USM program encourages women to study science, engineering

USM program encourages women to study science, engineering

An organization at Southern Miss is encouraging women to pursue careers in science and engineering.

The Women in Science organization has about 150 graduate and undergraduate members and is looking for more members.

Dahlia Amato is the former president of WISE and is pursuing a PHD in Polymer Science. She said it is sometimes intimidating for women to get jobs, especially in male dominated fields like chemistry or engineering.

"It's important to say, 'Hey, it's a struggle' even though this is a man's field and try even do better than men," said Wise

Members of the organization also get to help out each other with their research through their mentorship program between undergraduate and graduate students. This really helped student Ashleigh Bristol when she first started school at Southern Miss.

"It's actually really important to know that you're not the first person to go through it and to have those feelings of, 'how am I going to get through this,' and getting advice on your classes," said Bristol.

WISE also raises money for scholarships to give to members like April Fogel. This year the organization raised $4,000 and $1,500 went towards scholarships.

"Although I do make money doing research, it's not a lot so it does help to relieve my financial burden that I have in my everyday life," said Fogel.

Besides working on research, the group also likes to have fun and members said it's a great way to make friends.

WISE also brings in several professionals for their group members for networking purposes. To learn more about the organization contact the group here.