Good afternoon Everyone,
Happy new year to you all! We hope that everyone enjoyed a joyous and restful holiday season.
As leaders of the AWIS Baltimore Chapter, we have seen tremendous growth and reach of our footprint here in Baltimore since our inception in 2008. We have two Star Chapter Awards, our Past President gave a TEDx talk, and several members have expanded their networks and demonstrated leadership capabilities that have helped propel their job searches forward.
Though we’ve experienced growth, it is certainly not easy to maintain year after year. Despite our efforts, it has been difficult sustaining momentum each year which, in turn, affects our ability to attract influential speakers, host events, and raise money to keep having great events. At this point, we are in danger of having to suspend chapter operations until we can attract dedicated leadership to take AWIS Baltimore to the next level.
We recognize that we are in a unique position – our chapter typically caters to a good concentration of graduate students and postdocs. This is great because it means that there is human capital available to help lead. However, as we all know, these positions are transient which oftentimes means that we have vacancies to be filled. This is where you all come in – we are actively looking for willing and dedicated people to step forward and lead. One key advantage that we have is that this chapter is nimble. There is potential to mold this chapter into what you want it to be. With a supportive team, you can bring a vision to fruition and transform this chapter. We see this as a win-win-win:
Do you want advice for making it through the early years of an Associate Professor position? Then invite that influential PI that you have been following to give a talk… or better yet, host a small group dinner to get close interaction. Do you want to know what it takes to break into the FDA, industry or biotech? Then invite someone who has walked the path you want to follow. Do you want to try your hand at fundraising? We could use the help! Come in, contact companies on behalf of AWIS Baltimore and see if we can get sale proceeds after an event, tour, etc. Is there a biotech entrepreneur you want to network with? Invite them to an AWIS Baltimore event, or host them for a small group dinner. Long story short, there are so many possibilities!
We have established a great framework over the past 4 years, with a large listserve, templates for newsletters, social media platforms, website, and recurring events that can be revived – just to name a few. There will be resources at your disposal from day one, we just need folks to lead and take this chapter to even greater heights.
With all that said, we are having an in-person brunch on Saturday, February 11th to try and chart a way forward for our chapter and keep it running. If you are interested in serving the chapter in any way – event planning, fundraising, finance, social media communications, website maintenance, etc. – please join us. Here are the details:
We look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested and to having a productive year!
Jocelyn Reader, Co-President
Jess Shisler, Co-President
Ekemini Riley, Past President
Association for Women in Science
Greater Baltimore Chapter