baylor’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) organization kicks off another year on campus supporting female faculty and mentoring graduate students.

WISE chairman Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer said she started the organization in 2013 after feeling lonely at Baylor during the department’s transition period. She is isolated from most of her colleagues in the Baylor Science Building. He said he felt

“I remember when I was at Texas A&M. [and] There were women’s departments in science and engineering,” said Kraussmeier. “When I started, it was just beginning. [at Texas A&M] So I thought, “Well, we might have something here so we can see each other.”

Klausmeyer said the first conference she held at BSB was spectacular.

“It kind of opened the door for all complaints and everything to us, but I didn’t realize it was happening in all the different departments,” Klausmeyer said. “The beautiful part was, ‘Oh, this happened to me.’ this is what i did. It was a beautiful conversation. ”

According to Klausmeyer, WISE has begun inviting administrators to have private conversations with women so faculty members can ask questions.

Kraussmeier said luncheons were less frequent but continued online during COVID-19. However, we recognize how busy most people are.

While she hasn’t seen much change from WISE, Klausmeyer said the BU Women’s Colloquium applauds the achievements of its parental leave policy and efforts to create effective parenting options on campus. .

Klausmeyer said that when she started writing WISE, she had help from other female faculty members and graduate students along the way. The women who helped her are dedicated to promoting and supporting other women in the science sector, she said.

Rameen Haroon, an Austin master’s degree student in the public health sector, said she wants to join the powerful movement promoted by WISE.

“In my culture, women don’t take the lead in careers, so I wanted to break down that barrier,” Haroon said. “Always looking for ways for a girl to get into her STEM. Baylor WISE was the perfect answer.”

Haroon said she likes joining WISE to develop different relationships with professors and maintain support throughout graduate school.

“In a way, my professor is like a mentor,” Haroon said. “I go to them to prepare for my interviews. If I get stressed about anything, I can walk into their office. I’m one step away from being their buddy.”

Klausmeyer said he has learned a lot since starting WISE and connecting with graduate science students.

“I tell women, ‘You’re good enough. You can do this,'” Kraussmeier said. “We all need each other. We can help each other and we never lose ground by helping others. Our doors are always open.” I want graduate students to know [if] they have a problem. ”

Haroon said WISE is important because it creates a space for women in STEM fields.

“People love to hear about your journey to becoming a STEM major,” says Haroon. “It’s rare to find a place like this.” [WISE] We will nurture such an environment. ”

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