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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 21, 2003

UI WISE Program Hosts Career Workshops March 25-26

The University of Iowa Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program will hold career pathway workshops featuring eight women professionals from 6:30-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 and from 5:55-6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26. Both sessions will be in Room W401 of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building (PBAB).

The sessions are designed to help undergraduate students 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, explain their current responsibilities, discuss hurdles they faced and how they overcame them, and summarize prospects for the future in various fields. She says that capable women often underestimate their competence in math and science beginning in junior high school and continuing through graduate school. Riesz adds that one SSSS program goal is to bolster students' confidence in their ability to be successful in science and engineering-related careers.

Tuesday's panelists will be: Katie Arnholt, analyst in the Technology Research Labs of Accenture; Taresa Fetzer, speech language pathologist for Grant Wood Area Education Agency; Alana Kennedy, production engineer, Deere & Co.; and Dr. Nicole Nisly, associate professor, department of internal medicine, UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

On Wednesday, students will hear presentations representing the following fields: engineering, by Julie Kluin, staff manufacturing engineer, Maytag Corporation; pharmacy, by Trisha Smith, supervisor, Acute Pharmaceutical Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; software engineering and product management, by Sarah Revital Sterling of Microsoft Corporation; and medicine, by Dr. Alexandra Thomas, assistant professor, department of internal medicine, UI Carver College of Medicine.

The externally-funded mentoring program, now in its seventh year, provides academic and social support to 120 first-year students by matching each of them with a junior or senior who is completing a science or engineering major. Funding for 2002-2003 is being provided by Alcoa Inc., Accenture, The Caterpillar Foundation, The John Deere Foundation, Fisher Controls International Inc., Maytag Corporation, Microsoft, 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

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,