UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences to Host Group of International Women Scholars

April 2, 2014

Contact: Daniel J. Fitzgibbons 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – The College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on April 9 will be hosting a group of women from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are visiting the United States through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The focus of the project is Women’s Innovations in Science and Engineering (WISE). 

The visitors represent fields ranging from computer engineering to physics, from marine biotechnology to virology. They come from Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sudan, Palestinian territories, Oman, Lebanon, Uzbekistan and Nepal. During their day on campus, they will be meeting with colleagues in their research specialties as well as faculty, staff and students. 

“I’m excited to host these international scholars, and pleased that they will be able to meet individually with UMass Amherst faculty and have the opportunity to learn more about our university,” says Steve Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “The visit takes place two days after our second annual CNS Women in Science Initiative lecture, and it feels like a natural extension of this initiative as well as an excellent opportunity to interact with such distinguished international guests.”

The group will be in the U.S. for about three weeks with stops in the District of Columbia, Oregon, Indiana and Boston before they come to western Massachusetts. Their visit is coordinated locally by the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts, based in Springfield.

“When we put together the proposal for this project, UMass Amherst came to my mind right away,” said Cyd Melcher, the council’s executive director. “I knew that there was not only a commitment to the sciences in general but to women in science. We’ve worked with other centers and departments in UMass for previous visits like this and the faculty and staff have always been very open and welcomed sharing with their colleagues from around the world.” 

While they are in the area, the visitors will also attend meetings at Smith College and at Rediker Software in Hampden.