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Women in Science, Health and Medicine

The Science Health & Medicine cohort is designed to create a stimulating community of women who wish to incorporate an intensive study of the humanities and scientific applications, while taking advantage of all the offerings of our nation’s capital. The courses satisfy the requirements for majors in the Columbian College of Arts and Science, pre-medical requirements, and general curriculum requirements for other students.

Overview

The Science, Health, and Medicine cohort of the Women’s Leadership Program is designed for first year women who are interested in medicine, public health, engineering, and/or any of the natural sciences. The program combines challenging academics with a residential structure that encourages students to work together to achieve their learning goals. Successful students will graduate from the program to join the ranks of other women in science who have made significant contributions in the field. Students live together in Somers Hall on the Mount Vernon campus, along with a Graduate Teaching Assistant who serves as a role model and mentor, as well as a link between the academic and residential components of the program.

Academic Program

The academic program for SHM students consists of three components:

  • a two semester introduction to biological concepts and their applications
  • a two semester sequence that focuses on inquiry, writing, and research
  • a two semester weekly symposium that incorporates community service

In the SHM biology class, students investigate biological principles using active learning strategies. The focus is on understanding the underlying concepts, along with critical thinking, and problem solving. In the humanities and writing classes, SHM students explore science as a method of inquiry, and develop critical reading and writing skills that culminate in a major research paper.

Fall Semester

Course Area Credits
General Biology I Natural Sciences 4

BIO 1011

Biology 1011 and 1012 (General Biology I and II) fulfill the two-semester introductory biology requirement for medical school, as well as for the biology, chemistry, biophysics, and biomedical engineering majors. SHM students have their own section of general biology, taught in the newly renovated Acheson Science Building on the Mount Vernon campus. The course and lab are both taught by a Program Coordinator.

WLP Humanities Seminar Humanities 3

WLP 20

The WLP Humanities seminar for students in the science, health and medicine cohort focuses on the philosophy, history, and rhetoric of science. Students examine science as a method of inquiry in the broader context of how humans reason and construct knowledge, and then apply what they have learned about science to explore gender and public policy issues. The course introduces students to the critical analytic, reading, and writing skills that will prepare them for leadership in their academic and professional careers.

WLP Symposium   1

This course does not fulfill an academic requirement, but counts towards the student’s overall earned credit-hours. Symposium, which takes place once a week, is designed to supplement the academic component of the program with a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities, many of which are exclusive to members of WLP.

Each semester includes several shared symposia that include leadership-building workshops, cultural events of cross-disciplinary interest, and guest speakers. These shared events are designed to introduce students to successful women in a variety of other fields, generate new ideas about different aspects of community and leadership, provide networking opportunities, and encourage students to reflect upon their current and future contributions as a leader.

The remaining symposia are cohort-specific, geared towards the specific interests of students in the Science, Health, and Medicine program. These include visits by women who work in different areas of science and medicine, as well as frequent opportunities to explore the resources of the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Examples of SHM symposia include:

  • Theatrical performances: including No Child, Nine Parts of Desire, Proof, Copenhagen.
  • Poetry Reading: Inaugural reading by the U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan at the Library of Congress, followed by a book signing and reception.
  • Lectures at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the National Geographic, the Marian Koshland Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Visits to The National Zoo, The Center for Global Development, The Corcoran Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Crime and Punishment
  • An evening with seven women ambassadors
  • Presentations by prominent women in science and medicine, including Dr. Claire Fraser, Dr. Vivian Pinn, and Dr. Vera Rubin

Spring Semester

Course Area Credits
General Biology II Natural Sciences 4

BIO 1012

Biology 11 and 12 (General Biology I and II) fulfill the two-semester introductory biology requirement for medical school, as well as for the biology, chemistry, biophysics, and biomedical engineering majors. SHM students have their own section of general biology, taught in the newly renovated Acheson Science Building on the Mount Vernon campus. The course and lab are both taught by a Program Coordinator.

University Writing 020 Literacy 4

UW 20

This course fulfils one Literacy requirement.

The University Writing Program provides comprehensive writing and research instruction, and is required for all undergraduate students. WLP offers a choice of four topics taught by the program’s University Writing faculty. This course is not cohort-specific – students may select any of the four courses offered.

WLP Symposium   1

This course does not fulfill an academic requirement, but counts towards the student’s overall earned credit-hours. Symposium, which takes place once a week, is designed to supplement the academic component of the program with a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities, many of which are exclusive to members of WLP.

Each semester includes several shared symposia that include leadership-building workshops, cultural events of cross-disciplinary interest, and guest speakers. These shared events are designed to introduce students to successful women in a variety of other fields, generate new ideas about different aspects of community and leadership, provide networking opportunities, and encourage students to reflect upon their current and future contributions as a leader.

The remaining symposia are cohort-specific, geared towards the specific interests of students in the Science, Health, and Medicine program. These include visits by women who work in different areas of science and medicine, as well as frequent opportunities to explore the resources of the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Examples of SHM symposia include:

  • Theatrical performances: including No Child, Nine Parts of Desire, Proof, Copenhagen.
  • Poetry Reading: Inaugural reading by the U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan at the Library of Congress, followed by a book signing and reception.
  • Lectures at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the National Geographic, the Marian Koshland Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Visits to The National Zoo, The Center for Global Development, The Corcoran Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Crime and Punishment
  • An evening with seven women ambassadors
  • Presentations by prominent women in science and medicine, including Dr. Claire Fraser, Dr. Vivian Pinn, and Dr. Vera Rubin