2024 Women's Impact Network Impact Grants Announced



The Women's Impact Network (WIN) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2024 Impact Grants.

WIN is a women-led philanthropic organization committed to the continuous advancement of women in STEM across WPI's local and global community. This year's grants will be presented on Saturday, March 23. Click here for information on this special event.

Congratulations to the 2024 Impact Grant recipients:

Primary Applicant Constituent Type Grant Name Synopsis
Francesca Bernardi Faculty- Assistant Professor - Mathematical Sciences Girls Talk Math at WPI: Expanding a free math and media camp to engage local girls and non-binary high school students Girls Talk Math (GTM) is a free two-week mathematics and media day camp for girls and non-binary high school students in the Worcester area. The third chapter of GTM launched at WPI in 2022 and continued in 2023; this proposal supports the 2024 run of camp expanding to 35 campers. Students work in teams on challenging, hands-on
problem sets and record podcasts about scientists from marginalized groups. The WIN grant allows this work to continue.
Stephen McCauley Faculty- Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Integrative and Global Studies Intersectional AI: An Artist-in-Residence Series Exploring the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies This project will support an artist-in-residence series that invites up to four women artist-scholars to WPI to engage the community – through artistic installations and performances, thought-provoking talks, and workshops – in questions around the ethical and social implications of generative artificial intelligence. The visits will showcase women as leaders in this emerging technological field, and help advance
conversations around AI within the WPI community. The events will be documented in transmedia showcases.
Leithsa Dimanche Student 2024 National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Annual Convention The WIN grant is crucial for our NSBE chapter, to empower underrepresented minority students in engineering and science. Financial assistance will create opportunities for female identifying members, enhancing professional experiences. The NSBE Convention is vital for securing internships, jobs, and networking skills,
setting members on paths to success. This support addresses the  underrepresentation of women, especially colored women, in STEM. The grant will support networking opportunities with industry professionals shaping the futures of aspiring engineers.
Catherine Whittington Faculty- Assistant Professor - Biomedical Engineering Providing Wraparound Support for Extended Research and Professional Development Experiences for WPI LSAMP Scholars Our project provides extended, wraparound research and professional development support to scholars in the WPI Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. The WIN Grant will allow 10 scholars to extend paid research positions across the summer (full-time) and academic year (part-time) and receive funding to present research at conferences. This approach supports sustained, longterm
experiences that will allow LSAMP to distribute resources across our cohort of 74 scholars, maximize support, and promote development.
Colleen Shaver Staff, Director Robotics Research Center Robotics is for Everyone In order to help female-identifying students engage with STEM, they have to see themselves in it and be encouraged to know there is space for them in traditionally male-dominated fields. We want to provide robotics kits for hands-on activities in after-school or community-based programs that serve girls and with programs led by female educators. The WIN grant will aid in this endeavor.
Elitumaini Swai Alumni 2023 Sayanssi Ambassadors - Global STEM Outreach Opportunity for WPI Women in STEM WPI female students from various organizations on campus will collaborate with an alumni-led NGO called Sayansi Ambassadors, providing opportunities for WPI students to develop content for STEM education. WPI students will be partnered with Tanzanian college students to co-create learning modules on a STEM topic, appropriate for K-12 age. This project innovates on prior NGO’s success, with a
mission to provide hands-on STEM experience and menstruation hygiene workshops to primary school students from underprivileged communities.
Andrea Arnold Faculty- Assistant Professor Mathematical Sciences Sonia Kovalevsky Day: Mathematics Outreach Initiative for Middle School Girls Sonia Kovalevsky Days (SK Days) are nationally-held, locally-organized outreach events to encourage young women to continue their study of mathematics. The WPI Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics hosts SK Days on campus each spring, targeting the participation of local middle school girls. The day's events
include interactive math activities led by WPI student and faculty volunteers, a keynote talk from a woman mathematician, and remarks from women leaders in STEM at WPI.
Tsitsi Masvawure Faculty- Assistant Professor - Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Supporting Menstrual Wellbeing and the Use of Sustainable Menstrual Products at WPI Menstrual health is rarely included in metrics of student wellbeing, despite evidence that menstruation-related discomforts, whether physical or psycho-social, affect most women, are debilitating and can disrupt academic performance. Our project will support the menstrual wellbeing of students who menstruate at WPI, most of whom are women by conducting research on the psycho-social impacts of menstruation.
Elke Rundensteiner Faculty Supporting Women in Data Science via the Women in Data Science Symposium: Foster- ing Diversity, Community, Mentorship, Outreach and Global Impact all in one! Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference inspires students and professionals alike featuring exclusively female speakers at 100+ concurrent locations worldwide. WPI WiDS as Central Massachusetts satellite serves as a local hub for mentoring, networking, and inspiring our inclusive community of students, faculty and professionals with a keynote, career panel, technical talks, poster session, hands-on
table projects, and datathon challenges. Our committed group is passionate about continuing this inspiring program to WPI as an annual event.
Elizabeth DiLoreto  Graduate Research Assistant- Biology and Biotechnology Women in STEM Book Club Initiatives that create strong networks that encourage and support women in STEM workforces are crucial. In STEM, women account for only 34 percent of the workforce and are twice as likely to leave their jobs compared to women in other fields. The Women in STEM Book Club aims to encourage open dialogues between women in higher education STEM and facilitate a safe space for professional and personal development amongst other supportive women.The WIN grant will continue this work. 
Nicole Anterni
Director of Sponsorship & Events, Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs
Worcester Women in STEM Pathways Initiative  The Women in STEM Pathway Initiative (WiSPI) combines two impactful STEM exploration and mentorship programs with summer program scholarships and internship opportunities into a cohesive pathway for area high school women to explore STEM, while empowering and supporting WPI graduate and undergraduate women. Each program, offers mentorship, hands-on projects, career exploration, and
inspiration. These initiatives foster a supportive network, uniting and uplifting women at various stages of education to empower each other in STEM.

Learn More About WIN