The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: March 20, 2001

UI WISE program hosts March 27-28 career workshops

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program will hold career pathway workshops featuring eight women scientists or engineers from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28 in Room S401 of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building (PBAB).

The sessions are designed to help undergraduates evaluate possible careers by listening to two panels of professional women describe personal career paths in science or engineering-related fields as a part of the WISE Student to Student Support in Science (SSSS) mentoring program. Program coordinator Betsy Riesz says that panel members will describe the academic and practical experiences that prepared them for their careers, discuss hurdles they faced and how they overcame them, and summarize prospects for the future in various fields. She says that women often underestimate their competence in math and science and become discouraged beginning in junior high school and continuing through graduate school. Riesz adds that one SSSS program goal is to bolster students' confidence.

Tuesday's panelists will be: Jennifer Belbis, project engineer, Monsanto; Elly Bell, advanced registered nurse practitioner, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Susan R. Johnson, M.D., professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa College of Medicine; Xingyun Shen, mechanical engineer, Alcoa.

On Wednesday, students will hear presentations by: Angela Elvers, sales engineer, Fisher Controls International, Inc.; Barb Fjordbak, pharmacy manager, Walgreen's, Iowa City; Shannon Marquez, assistant professor, Environmental Health Science Research Center, University of Iowa College of Public Health; Beverly J. Ringenberg, M.D., Emergency Care, Mercy Hospital, Iowa City.

The externally funded mentoring program, now in its fifth year, provides academic and social support to 95 first-year students by matching each of them with a junior or senior who is completing a science or engineering major. The students attend four workshops during the year and meet informally. Funding for 2000-2001 is being provided by Alcoa Inc., Accenture, Caterpillar Foundation, Fisher Controls International, Inc., 3M, Maytag Corporation, Microsoft, Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Rockwell.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Students not currently enrolled in the mentoring program who wish to attend the workshops may contact Betsy Riesz at (319) 335-3509 or at For further information about WISE, contact Chris Brus, director, at (319) 353-2290 or at