Our Founders: Karen Wetterhahn and Carol Muller

WISP was co-founded in 1990 by Karen E. Wetterhahn and Carol Muller based on their concerns about the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields at the national level. They set out to develop programs that would foster success in the sciences for Dartmouth undergraduate women. That vision gave rise to WISP, which remains a nationally recognized and replicated program.

Karen E. Wetterhahn (1948-1997)
Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean for the Sciences 

“When I was appointed Associate Dean of the Faculty for the sciences, one of the areas I wanted to focus on was women in the sciences. Having been the only tenured woman in the sciences for many years, I felt it was important to build an environment at Dartmouth conducive to the success for women in scientific areas. Luckily Carol Muller shared this vision and together we were able to collaborate in building the foundation for the Women in Science Project. The endorsement and support of the science faculty was instrumental in developing WISP. Their willingness to try new teaching tactics and take on first year women as research interns in their labs has helped propel the project to heights I had not initially anticipated.”

Carol Muller, D’77
Former Associate Dean for Administration at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering 

“As I look back on the five-year history of the Women in Science Project, I feel enormous satisfaction with its accomplishments so far, and great optimism about its continuing developments in the future. Both accomplishments and optimism result from the dedication and hard work of countless people... WISP is testimony to what can be accomplished in marshaling resources to take action when a compelling case is made for needed change.”

(Quotes from "Women in Science Project at Dartmouth: A Five Year Perspective 1990-1995")

Our Accolades

  • Awarded first place in the "Exemplary Models of Administrative Leadership" competition sponsored by the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) in 1993.
  • Awarded three grants under the NSF's Education Directorate "Model Programs for Women and Girls" between 1991 and 1993.
  • Awarded the 1996 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) program.
  • Awarded multi-year grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the AT&T Foundation and other corporate funders.
  • Recognized as a model program by WEPAN, Project Kaleidoscope, and the Society of Women Engineers.