Empowered womxn empower womxn
18th-22nd Oct, 2021

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gwaMIT Empowerment  Conference

The Empowerment Conference, started spring 2010, seeks to provide resources for and promote discussion of issues relevant to the life choices, self-care and wellbeing of graduate womxn. The planning committee comprises womxn from across MIT departments and invites speakers that are role models for graduate womxn and/or experts on how to become those role models.

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Our Speakers

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Bianca Kaushal-Carter

Bianca Kaushal-Carter is the Manager of Prevention & Education in the IDHR Office. She conducts trainings for students, faculty and staff about MIT policies, reporting options, and legal responsibilities, and coordinates other prevention education efforts within the MIT community. Previously, Bianca worked at Washington University in St. Louis where she provided culturally-relevant training to international students regarding sexual assault, and at Saweraa, a St. Louis non-profit that supported South Asian women experiencing IPV.  Bianca holds a Master's in Social Work from The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Fen Tung

Fen is a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA-Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ISCA Master Trainer, STOTT Pilates certified instructor, and BollyX Co-founder & Fitness Director who has been training and teaching since 2003. She believes that each day is a new opportunity to do something good for your health. It’s not about perfection but about giving it your best. Fen graduated from MIT with a BS in Biology.

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Susanna (Zan) Barry

Susana is a senior program manager in Community Wellness at MIT Medical. Her preventive health programs at MIT include stress reduction, sleep health, mindfulness, and new ways of finding motivation and meaning in the Covid era. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology and certifications in health coaching, meditation, and yoga.

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Keynote Speaker:
Professor Sara Seager

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and a Professor of Physics, Professor of Planetary Science, and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she holds the Class of 1941 Professor Chair.  She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concepts.

 

Sleep Better, Stress Less:  Grad Student Wellbeing Workshop

Monday, 10/18 at 5:30p

Location:

W20-307

Sleep and stress are deeply interconnected. Learn strategies to help you improve your sleep and decrease stress, reboot your sleep schedule, and make getting up in the morning easier. MIT resources to manage stress and improve sleep health will be provided. Please RSVP by Thursday 10/14 if you'd like food.

Please RSVP by Thursday, 10/14

Keynote Address from Professor Sara Seager:

Innovation, Exploration, and the Search for Life Beyond Earth

Tuesday, 10/19 at noon.

Location:

W20-307

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and a Professor of Physics, Professor of Planetary Science, and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she holds the Class of 1941 Professor Chair.  She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concepts. 

 

 In space missions for planetary discovery and exploration, she was the Deputy Science Director of the MIT-led NASA Explorer-class mission TESS; she was PI of the JPL-MIT CubeSat ASTERIA; is a lead of the Starshade Rendezvous Mission (a space-based direct imaging exoplanet discovery concept under technology development) to find a true Earth analog orbiting a Sun-like star; and most recently is directing a mission concept study to find signs of life or life itself in the Venus atmosphere.

Please RSVP by Thursday 10/14 if you'd like food.

Bystander Intervention and Coping Strategies around Sexual Harassment with IDHR & VPR

Tuesday 10/19 at 4-5pm

 

(VIRTUAL ONLY)

Zoom Link 

Bianca Kaushal-Carter and Rose Angelle Poyao of IDHR and VPR will be hosting a one-hour workshop tol talk about MIT resources around sexual harassment, provide tangible skills and practice around bystander intervention, and discuss coping strategies focused on self-care and empowerment. First 40 people who RSVP will get $15 food reimbursement (excluding tax).

Please RSVP

Zumba & BollyX Combo Dance Class

Wednesday 10/20 at 4p 

 

Hybrid Event:  

In-Person at W20-491 

VIRTUAL - Zoom Link

 

Join this high energy, super fun party to music from around the world! You’ll be sweating and smiling as you move to heart-pounding beats. No equipment needed, just space on your dance floor. Open to all fitness levels. Wearing sneakers, comfortable fitness clothes that allow for movement, and having water on hand is highly recommended for class. (Zumba is a Latin-inspired cardio dance fitness format and BollyX is a Bollywood-inspired cardio dance fitness format.)


Please RSVP

 

Movie Night

Thursday, 10/21 at 6- 8pm

Location:

W20-307

Join us for a screening of the documentary film ‘Picture a Scientist’, featuring the stories of some incredible womxn in academia, including MIT Biology’s own Nancy Hopkins. There will be dinner from Baker’s Best and popcorn from LaVerde’s that can be eaten at the venue while watching the film. Stay behind for some post-movie discussion if you have time and want to engage with your fellow graduate womxn!

 

Please RSVP by Monday 10/18 if you'd like dinner during the event.

 

Individual Development Plan Workshop with CAPD (Career Advising & Professional Development)

Friday, 10/22 at 12-1pm

 

LOCATION:

W20-306

(Twenty Chimneys)

 

An IDP is an Individual Development Plan– a key professional development tool used within both academia and industry, to establish priorities, set goals, and track progress. You can create an IPD to guide you in self-assessment, exploration, goal setting, implementation, recording milestones, and reflection.  By creating and using an IDP,  you can optimize your PhD years by planning experiences that will help you build the competencies and skills you need not only to finish your degree but to keep rising throughout your career.  An IDP is not a static document; you will be revisiting and adjusting yours on a regular basis. Learn more about IDP: https://capd.mit.edu/resources/individual-development-plans-idps/

Please RSVP by Tuesday 10/19 if you'd like food.

Womxn in History - Trivia Night 

Friday, 10/22 at 5-7p 

 

LOCATION:

W20-307

Come play trivia over dinner with other graduate womxn! The theme is womxn in history. You can come with friends as a team or we'll assign random teams at the event.

 

Please RSVP by Tuesday 10/19 if you'd like dinner during the event.

 
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About us

Graduate Womxn at MIT (gwaMIT) is an organization to support MIT graduate students seeking a space to talk about the experiences of being a woman and/or being coded as a woman, while acknowledging the diversity among people who have had these experiences. We use the term “womxn” to signify that gwaMIT is a space for anyone who identifies with this mission, which may include transgender women, cisgender women, non-binary people, and gender diverse people. 

In addition to our annual conferences, we host a mentoring program and a series of smaller workshops and focus groups throughout the year. 

Subscribe to our mailing list to stay up-to-date or visit us at our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the gwaMIT board at gwamit-exec@mit.edu.

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Rose

Rose is an experienced mental health clinician who has worked extensively with youth who have experienced interpersonal harm. As the Director of Advocacy at the Violence Prevention & Response office at MIT, she provides leadership and oversight of the advocacy services that addresses the needs of people who have experienced sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking and/or sexual harassment. Her framework in advocacy is based on a social justice perspective and helping people heal through trauma. Rose is passionate about utilizing a culturally responsive approach to services and finds that an important aspect of her work is fostering a healthy and safe community for survivors.