AWIS Announces New Rhode Island Chapter

Apr 28, 2023Press Release


Shelley O’Brien

Association for Women in Science Announces new Rhode Island Chapter

WASHINGTON DC, April 28, 2023 – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is pleased to announce that another local chapter has been established in the state of Rhode Island. This brings the number of chapters to thirty-two. Dr. Cheryl Vaughan and her former colleague Meghan Tenca are spearheading this effort to provide a supportive community for women in STEM in Rhode Island.

Vaughan explains, “AWIS immersed me in a world of predominantly brilliant, friendly women working in STEM and gave me a sense of camaraderie and a common purpose I had not experienced in my earlier scientific career.” She wanted to bring that experience to the women of Rhode Island.

Vaughan has lived in Rhode Island for twenty years and commuted to work at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts where she is the Director of Custom Innovation Training Programs for Harvard Catalyst. She joined the Boston Chapter of AWIS in 2018 and quickly got involved volunteering her experience. She has delivered workshops, held several leadership roles including co-founding and co-chairing a leadership development program, and served as co-Vice President of the chapter. However, like most things, this changed during the pandemic. Vaughan shared, “Since 2020, I have been working from my home office. Traveling to work for the Boston AWIS Chapter in the evenings just did not work anymore. I saw there was no AWIS presence in Rhode Island, and it seemed like a gap I could fill.”

Tenca had moved to Providence, Rhode Island after completing a post-graduate degree abroad. Vaughan reached out to Tenca to enlist her support in establishing a new AWIS chapter. Tenca said, “As someone who has always been passionate about equality and equity especially in regard to sex and gender, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this with Cheryl.”

The vision for the chapter includes:

  • Affordable professional training and coaching for members
  • Outreach activities to support pre-college students across the state
  • Highlighting the work of women scientists in Rhode Island

In May, the new chapter is hosting three free virtual workshops that will focus on building your “self-promotion muscles” as part of its Professional Skills Gym. Each lunch and learn event in the series is limited to twenty participants to maximize the potential for meaningful connections and engagement among all attendees. For more information on these events or to become a member of the chapter, visit You can also follow the AWIS Rhode Island Chapter on Twitter @AWISRhodeIsland and LinkedIn. For questions, please email


About AWIS: Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. In addition to scholarships, AWIS provides career resources, professional development, as well as networking, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities to build leadership skills. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.


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© 2023 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.