About Us

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The WISE Program offers a variety of opportunities that are designed to serve a student's changing needs throughout her four-year college experience. Students admitted into the WISE Program receive scholarships to help with tuition. Specially designed courses introduce the diversity and vast opportunities within science and engineering, and give you first hand experience in a variety of disciplines. During your first year, you will join five or six other first year WISE students in a small study group led by an advanced undergraduate mentor devoted to helping you with your coursework. You will attend evening programs specially designed for WISE women. These programs will introduce you to the opportunities in science and engineering both on and off campus, and help guide you in taking advantage of those opportunities. You will receive academic advising from faculty and staff who are familiar with the requirements for your major, and advanced priority registration so you are more likely to get the courses you choose. WISE scholars also can choose to live in Gray College, a residence hall where many WISE women live and study together. Becoming part of WISE introduces you to a supportive community of students, faculty and staff who are committed to helping women pursue their interests in science math and engineering. WISE students learn about opportunities for internships and research by being a part of this community. All students are expected to read and agree to the terms outlined in the WISE Memo of Understanding.

Scholarships

Every WISE student receives a scholarship to help defray the cost of attendance. Academic merit scholarships may vary from year to year and student to student. Check with the office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services for more information. Many companies seek out WISE students to offer scholarships due to WISE's reputation for excellence. Students are also continually informed of scholarships they can apply for through emailed updates from WISE staff. The WISE staff is available to help the student through the application process including writing the essay, and writing , and can consult with WISE staff regarding their application.

In freshman year, WISE students are grouped together in classes during fall and spring semesters. These classes are designed to emphasize research opportunities on campus, and to introduce students to research in different scientific fields.

WISE requirements beyond the freshman year include a course that explores the way social, political, economic factors and gender shape the way science is carried out, courses that help prepare you for the next stage in your career whether it be in graduate training or entering the job market, and a senior honors thesis/design project.

Year One

  • Introduction to Stony Brook (special section of ITS 101): This one-credit class provides a broad introduction to Stony Brook. The WISE section, taught by a faculty member in science or math, is exclusively for WISE women, and emphasizes research and other special opportunities in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.
  • Introduction to Research (WSE 187): This exciting course gives WISE students hands-on research experiences. Working in small groups with other WISE women, each student will do research in four diverse areas of science and engineering.
  • Two semesters of math and two semesters of science.
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Years Two to Four

  • Society and Gender in Science and Engineering (WSE 242): A study of the social and gender dimensions of science and engineering, the social context in which modern science and engineering operates, and the role of women in these fields. The course focuses on (1) women’s historic and current participation in Science, Mathematics and Engineering disciplines, including why so few women are involved in these fields, and (2) the relationship of social forces and scientific knowledge, by considering the role of ethics, politics, and economics.
  • Either Honors Math: Introduction (MAT 150) or Connections in Science (PHY 311).
  • Advanced math or a computer science course.
  • Senior Honors Thesis/Design Project - satisfied through successful completion of a year-long independent research project culminating in the submission of a substantial research paper/project design. The senior honors thesis/design project requirement may be satisfied within the student's major.
  • Three or more evening meetings per year. Evening programs are usually held monthly, and students completing the four-year WISE program are expected to play an increasing role in planning sessions and leading discussion groups.

Study Groups

WISE is designed to support and sustain your interest in science, mathematics and/or engineering, especially during your freshman year when you are making the difficult transition from high school to college. The freshman year also sets the stage for much of what happens during the remainder of your college experience, and WISE aims to help you get started on the right foot so that you will be best able to take advantage of all of the opportunities available at a major research university like Stony Brook. Thus, during freshman year, you will join five to six other first-year women in a small study group led by an advanced undergraduate mentor devoted to your math and science requirements. The study group will become an important focus for your academic and scholarly activities at Stony Brook.

These study groups are coordinated by faculty in the WISE Working Group, who establish groups according to the class schedules of the first year students.

Evening Programs/ Events

Throughout the year, WISE sponsors a number of evening programs attended by WISE undergraduates, faculty in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering, graduate students, and others. These programs include talks from faculty, students, and visiting scientists and engineers from Brookhaven National Laboratory and private sector research firms; panel discussions in subjects such as educational and cultural factors that influence and shape women's choices; and workshops on résumé writing and applying for special scholarships and grants.

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Academic Advising

WISE students receive the benefit of individualized academic advising by faculty members. Members of the WISE Working Group help students choose their courses during WISE's special orientation session. In the fall semester, WISE devotes an evening program to selecting courses for the spring semester. In addition, students can contact staff members for help with course selection. Once students choose their courses, they are entitled to priority registration because they are members of WISE.

Faculty members also provide assistance in identifying research and other opportunities, and access to a variety of internship positions.

Priority Registration allows WISE students to have "first pick" of their courses. As a result, students are more likely to get into the courses they choose.

Gray College Residence Hall

Gray College is located in Mendelsohn Quad, comprising the Undergraduate College of Information and Technology Studies. Many of the study groups will meet in the one of the lounges, and some WISE Events will take place in Gray. Also, WISE students have access to a special WISE computer lab in Gray.

Community of Support : The Beauty of Small Numbers

One of the nicest things about WISE is its size: Approximately fifty students comprise each class year. So, WISE gives you all the benefits of a small community, and all the advantages of a major university.

The beauty of small numbers is that you, as a WISE woman, can shine. You'll be part of a close-knit and diverse community, mingling with women from many different cultures and from all over the world. WISE women live in Gray College Residence Hall (where WISE students have priority), making study sessions and simply hanging out together that much easier.

Our small size makes big connections possible. A perfect example is how networking within WISE has led many of our students to summer internships, scholarships, and employment.

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Research

Point of entry is often a summer internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, such as the one undertaken by Laura Reilly '04, working on the synthesis of carbon nanotubes with Staislaus Wong, a chemistry professor at Stony Brook. Laura, along with WISE students Lana Mansfield, Norah Warchola and Eleanor Hynes were all been awarded Fellowships from the Battelle Corporation to facilitate their research projects at Brookhaven National Lab.

The research experiences of WISE students reflect the diversity of their interests. WISE student Angela Kokkosis conducts research on brain tissue at the Medical School Health Sciences Center with professor Stella Tsirka; Sarah Flynn worked at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, AZ studying the development of protostars; Cecilia Lam participated in a summer research program in biomedical engineering at UC Berkeley; and Hilda Ding traveled to Tanzania with members of the Stony Brook University Anthropology Department to study the impact of AIDS in Africa.

For tips on finding and applying for research, click here.

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Internships

WISE students also benefit from our network of contacts in private industry. Scholarships for WISE students are sponsored by international companies such as Reuters and local companies such at the Omnicon Group. As a result of WISE's affiliation with the Citigroup Corporate and Investment Bank, WISE student Liliya Simkhaveya had the opportunity to intern with the Global Architecture Department of Citigroup in New York City where she worked on web and portal design and development. The WISE program is also supported by the Friends of WISE, an advisory board made up of the CEOs of representatives of local industries who help create internship opportunities and scholarships for WISE students. Members of the Friends of WISE helped to establish the "Diamond Awards," given by the Long Island Women in Technology Forum honoring women for their achievements in technology. One of these awards is a scholarship for a WISE student. Diana David '04 was the first WISE student to receive this Diamond Award. For tips on finding internships, click here.