Women In Science, Entrepreneurship & Research2023-03-21T08:36:22-05:00
WISER Conversations Logo

Since 2013, Missouri Cures Education Foundation has brought WISER events to St. Joe, Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis. WISER events highlight women excelling in science, technology, research, business, and innovation and provide women an opportunity to network and learn from one another.

Our WISER events are designed to showcase Missouri’s leading women in science, business, and technology. The Missouri Cures WISER team partners with innovation centers and chambers of commerce around the state to host events throughout the year so we can bring a special focus on women leaders in our field.

With a program centered on thought leadership, medical innovation and research, and entrepreneurial vision, our WISER events highlight influential researchers, WISER women, and community leaders who are actively promoting women in STEM, and who are sponsoring women entrepreneurs that are uplifting the Missouri economy.

To purchase WISER Conversations merchandise please visit our Zazzle Store.

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This Month’s Featured WISER Woman

March 2023

Amy DeMelo

We are proud to recognize Dr. Amy DeMelo, President of Cox College, and her work to bring a doctorate degree program in occupational therapy to Cox College in Southwest Missouri. This program will provide additional options for students and help ensure a pipeline of highly trained occupational therapists to serve patients across the region and will incorporate advanced training in leadership and research, as well as a self-directed research project with faculty mentorship. Find out more about this program here.

Previous Featured WISER Woman

2022 WISER Conversations Coming Soon

2021 WISER Conversations Recap

On March 31st, Southeast Missouri State University will host two panels: A Conversation With Women In Medicine, & Breaking Boundaries: Women In Entrepreneurship and Research.

Featuring Panelists:

Dr. Chelsea Grigery, Southeast Health

Dr. Gina Koch, Southeast Missouri State University

Dr. Karen Bangert, Skyview Animal Clinic, Retired

Dr. Erin Tallon, Children’s Mercy Research Institute

Dr. Jamila Owens-Todd, Midose

Dr. Belinda Fender, University of Missouri

On April 8th 2021, outstanding panelists from across the state came together to discuss building a career and network in a virtual world.

Featuring Panelists:

Moderator: Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Cures Education Foundation

Lindsey Harrison, Program Manager, BioSTL

Dr. Becky Lynn, Founder, Evora Women’s Health Center & Adjunct Associate Professor, Saint Louis University

Cynthia Chapple, Managing Director, Black Girls Do STEM

Kim Voelker, Vice President, Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Mary Huff, Postdoctoral Research Assoc. Stowers Institute & Founding Member, KCRiBS

If you missed WISER Conversations: Building Your Career & Network in a Virtual World you can watch it here.

On June 3rd, an outstanding group of panelists from across the state came together to discuss building influence and becoming a trusted thought leader.

Moderator: Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Cures Education Foundation

Dionne Stallings, Founder and Executive Director, Rare and Black

Rachel Anderson, Director, efactory

Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Executive Director, Focus St Louis

Mary Anne McCollum, Executive Director, MU Flagship Council, Former Mayor of Columbia, MO

Dr. Sonia Hall, President & CEO, BioKansas

If you missed WISER Conversations: Being an Influencer you can watch it below or click here.

On September 9th 2021, Missouri Cures Education Foundation was proud to present, WISER Conversations: Find Your Voice. Strengthen Your Communications Skills. 

Featuring Panelists:

Moderator: Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Cures Education Foundation

Dr. Beth Prusaczyk, Instructor in Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Cheryl Watkins – Moore, President and CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis

Kathryn Jamboretz, Founder of Tributary, and Principal, Jamboretz PR

Dr. Rikki Henry, Program Manager, Center for Emerging Technologies

Shaylee Yount, Marketing and Events Manager, BioNexus KC

On November 5th 2021, Missouri Cures Education Foundation was proud to present, WISER Conversations: Refresh, Refuel, and Refocus to Create a Work/Life Balance

Keynote speaker, Kim Becking, President, Momentum Motivation presents: Build a Momentum Mindset: Bounce Forward, Boost Resilience and Re-Emerge Stronger and Better Than Before.

Featured Panelists:

Moderator: Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Cures Education Foundation

Stephanie Reganon, Executive Director, Innovation Partnerships Danforth Plant Science Center

Jamila Owens-Todd, Ph.D., R&D Manager, PHYTOS Cannabis, Owner, Golden Grocer, and Adjunct Professor, Saint Louis University

Kelly Fischer, Chief People Officer, Benson Hill

Gabrielle Cole, Co-founder & Co Director, Fit and Food Connection

2020 WISER Recap

2020 was a year unlike any other. Taking our WISER events virtual created some challenges, but also some incredible opportunities to connect women from around the state, and around the world. Missouri Cures Education Foundation hosted virtual WISER events featuring women excelling in science, entrepreneurship, and research in Springfield, Kanas City, Columbia, and St. Louis. These outstanding panelists discussed topics of professional development such as networking, negotiation, mentorship, and communication.

Collage of WISER Week Panelists

If you missed any of these great events you can watch them now:
 WISER Springfield Panel: 
Featuring moderator Karen Shannon and panelists Amanda Tummons, Bridget Dierks, and Jann Holland.

WISER Kansas City Panel:
Featuring moderator Sonia Hall and panelists, Amber Yount, Dr. Prachee Avasthi, and Dr. Susan Rahman.

WISER Columbia Panel:
Featuring moderator Dena Ladd and panelists, Dean Carolyn Henry, Debbie Allen, Susan Hart, and Shiela Grant.

WISER St. Louis Panel 1: Women Leading Women -Mentorship:
Featuring moderator Dena Ladd and panelists LeShana Lewis, Diane Brockmeier, Patricia Barco, Lisa Dorsey, and Shamim Mollah.

WISER St. Louis Panel 2: Self-Discovery -Marketing Your Talents:
Featuring moderator Dena Ladd and panelists Charli Cooksey, Stacy Taubman, Chanté Summers, Melanie Bernds, and Jacqueline Hawkins-Salsbury

WISER St. Louis Panel 3: Find Your Voice -Communication and Negotiation Skills:
Featuring moderator Dena Ladd and panelists Mary Jo Gorman, Natalie Self, Randi Foraker, and Amanda McClerren.

We are grateful to our panelists, partners, attendees, and sponsors for helping WISER continue to be successful.

2019 WISER Recap

In 2019, Missouri Cures Education Foundation was excited to announce that WISE (Women in Science and Entrepreneurship) was becoming WISER (Women in Science, Entrepreneurship, and Research). We excitedly debuted newly branded WISER events to 4 cities across Missouri.

We were proud to partner with ROSIE to bring a WISER networking breakfast to Springfield, MO. Panelists Kathryn Bergmann, Staci Neimoth, and Elaine Strope shared their experiences working in engineering, medicine, science, and entrepreneurship.

Our Kansas City WISER KC Conference featured 2 panels. On Panel I —Women in Science & Research: The Opportunities & Challenges in the Field, we heard from Laura Treml, Dean Carolyn Henry, Julie Christianson, and Jennifer Schofield. Panel II —Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Kansas City Women Leading the Way featured panelists Melissa Roberts, Tammy Wauhaus, Frumi Barr, and Liliana Younger. Thank you to our partners Central Exchange and WiSTEMM for making the event a success. BioNexus offered their 8 Key Takeaways from WISER KC.

The Missouri Innovation Center hosted us for Columbia’s WISER Networking Breakfast. Panelists Susan Hart, Mindy McCubbin, Kellie Ann Coats, and Jaya Gosh talked to us about the importance of making space for imperfection, mentors, and their unplanned career paths.

Our WISER St. Louis Conference, hosted by Union Station featured 3 incredible panels. Panel I- Leaders in St. Louis; Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling featured Amy Berg, Ann Marr, Ruth Wagner, and Sita Kedia. On our second panel, Women Leading the Way in Science and Research, we heard from Supriya Shivakumar, Rochelle Henderson, Bettina Drake, Rachael Bradshaw, and Nadia Shakoor. And for our final panel Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Women Making Their Mark,  panelists Nichole Mercier, Kathleen Cook, Elise Miller Hoffman, Anne Miller, and Karen Mullis shared their insights and wisdom with our audience.

We are grateful to all of our sponsors, partners, panelists, moderators, volunteers, and attendees that helped make our 2019 WISER events so meaningful and successful.

2019 WISER Press

2019 WISER Around Missouri

2018 WISE Recap

2018 WISE Conference Fox2Now news story
October 26, 2018 – Featuring Dr. Jennifer Silva, Washington University Pediatric Cardiologist

ST. LOUIS, MO – Five years ago, organizers weren’t sure how many people to expect for the first WISE Conference: Women in Science and Entrepreneurship. With just a few days before this year’s event, the response has been excellent. The popular event brings together women of vision committed to helping other women find success. Business, science, and technology, just a sampling of the expertise available for those attending an ambitious networking event.

2018 WISER Around Missouri

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