Who We Are
Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) is a small-learning community designed to recruit and retain women in the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin. WINS supports first-year students by assigning them mentors who help students navigate the transition from highschool to college. WINS students gain automatic acceptance into the prestigious Freshman Research Initiative Program where they are able to participate in innovative and cutting edge research projects their first year of college. Our main objective is to help female-identifying students coming from diverse backgrounds feel prepared to go into male-dominated career fields. WINS helps its students advance in their careers by giving deserving students scholarships for experiential learning opportunities such as research, conference attendance, and study abroad.
What We're Fundraising For
We are fundraising primarily to help WINS students engage in experiential learning opportunities by providing scholarships and funding volunteer work. WINS students are encouraged to partake in opportunities such as research fellowships, internships and study abroad programs that will help them advance towards their career goals.. Many students demonstrate a financial need that may hinder their ability to participate in such opportunities and WINS grants can significantly help them partake in valuable experiences. For example, pre-health students in WINS have the opportunity to apply for the Atlantis program, a pre-health shadowing abroad program where students aspiring to work in the medical field spend a few weeks shadowing doctors in hospitals abroad. Money raised will help provide more scholarships for future WINS students in this program. The College of Natural Sciences acknowledges a need for programs such as WINS to recognize its historically underserved female student population, especially as enrollment of female students rises, and without philanthropic support this program will not be able to thrive. Funds would also help WINS host networking events that help our students speak with women who are currently working in male-dominated STEM fields such as academia, AI, health professions etc. These networking events help students learn about different career paths, build relationships with professionals and develop new perspectives.
Funds raised during this event will allow the WINS program to deliver on its mission to serving women in STEM, offer them new opportunities, and help better prepare these women for entering a male-dominated workforce. The U.S. federal government continues to recognize women as an under-represented minority in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields because “they constitute smaller percentages of science and engineering degree recipients and of employed scientists and engineers than they do of the population.” WINS is a pathway for success that meets many of the criteria advanced by the AAUW and the NSF to support women in the sciences. When compared with similar groups of their peers, WINS participants show improvements in:
- Retention in Science – Women in WINS are more likely to remain enrolled as students in the College of Natural Sciences after their first year (92% vs. 72%).
- Academic Success – During the first year, women in WINS are more likely to have at least a 3.0 GPA (86% vs. 62%).
- On-time Completion – Women in WINS are nearly twice as likely to graduate within four years (61% vs. 33%).
- Careers in Science – Women in WINS are more likely to plan for a career in the sciences, with or without additional education.
One of our students expressed, “WINS gave me the ability to experience valuable shadowing experience through the Atlantis program that helped me gain exposure to another healthcare system. I would not have been able to partake in this opportunity without WINS’ financial support.”