AWIS Chapter Spotlight – North Carolina

February 7, 2023



North Carolina is a leading biotechnology hub and home to top-tier academic institutions which makes it an ideal location for an AWIS chapter. Since being re-established in 2021, the chapter has hosted talent optimization workshops, diversity, equity and inclusion talks, and networking socials – programs that support the professional and personal lives of the chapter’s almost 50 student and professional members across the state.

Recently, five of these members were recognized with significant honors including prestigious society memberships and grant awards. Please join us in congratulating them!

Jenny P. Ting, PhD

Jenny P. Ting, PhD, the William Rand Kenan Professor of Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill was elected as a member of prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges. Dr. Ting joins a distinguished group of individuals elected to the Academy before them, including Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Mead, Martin Luther King Jr., Condoleezza Rice, and Nelson Mandela.


Sarah Adjei-Fremah, PhD

Sarah Adjei-Fremah, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology (Genetics and Microbiology) at Winston-Salem State University was awarded a National Science Foundation grant of $299,835 which will engage 15 undergraduate students across multiple disciplines for three years. This project will enhance the research training of undergraduates, especially from groups underrepresented in STEM areas.




Allyn Howlett, PhD

Allyn Howlett, PhD, Assistant Dean of the Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Biomedical Programs) has been recognized as 2022 ASPET Fellow. Selection as a fellow of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (FASPET) is an honor bestowed on ASPET members who have demonstrated excellence via their overall contributions to pharmacology and the Society. Dr. Howlett has also been named an R&D Trailblazer on the “Power List” of The Cannabis Scientist. Her research could have significant implications for the development of future cannabinoid medicines.



Tandeka Boko, MD

Tandeka Boko, MD, Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Forsyth Technical Community College and STEM Advisor/Navigator/Program Coordinator for NC STEM Alliance, was highlighted as a STEM Storyteller through the Morehead Planetarium Science Center and a Glaxo-Smith Kline Storytelling Grant in partnership with NC Community Colleges.




Joan F. Schanck, MPA

Joan F. Schanck, MPA, Academic Research Program Officer, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, received the 2023 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS-AM) Educational, Training and Outreach Award.





“We encourage STEM students and professionals to join AWIS today to connect with our honored members as well as access local networks for collaboration, professional development, and career advancement,” said Dr. Gauri Kulkarni, President, AWIS North Carolina Chapter. “We are also looking for financial partners and collaborators in North Carolina to support our mission.”

Future chapter events will include career panels, professional development workshops, scientific symposia, and mentoring groups that will support the professional and personal lives of our new and growing members. The chapter also plans to engage girls in STEM fields by organizing student activities and sponsoring awards at the North Carolina State Science fair.

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