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Release: Nov. 29, 2001

Women in Science and Engineering associate director named

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa has appointed Dr. Gerene Denning, an associate research scientist in the University of Iowa College of Medicine department of internal medicine, as associate director of the university’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program.

In 1992, Denning served as chair of the original committee that wrote a Women in Science and Engineering Campus Action Plan, whose centerpiece has become the current WISE program. She has served on the WISE advisory board from 1993-1997 and from 1999 to the present, and was acting chair in 1995 and 1999. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1974 from the University of Iowa, her master's degree in biochemistry in 1976 from the University of California at San Diego, and her doctorate in 1989 from the UI biochemistry department. She did postdoctoral research in cystic fibrosis in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Welsh.

Regarding WISE and its progress in dealing with issues of gender equity in the fields of science, math, engineering, and technology, she says, "While significant progress has been made, there are still areas where women remain under-represented and where their talents remain under-utilized. Our program will continue to serve women and girls who choose to pursue careers in these fields until barriers to their success no longer exist."

She joins Chris Peterson Brus, who has served as WISE director since 1998. "Dr. Denning has been working toward the equal inclusion of women at the University of Iowa for many years," Brus says. "I am delighted that she will now serve WISE in a visible leadership capacity. Dr. Denning brings strong ties with the College of Medicine to WISE as well as providing important institutional memory."

The UI WISE Program works with science, engineering and mathematics programs at the University of Iowa to increase the participation and advancement of women as students, faculty and professional staff. It develops outreach programs for pre-college students while striving to inform the public of educational and career opportunities for women in scientific and technical fields.