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University of Iowa News Release

March 20, 2006

UI WISE Program Hosts Workshop On Women's Career Paths March 21-22

The University of Iowa Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program will hold career pathway workshops from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 22 in Room S401, Pappajohn Business Building. Each session will feature presentations by four professional women.

The sessions are designed to help undergraduate students evaluate possible careers by listening to two panels of professional women describe their 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 overcoming various hurdles, and summarize prospects for the future in their 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 pursue science and engineering-related careers.

Tuesday's panelists are: Suz Kaprich, nurse manager, Pediatric Specialty Clinic, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Bridget Riley, B.S., graduate student, Genetics Ph.D. Program, Department of Pediatrics, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; Christina Donelson, M.D., Towncrest Internal Medicine, Iowa City; Corrine Peek-Asa, professor and director, Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, Injury Prevention Research Center, College of Public Health.

On Wednesday, students will hear presentations representing the following fields: engineering by Erica Enstrom, supply management specialist, John Deere Dubuque Works and former WISE mentor; pharmacy by Deanna McDanel, clinical pharmacy specialist, ambulatory care at UI Hospitals and Clinics; medicine by Kristi Borowki, M.D., fellow in maternal fetal medicine at UI Hospitals and Clinics; and rehabilitation therapy by Kathy Duethman, child life specialist at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

The externally funded mentoring program, now in its 11th year, provides academic and social support to 100 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 WISE workshops during the year and arrange to meet informally. Funding for 2005-2006 is being provided by Alcoa, Inc., Accenture, Alliant Energy Foundation, Caterpillar Foundation, Cook, Inc., John Deere Foundation, Fisher Controls International, Inc., Maytag Corporation Foundation, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and Rockwell Collins.

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, coordinator, 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 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

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