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Science and engineering majors speak with mentors at WISE event

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Jackie Zev, finance director of the American Association of University Women tables at the meet and greet for the women and engineering networking event at the Oviatt library presentation room. Zev says AAUW is the largest granter of fellowship to women PHD candidates. “Our mission is to be educational, social and political for university women.” Photo credit: Jeffrey Zide / Contibutor

Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) hosted a mentoring and networking event in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room in the Oviatt Library Tuesday afternoon.

Eight students attended the event and spoke with mentors from WISE, Society of Women Engineers, American Association of University Women (AAUW), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

“I’m unsure about what I want to do when I graduate and wanted to see what options I have,” said Tania Kurbessoian, a senior microbiology major. “I’m hoping I can get an extra little push on where to go.”

Kurbessoian initially wanted to do cancer research when she started microbiology and loved the lab experiences, but worried the job could become monotonous.

“I keep thinking do I want to sit in a lab all day for the rest of my life or collaborate with other professors?” she said.

Students were allowed eight minutes to speak with several mentors in what Marilee Wheaton, chair of the advisory board for WISE, called “speed mentoring,” similar to the concept of speed dating.

Financial Secretary Jackie Zev of AAUW said the event was a good opportunity to inform students about their organization, which aims to promote equality for women. CSUN is a member of AAUW and students can join for free.

“We want to give back to the student community at this event by providing mentorship,” Zev said.

WISE was started in 2009 by Bonita J. Campbell, former chair of the manufacturing and industrial engineering department in CSUN’s college of engineering. Campbell wanted to promote women in science and engineering.

“Our main focus in WISE is to get mentoring and networking opportunities for students,” Wheaton said.

 

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