Founder and President: Rachel Johnston

Rachel is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Jeffrey Bednarski MD, PhD, in the Department of Pediatrics in Hematology and Oncology. Rachel has been passionate about the advancement of women in science throughout her undergraduate career, and began WiSTEM in December of 2018.

Vice President: Kayla Nygaard

Kayla is a Molecular Genetics and Genomics graduate student studying genes from the Williams Syndrome locus on lucky chromosome #7. She’s fascinated by viewing animal behavior through the lens of genetics. She aspires to be an excellent undergraduate educator where she can share her passion for diversity & inclusion education (Connections, president 2017-19) and promoting and supporting women in science and beyond (WiSTEM, current VP).

Social Activities Chair: Emily Davenport

Emily is a first year Plant & Microbial Biosciences student in the Bose lab. She likes to have a good time, build community, find friends in the struggle, and wants the same for you!

Professional Development Chair: Mandy Chan

Mandy is a first year PhD student in the Immunology program and she’s just starting at Dr. Joel Schilling’s lab studying macrophage dysfunction in diabetes-related complications for her thesis work. She’s beyond excited to be part of WiSTEM as this year’s Professional Development Chair to develop strategies and provide resources that can best prepare WiSTEM members for their aspiring careers!

Community Engagement Chair: Liza Miller

Liza Miller is a third year Microbiology student in the Doering lab, where she studies the glycobiology of a pathogenic fungus. She is excited to work with WiSTEM members and community partners as the group’s community engagement chair.

Networking Chair: Natasha Kafai

Natasha is a third year MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program and has just begun her Immunology PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Diamond. She is interested in creating inclusive scientific communities and promoting advocacy for women in STEM fields. As WiSTEM’s Networking Chair, she is particularly motivated to help develop mentorship programs and provide networking opportunities for women in STEM at WashU.

Bookkeeper: Melanie Ernst

Melanie Ernst is a first year graduate student in the lab of Janice Robertson in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. As bookkeeper, Melanie not only takes care of the finances, but also maintains the meeting minutes.

Communications Director: Caryn Carson

Caryn Carson is a fourth year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Heather Lawson in the Department of Genetics. She studies the genetics of metabolically healthy obesity and is particularly interested in helping scientists clearly and effectively communicate how awesome their research is!