Meet the Officers

Amber Baldwin

  • WiSTEM position: President
  • Role on campus: Professional Research Assistant in the RNA Bioscience Initiative
  • Research: I study RNA systems biology and RNA binding proteins in the context of human steroidogenesis and disease.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I have a passion for educating others about science and encouraging younger students to be more involved in STEM.
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: 1) Play with my adorable boston terrier, 2) Visit breweries and try different beers throughout Colorado, 3) Hiking and camping

Kendra Prutton

  • WiSTEM position: Vice-president
  • Role on campus:  Toxicology PhD Student
  • Research: My research seeks to better understand neurogenesis in people with Down syndrome through neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? WiSTEM is a positive and inclusive environment where we can subvert stereotypes and share experiences. I believe that the most powerful and effective means of encouraging young women to pursue and succeed in STEM is to lead, represent, and prove. And this campus is the perfect place to do it!
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Going to the gym, hiking, and trying new foods!

Kimberly Wellman

  • WiSTEM position: Secretary
  • Role on campus: Molecular Biology predoctoral student 
  • Research: I study RNA regulation in human hormone biosynthesis. My project looks at how a specific RNA-binding protein destabilizes mRNAs to buffer the production of aldosterone. 
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I’m in Women in STEM because I get to work alongside amazing scientists to host events that I could never dream of doing by myself. Our activities are fun, informative, and make a tangible impact on the Anschutz community. 
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: 1) COFFEE, 2) board games, 3) being in nature

Danielle Bilodeau

  • WiSTEM position: Treasurer
  • Role on campus: Molecular Biology PhD student
  • Research: I study RNA regulation in the eukaryotic parasite Giardia lamblia. My project focuses on how RNA is processed in the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I want to help cultivate an inclusive environment on our campus and ensure that all the members in our community feel welcome and have the support they need to do their best work.
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Knitting, hanging out with friends, cuddling with my cat

Evelyn Llerena Cari

  • WiSTEM position: Co-Outreach coordinator
  • Role on campus: Integrative Physiology, Reproductive Biology Track PhD Candidate
  • Research: Primordial follicles are the initial stage of ovarian follicle development and represent the ovarian reserve. Women are born with a specific number of primordial follicles and this number decreases as the women age towards menopause. My goal is to understand the transcriptional changes in primordial follicles and why the ovarian reserve doesn’t last for the same period of time in women. Currently, I am interested in how the NFkB pathway is involved in the activation of primordial follicles.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? After experiencing pregnancy and motherhood, I realized how my scientific career was impacted. I believe that by being part of WiSTEM I can transfer not only my reproductive biology knowledge to the community, but also provide help to students who are experiencing parenthood.
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Running (not currently though), cooking and enjoying life with my family and friends

Lauren Thompson

  • WiSTEM position: Co-Outreach Coordinator
  • Role on campus: Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD student
  • Research: I study how to prevent kidney toxicity caused by common chemotherapeutics.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I’m passionate about working to create an inclusive community for all within STEM and I hope to inspire the next generation of diverse scientists through education.
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Baking, hiking, and watching reality television with my cat

Allison Swain

  • WiSTEM position: Head of Mentorship Program
  • Role on campus: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Department
  • Research: I am studying breast cancer and how a long noncoding RNA called HOTAIR targets specific genes to induce heterochromatin formation and cancer metastasis.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I love supporting women in science and making improvements to the current way that science functions. I am proud to be involved in a group that does such amazing things to connect women in STEM across campus, throughout the local community, and nationally!
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Dancing, being in nature, and seeing live music

Meg Ferrari

  • WiSTEM position: Mentorship Program Co-Lead
  • Role on Campus: PhD Student in Bioengineering
  • Research: Cardiovascular predictors for babies born with congenital heart disease
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? Women in STEM provides an excellent platform for women to empower women, in addition to creating a loving and safe community for all genders, races, sexualities, etc. A better question would be: how could I NOT be a part of something that promotes and stands for everything I believe?
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Playing with my pup and cats, yoga, gardening/staring at my house plants, advocating for equity within our community (I know this is 4)

Karli Swenson

  • WiSTEM position: Engagement/Marketing
  • Role on campus: Integrated Physiology PhD student
  • Research: I study the role of certain ion channels on craniofacial development. 
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I am in WiSTEM because it is a fun and inclusive community that focuses on issues that are relevant to both me and the greater campus community. 
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: hiking in the mountains, taking long naps and playing with my holland lop rabbit, Peach

Giovana Breda Veronezi

  • WiSTEM position: Webmaster/Historian/Social Media
  • Role on campus: Molecular Biology PhD student
  • Research: I’m interested in understanding how the DNA is organized in the nucleus of the cell and it’s regulation by epigenetic mechanisms.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? I’m an enthusiast of celebrating the many contributions of women in science and working to bring more visibility and inclusiveness in the field.
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Embroidery, drawing and meeting for a coffee

Ashley Bourke

  • WiSTEM position: Co-Founder
  • Role on campus: PhD Candidate in the Pharmacology program
  • Research: The overall goal of my work is to understand how neuronal proteins make it to the correct subcellular location, in the appropriate quantities, at the right time, and how neural activity coordinates this process.
  • Why are you in Women in STEM? Being involved in WiSTEM facilitates my goal of becoming a stronger advocate for the advancement of diversity in STEM fields. The motivation for starting the WiSTEM group originated from discussions with college friends and realizing the gender disparity in our experiences with career support from advisors. To put it simply, I started the WiSTEM group at CU Anschutz because I want to see more women being supported and succeeding in STEM. 
  • 3 things you like to do besides STEM: Snowboarding, rock climbing, and knitting with my cats.