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Women in the World


Women ☆ Possibility ☆ Inspiration

Women in the World: Showcasing IQPs that Impact the Lives of Women and Girls

WPI students have helped improve the lives of women and girls for over more than 20 years in 14 countries through 90+ Interactive Qualifying Projects (IQPs). IQPs allow students to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve a problem or provide for a need at the crossroads of science and society. The Global Lab showcases and conducts research on the extensive array of IQP projects that have benefitted female community members at project centers. This initiative is generously supported by the Women’s Impact Network at WPI.


  • 15+ projects
  • Projects support marginalized women to start local businesses
  • Help existing businesses expand and grow
  • Aid in marketing women’s products and organizations
  • Use technology to expand women’s businesses
  • Analyze factors affecting employment of women


  • 30+ projects
  • Introduced more women and girls to STEM through clubs, STEM camps, and understanding of technology
  • Assessed the presence of gendered career interests in Worcester schools
  • Evaluated the culture and support surrounding women at WPI


  • 20+ projects
  • Increase awareness of women’s health issues within disadvantaged communities
  • Aid organizations that help women with cancer
  • Develop programs to prevent abuse of women
  • Research reproductive health issues
    Study perceptions of health risks resulting from making weight in rowing
  • Aid in fundraising for homeless women

Featured IQP Projects

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers at Work and at Home in Indonesia

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers at Work and at Home in Indonesia

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers at Work and at Home in Indonesia About Abstract To combat infant mortality, Indonesian law requires women to provide children younger than six months breastmilk. However, a lack of employee support and educational resources has kept...

Developing Digital Literacy Modules for Women in Cuenca, Ecuador

Developing Digital Literacy Modules for Women in Cuenca, Ecuador

Developing Digital Literacy Modules for Women in Cuenca, Ecuador Identifying Knowledge Flow to Develop a Strategic Plan Abstract Our project worked with the María Amor Foundation in Cuenca, Ecuador to build a self-sustaining curriculum to teach digital literacy for...


Ignite Program: Women In Science

The IGNITE offers students the chance to explore more complex topics. Young women come together to learn how careers in science medicine, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) are collaborative, creative, and help address a variety of social issues. There are multiple hands-on workshops each day that take place in WPI’s labs. The workshops are presented by female role models including WPI faculty, graduate students, and industry professionals. This particular session is for girls only.

Women’s Research And Mentorship Program

The WPI Women’s Research And Mentorship Program is for young women who are interested in learning about STEM research alongside.
This program exposes young women to positive female role models with a STEM
background who are pursuing an undergraduate, masters, doctorate, or postdoctoral degree. Each student will be matched with an undergraduate and graduate student to work on a research project in a mentoring setting.


WPI Named a Top University for Helping Women Succeed in STEM Fields

A new ranking by places Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 9th in the nation among schools that do the best job of helping women succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “The 10 Best Colleges for Females in STEM Fields” cites WPI’s advocacy and development programs for female students, as well as programs to get girls’ interested in STEM fields from an early age.

Women’s Impact Network Makes Its Mark in Four Years of Grant Awards

The Women’s Impact Network (WIN) is pleased to announce its fourth year of grant awardees in the 2020–21 grant application process. Fourteen out of 28 applications were funded, totaling $239,628. The applicants represented faculty, staff, students, and alumnae, submitting proposals ranging from student and faculty support, to research, diversity and inclusion, conferences, and leadership.

All grant funds come from Women’s Impact Network member donations.

WPI Recognized for Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper in ASEE 2020

The paper, “Building and Evaluating a Multi-tiered Mentor Program to Introduce Research to High School Women,” details how WPI developed the Women’s Research and Mentoring Program (WRAMP) with the goal of encouraging more women to consider advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The multi-tiered mentor program has evolved over its first three iterations to place two local high school students from underrepresented groups in a graduate student mentor’s research lab along with an undergraduate student as a mentor/mentee.

Featured Researchers

Ingrid Shockey

Ingrid Shockey

WPI's Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS)


Climate Stories: Using transmedia storytelling to connect ethnographies of climate change across WPI project center sites

WPI has an extraordinary opportunity to leverage our student project sites around the world to build a platform for sharing voices and perspectives on meaningful topics. Recording climate change stories engages students with communities on a topic of universal urgency, and in ways that transcend common barriers. The experiences of ordinary people on the ground have not always been solicited in planning for adaptation strategies or in other official narratives and metrics about climate change. We hear about the crisis more frequently in broad terms, such as with regard to policy decisions, or in the context of action (deniers vs activists).

Gabriela Rovi

Gabriela Rovi

Project Manager

M.S. Manufacturing Engineering

Class of 2021


The current pharmaceutical manufacturing approval process was originally established under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act in 1938. And while the requirements have changed and been updated, what it looks for has remained mostly the same. This means that industry has mostly continued reusing tried and true methods to address the requirements put forward. Due to the recent prevalence of the sped-up process that the COVID-19 vaccine there has been conversation on how to change and update both the requirement on the regulatory side and how industry creatively addresses those requirements. We are using Axiomatic Design to break down the current process, what happened to the COVID-19 vaccine, and what lessons were learned from the analysis of the processes. The recommendations provided focus on how industry can better address some of the current requirements and shorten the process on their side, but the analysis also provides a breakdown on how regulations can be improved to better address the need.

Elke A. Rundensteiner

Elke A. Rundensteiner

WPI's Computer Science Department

Professor, Computer Science

Director, Data Science


Supporting Women in Data Science via the Women in Data Science Symposium: Fostering Diversity, Community, Mentorship, Outreach, and Global Impact—all in one!

The global Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference will inspire students and professionals by featuring exclusively female speakers at more than 100 concurrent locations worldwide. WPI WiDS, as the Central Massachusetts satellite, serves as local hub for mentoring, networking, and inspiring WPI’s community of students, faculty, and professionals with a keynote, career panel, tech talks, poster session, hands-on table projects, and data competitions. The committed group is passionate about bringing this inspiring program to WPI as an annual event.

Camp Reach Conversations

Global Lab mediamakers curated conversations with Camp Reach leaders and alums to reveal and celebrate the many ways Camp Reach creates a network of powerful, accomplished, connected women in STEM.

Camp Reach Alums

Melissa Galgano

Camp Reach ‘09, WPI ‘19

“Supporting young girls in their endeavors is a special thing. I think Camp Reach really set me on the path that I’m on today.” 

Elina Barrows

Camp Reach ‘12, WPI ‘22

One of my friends from Camp Reach ended up being my co-worker at an internship. It was like we were instantly friends again!

Chrys Demetry

Camp Reach Co-Founder

“Young women begin to see themselves as potential engineers because they’re actually solving a problem.”


This initiative is generously supported by the Women’s Impact Network at WPI.

Sue Sontgerath

Camp Reach Director

“The girls’ growth in self confidence and self efficacy is just as important as getting them excited about engineering.”