Asee peer logo

Wisconsin And Hawaii Wit Partnership To Encourage Women And Girls In Rural Areas To Pursue Stem Fields

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

K-12 Programs for Recruiting Women

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1453.1 - 11.1453.8

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Firouzeh Keshmiri Milwaukee School of Engineering

author page

Ann Bloor Milwaukee School of Engineering


Mary Jo Wellenstein Milwaukee School of Engineering

visit author page

Mary Jo is counselor at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). She served as the director of MSOE's Women's Connections program for many years and has been instrumental in the successful use of MentorNet by MSOE female students. She is a champion for female students in their pursuit of an engineering degree.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Wisconsin and Hawaii WIT Partnership to Encourage Women and Girls in Rural Areas to Pursue STEM Fields


XXX in Milwaukee, Wis., is spearheading a new partnership with Hawaii’s XXXX to encourage women and girls living in rural areas to enter into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The partnership’s mission is to:

• Ensure that women and girls, especially in rural areas, have more opportunities to be engaged in STEM careers. • Develop program models that can be adopted in the future by local organizations and institutions

The Wisconsin and Hawaii Women in Technology projects are funded in part by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hawaii and Wisconsin are the only states that are involved in this program thus far.

Partnerships with industry, educational institutions, government agencies and youth-serving organizations are a key strategy for the WIT program. Other factors include proven outreach programs such as job shadowing, career days, science camps, and mentoring, along with apprenticeships and training designed to engage female students from middle school through college.

Mentoring has been identified as the most successful engagement strategy. WIT successfully negotiated with MentorNet, a Presidential award-winning online mentoring program that links undergraduate and graduate students with professionals in industry, government and high education. Through a WIT grant, students enrolled in Wisconsin universities will be able to participate in a proven, supportive, and effective retention program.

Through gender equity workshops, WIT offers tools to educators and industry to overcome the barriers that have created the chilly climate for women. The WIT project provides ongoing technical assistance to educators, guidance counselors, and industry partners on recruitment and retention skills to overcome these societal barriers.

The flagship Women in Technology Project was launched in 2000 by the XXXXX in Hawaii to help educate, support and retain local women as part of the STEM workforce. In Wisconsin, the WIT program is administered by XXXX.

This paper will describe the forming of the partnership and sharing of best practices between the two states.

Keshmiri, F., & Bloor, A., & Wellenstein, M. J. (2006, June), Wisconsin And Hawaii Wit Partnership To Encourage Women And Girls In Rural Areas To Pursue Stem Fields Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015