Dr. Jill Williams, WISE Director
Dr. Jill Williams (she/her) is an Associate Research Professor in the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) and serves as the Director of the Women in Science and Engineering Program. She holds an MA in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD in Geography from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. Dr. Williams has worked extensively with the Feminist Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers to increase diversity in the field of geography and promote feminist geographic research more broadly.
As WISE Director, Dr. Williams oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategic efforts to support the recruitment, retention, and success of female-identifying students in the sciences and engineering. Under her leadership, WISE has grown to offer targeted outreach, training, mentorship, and networking opportunities that directly impact over 1,000 students annually and mobilize strategic partnerships with units across the University of Arizona and in the wider Tucson community. By strategically prioritizing programs that provided sustained engagement with students over time, Dr. Williams aims to create pathways of opportunity, support, and community that capable of engaging and sustaining students before and throughout their journeys at the University of Arizona and into the workforce.
In addition to overseeing WISE, Dr. Williams also continues to engage in feminist geographic research and serve as a program evaluator and senior personnel on a wide variety of grant-funded projects. You can read more about her scholarly work here. Please contact Jill at JillMWilliams@email.arizona.edu if you are interested in getting involved with WISE or have other questions.
Denise Renteria, Imagine Your Stem Future Student Worker
Denise Renteria is a senior at the University of Arizona. Her major is civil engineering, and has minor is Spanish. She is originally from Santa Clara, California and grew up in Arizona. Denise has been actively involved in the healthcare field regardless of her major and enjoys helping others in any way that she can.She is also a first-generation college student, and her college experience hasn’t been easy but not impossible. Denise believes that through hard work and dedication one can accomplish anything! Denise says that "being a woman in a STEM field comes with a lot of challenges however, there is so many advantages and lessons that one can learn." She is a huge advocate for Women in STEM fields because she knows what it’s like to be a minority and realize that this needs to change. Denise is one to give back to the communities that once helped her grow as the individual that I am today. Denise's passion for civil engineering continues to grow and is excited to continue to follow this path. She knows for a fact that she did not chose the wrong career path!
Elena Greenberg, MPH, Program Coordinator Senior
Elena Greenberg (she/her) is the Senior Program Coordinator for WISE. She coordinates two WISE outreach programs –The Bio/Diversity Project and the Imagine Your STEM Future Program. She helps collaborate and communicate between UArizonastudents, local K-12 schools and teachers, and WISE partner organizations.
Elena holds a Masters degree in Public Health, concentrating in Health Behavior Health Promotion, from the University of Arizona. She also has her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies from Northern Arizona University. Before starting her role as a program coordinator for WISE, Elena worked in Prescott, Arizona for 2 years as a garden and nutrition educator, where she established and built new school gardens, created and facilitated culturally-relevant, hands-on, and place-based Farm to School curriculum for K-12 students, and spearheaded several school wellness committees. Thereafter, she worked with FoodCorps as the Arizona Service Member recruiter and as a Grant Evaluator for the Whole Kids Foundation. During this time she also worked as a K-8 garden teacher for two rural schools in New Mexico, on the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Pueblos. During her last year in the MPH program, she also worked as a public health evaluator for the Community Research, Evaluation & Development Team (CRED) in the Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. When Elena is not working, she is running, swimming, or biking outside with her two dogs and enjoying the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Please contact Elena at email@example.com any questions about the Bio/Diversity Project or Imagine Your STEM Future.
Gabriela Perez, WISE Program Coordinator
Gabriela Perez (she/her/ella) joins SIROW as project coordinator for the Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) program. As a facilitator and educator, Gabriela combines her past experience and her social work background to support the WISE Mentorship Program connecting University of Arizona students with mentor pairs in industry and academia. She brings multiple years of experience working within mentorship spaces focused on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), first generation students, and historically marginalized populations in educational settings. In the past Gabriela has collaborated inparticipatory action research project focused on strong communication between mentor and mentees. Within higher education settings, Gabriela has worked in cultural centers, mental health support services for students, as well as a gender advocate. Gabriela completed her graduate studies in Social Work (MSW) and Women’s and Gender Studies (MA) at Loyola University Chicago, and was raised in the southwest on Hohokam, O’odham, Arapaho, and Cheyenne lands.
Gabriella Ramos, Communication & Social Media Specialist
Gabriella Ramos (she/her/ella) is a student worker for both WISE and The Bio/Diversity Project. She is from Phoenix, Arizona and is in her second year here at the University of Arizona. Gaby is currently triple majoring in Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, and Spanish Translations. She hopes to one day be in the medical field to be an advocate and better the BIPOC community’s healthcare. Gaby is thrilled to be working with WISE to promote diversity within the STEM field with her creativity and knowledge! And loves working with the Bio/Diversity Project to encourage inclusion online and in the environment!! Please contact Gabriella at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. #uastem
Karla Paredes Aguilar, Imagine Your Stem Future Student Worker
Karla Paredes Aguilar is a junior at the University of Arizona, majoring in astronomy. Her studies push her to her limits. In her free time she enjoys skateboarding, making art and crafts, volunteering, and being in nature. Karla is excited to be part of the learning and self-discovery journey in IYSF!
Lizbeth Perez, Student Support Specialist
Lizbeth Perez (she/her) is the Student Support Specialist for the Bio/Diversity Project. She is most recently from Yuma, AZ, and moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. She joined the WISE team after being part of the Bio/Diveristy Project as an intern. Her year-long appointment as a Spanish Specializing Intern gave her a new outlook on her place in the university and led her to a path of mentorship in the environmental sciences. She also gained the knowledge and experience to support incoming interns and support the behind-the-scenes ongoings of the Bio/Diversity Project. Lizbeth is in her 5th year now studying Natural Resources with an Emphasis in Wildlife Conservation. After graduating, she hopes to become a park ranger to continue stewardship of diversity in the environmental sciences.
Sabina Iturralde, Imagine Your Stem Future Student Worker
Sabina Iturralde is a Graduate Student at the University Arizona studying Educational Psychology and a first-year doctoral student. She completed her Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology and a minor in Special Education in the Spring of 2021. Sabina enjoys learning about the human mind and the education field. She likes to travel and listen to music. Sabina is thrilled to be a part of Imagine Your Stem Future, she loves providing guidance to students involving their academic and career related goals!
Samantha Mata Robles, WISE Student Worker
Samantha Mata Robles is a passionate and determined girl from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Having seen early in her life how many people didn't have access to a quality lifestyle due to the lack of affordable health services and products, she decided to pursue a Biomedical Engineering Major, as it perfectly blends both of her passions, helping others and STEM. Throughout her short life, she has become an active asset in youth empowerment and leadership development. However, her short experience in the world of STEM has made her realize how much disparity there is for women in these fields. Now, she's made it her goal to contribute as much as possible to improve this situation, as well to empower and provide an integral preparation for all the women in STEM. Please contact Sam at email@example.com with any questions.
Vanessa Campbell, Girls Who Code Program Coordinator
Vanessa Campbell (she/her) is the Lead Facilitator/Program Coordinator for Girls Who Code. She was previously a student in Girls Who Code and now helps to close the gender gap in STEM while familiarizing students with the University of Arizona Campus. Vanessa is double majoring in Management Information Systems and Operations and Supply Chain Management while double minoring in Information Sciences Technology and the Arts and Fashion. Vanessa hopes to make her way into the corporate world soon but is glad she has the opportunity to work with WISE as they have supported her for many years. If you would like to contact Vanessa for anything, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org your questions or comments.
Past WISE Employees
Erika Sylvia Nacim, MPH, WISE Program Coordinator
Erika Sylvia Nacim was born and raised in El Paso, Texas until moving to Tucson, Arizona to attend High School. She then moved to Los Angeles, California to complete Bachelor degrees in Cell & Molecular Biology and Spanish Literature at Occidental College. She returned to Tucson for a Masters in Public Health program in Global Health at the University of Arizona, having lived, studied, and worked in England, Sweden, and Peru. She is currently pursuing two doctoral degrees, a PhD in Mexican American Studies and an EdS in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies. She was the Program Coordinator for the Women in Science & Engineering Program (WISE).