Category Archives: Speakers

Amy Cuddy Round-Table and Lecture

Women in Chemical Science was excited to host visiting lecturer Amy Cuddy last Wednesday, November the 13th.  We started off our time with her having a round-table discussion about being in graduate school.  Amy listened to us talk about our unique takes on graduate school and gave us advice on giving lectures, taking second year exams, and managing in a field full of dominant personalities.

Later that evening, we met for a private reception where we all mingled with the Graduate School, who were fundamental in organizing this event.  Finally, we sat down to watch Amy’s lecture Connect, Then Lead.  Amy discussed the importance of interpersonal warmth in addition to (and oftentimes ahead of) competence as a necessary tool for leadership.  She also summarized her TED talk (found here) and discussed the many responses she’s received on it.  Of course, being a horse person, my favorite story would be how a horse trainer used power posing to bring out the confidence in a horse named Vafi!  (Check it out here!)

Thank you Amy Cuddy for an unforgettable day!  Many of us agreed: it was one of the best days ever!


Amy Cuddy – “Connect, Then Lead”

amy cuddy photoAmy Cuddy’s lecture is upon us! The lecture is tomorrow, Nov. 13th, in Kane Hall and begins at 7:00pm.  Hopefully you already have your tickets because the event is already at capacity. However, there may be stand-by seating available for patrons on a first-come-first-serve basis starting at 6:50pm. Hope to see you there!

Betsy Harasek – From the Bad to the Not So Bad Days for Women in Science


Betsy Harasek gave a presentation today about her experience being a woman in science as a patent lawyer for General Motors, Boeing, and Xerox.  She spoke about her path through college and law school, shared anecdotes about what kept her sane, and gave advice on how to find jobs in today’s markets.

She discussed her difficulties being the “token woman” at some companies, and the frustrations of being a working mother who would often travel internationally.  She told us about her time learning how airplanes work, and her experiences with different cultures at different companies.

Thank you, Betsy, for a riveting talk about non-academic careers in science.  Your topics were interesting, your advice was spot-on, and your stories about your friends and family that have helped you through it all were inspiring!

Thanks to everyone who attended and made this event a success!


Looking back at one year of WCS-UW

Last week, we celebrated one year of WCS-UW (pictures to come)! Here’s a quick timeline of what we’ve done in the past year:

October 18, 2012: Our very first meeting!
November 29: Our first speaker, Professor Brandi Cossairt, discusses her career in a talk entitled “Paths Through Academia: First Generation College Student to Assistant Professor.”
December 6: Jessica Wittman leads a discussion on “Effects of Gender Preconceptions on Scientific Careers: Stereotype Threat.”
January 18: Professor Sarah Keller gives a talk entitled “My Nonlinear Career Path and Random Walks Through Other Topics.”
February 22: Sarah Vorpahl leads a discussion: “It’s Not Just You!: A Workshop on Impostor Syndrome.”
March 1: Dr. Colleen Craig provides her perspective on science in a presentation called “How to think about science without doing scientific research: A lecturer’s story.”
March 16: WCS members volunteer at the Expanding Your Horizons conference at Seattle University, helping to supervise and organize middle school girls interested in STEM.
April 24: Mackenzie Barton-Rowledge leads a gender workshop for chemistry graduate students, discussing gender stereotypes and preconceptions in society and how they affect our everyday lives.
May 11: WCS members volunteer at the Girl Scouts Discover STEM Science Fair at Einstein Middle School in Shoreline, demonstrating the properties of nanomaterials with iridescent thin films.
May 23: Professor Wendy Thomas from the UW Bioengineering Department, our first non-chemistry speaker, talks about “My Experience Being a Woman and a STEM Professor.”
June 19: Jessica Wittman leads a science communication workshop in which participants are challenged to describe their research using only the 1000 most common English words.

Ongoing projects also include bringing Dr. Amy Cuddy to campus this November as part of the UW Graduate School Public Lecture Series, and planning a symposium focused on international research collaborations for the fall 2014 ACS National Meeting.

Our first speaker of the new year will be Betsy Harasek, J.D., Associate General Counsel at the Xerox Corporation. On Thursday, October 24th, at 11:30 A.M. in CHB 102, she’ll discuss her career in a talk entitled “From chemistry major to patent attorney for General Motors, Boeing, and Xerox: My life in science and patent law.”

Thanks so much to everyone who’s attended these events and supported our group, and especially to all of the members who have helped with planning and organization, and most especially to Sarah Vorpahl, our president and the driving force behind WCS-UW. It’s been a great year and we’re all excited for what the next year has in store. Keep reading this blog, join our members and/or events mailing lists, or contact for more information about our upcoming events and projects!

Amy Cuddy of Harvard coming to UW!

Women in the Chemical Sciences is excited to announce that Prof. Amy Cuddy, our nominee for Jessie and John Danz Endowed Lecturer, is coming to UW November 13th at 7pm in Kane 130!

You can register to attend the lecture at

 amy cuddy photo

You’ll want to sit up straight for this presentation, in which Amy Cuddy examines Power Posing – striking a pose that projects confidence – and its impact on leaders and followers alike. Cuddy’s discussion, “Connect, Then Lead,” wonders whether it’s better for a leader to be loved or feared, examines how leaders can strike a balance between showing warmth and strength, and looks at how Power Posing might improve the relationship between leaders and peers, groups, or even brands.

Amy Cuddy is an associate professor of business administration at Harvard University.

You can also see her Ted Talk on Power Posing (which has had over 6 million views) at