Association for Women in Science

By Jane Eason, Ph.D., P.T.

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a national organization and is the largest multi-discipline organization for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), dedicated to achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors.  AWIS reaches more than 15,000 professionals with members and chapters nationwide.

The AWIS Southern Louisiana (AWIS-SL) chapter is dedicated to empowering women in science and technology by providing a platform for networking opportunities and career development programs, and by promoting an interest in science among girls and young women.  The AWIS Southern Louisiana chapter welcomes all persons from the Southern Louisiana region interested in furthering the careers of women in science.

The cost to join the national organization is $150.00 annually as a professional member and $65.00 annual for junior members (students, postdocs).  To join only the AWIS-SL chapter, professional and junior member dues are $25.00 annually and $10.00 annually for students. Additional donations to support our outreach efforts are always welcome.

Local Executive Board members are:

  • Jane Eason (School of Allied Health Professionals), President
  • Tekeda Ferguson (School of Public Health), Secretary
  • Allison Augustus-Wallace (School of Medicine), Treasurer
  • Angela Amedee (School of Medicine), Past-President
  • Crescent Combe (School of Medicine) – Post-Doc Representative
  • Adrienne McGinn (School of Graduate Studies) – Graduate Student Representative

Additionally, AWIS-SL has several committees: Community Service Outreach (co-chaired by Donna Neumann and Sonia Gasparini), Education and Mentoring Outreach (co-chaired by Martha Cuccia and Elizabeth Levitsky), and the Outstanding Young Scientist Travel Award (chaired by Lisa Harrison-Bernard).

Following is a list of events AWIS members have participated in over the last year:  

  • We had a booth at the Girl Scout B.I.G event at Southeastern Louisiana State University campus to promote STEM to the Girl Scouts.
  • Every year in September, we host a “Painting with a Purpose” as a fund-raiser to help raise money for AWIS-SL Community and Education Outreach Efforts. This is always a lot of fun.
  • We participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Women in Medicine by hosting the guest speaker, organizing Pink Out Day on campus, setting up a survivor board outside the cafeteria and organizing a team from LSUHSC to run in the Race for the Cure.
  • In November, Dr. Janis Letourneau provided a seminar on “Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsorship”.
  • Dr. Mary Coleman provided a seminar on “The Art of Healthy Feedback” in February.
  • We found some time to socialize and celebrated Thanksgiving with a potluck lunch, hosted a networking event at Pearl Wine in October, and gathered to celebrate the holidays at Bayou Wine Garden in December.

The local chapter, with additional support from the Dean of the School of Medicine, also sponsors the AWIS-SL/LSUHSC Outstanding Young Scientist Travel Award and this year’s awardee is Crescent Combe.  Congratulations Crescent!

If anyone is interested in learning more about us, please contact anyone on the Executive Committee; we’d be glad to provide more information.