ESF Women's Caucus
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry


In general, the Women's Caucus is non-hierarchical, served by a program coordinator (Heather Engelman), and "governed" by consensus of the steering committee (comprised of faculy and staff: Janine DeBaise; Maura Stefl, Heidi Webb, Jaime Mirowsky, Diane Kuehn; Kelley Donaghy, Melissa Fierke, and students tbd) and advisory committee (comprised of foremothers Ruth Yanai and Betsy Elkins). Specific individuals serve as the primary contacts for each project.   If you would like the Caucus's assistance with any other program, please contact Heather,, 315-470-4752. Queries can also be shared more broadly with the listserv.

Nursing Room/Lactation Room-313 Baker Lab

313 Baker is ESF's "designated lactation room." It is available to employees, students and visitors, and is unlocked except when in use, so users do not have to reserve it to nurse, pump, or clean their pumps. Nursing and pumping are not at all restricted to this spaces; for more information, visit: Any repairs will be coordinated with HR and Physical Plant, but as of Feb 14, 2020, issues and questions should be directed to Heather Engelman,, 315-470-4752.

Women in Scientific & Environmental Professions Seminar & Speaker Series

The seminar allows participants to discuss issues faced by women in science and environmental professions, such as mentoring and productivity, and to introduce the campus community to prominent women in these fields. The slate of speakers is intended to represent the broad range of interests of ESF's eight faculty units.  Please send speaker suggestions (name, affiliation, field of expertise, why she would be a good speaker) to Heather Engelman,, 315-470-4752

CNY Girls Summit -- Saturday, April 18, 2020

Girls Summit is a hands-on S.T.E.A.M.-based career exploration day that introduces “non-traditional” fields (including many fostered at ESF) to girls in 5th-10th grades through a keynote address, a series of workshops, and a college-readiness panel comprised of students from local colleges. The program is a collaboration of Girls Inc/YWCA; ESF Women's Caucus, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and Outreach and Experiential Learning Office (OELO); and Syracuse University Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and Dimension's Mentoring Program. Contact: Aja Everson, YWCA or Heather Engelman

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (AKA Kids Day) -- April 23, 2020

Take our Daughters to Work Day was launched nationally in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation, as a response to studies by Harvard University, American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Minnesota Women's Fund, which indicate that a girl's self esteem and confidence in intellectual development plummet as they advance toward adolescence. The program was expanded nationally, and locally, in 2003 to include both Sons, and the novel concept that all people contribute to work, home and the community.  Our program encourages confidence, inquisitiveness, and resilience in children aged 9-11 through participation in activities that introduce them to a broad range of science-, environmental-, and engineering-based careers fostered at ESF, as well as a life skill or recreational activity. The National  Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is the fourth Thursday in April, but our "Kids Day" is usually based on access to laboratories.  Contact:  Heather Engelman,

Potluck Supper Series/Brown-Bag Lunch/Lunchtime/Coffee Break Discussions

Periodically, the Caucus invites interested participants to discuss an issue affecting women on campus. Evening programs are generally scheduled as a potluck supper, and participants either contribute a dish to pass, or contribute $3-5 toward the "Pizza Fund" to purchase something from a local restaurant. This ensures you don't need to be a good cook, or a good planner, to come. For daytime programs, we either put on a coffee pot and tea-kettle, or schedule as a "brown bag lunch." Kids are welcome to attend with their parents, and we have some toys, including a lovely set of handcrafted puppets they can use.  If you'd like to be our new point person for this initiative, contact Heather,, 315-470-4752

Women's Empowerment Brunch -- a Sunday in November

Since 2016, we've partnered with the Baobab Society and USA's Director of Student Affairs and Diverisity to network and discuss ways that ESF supports students and staff--and to brainstorm ways to ensure all can learn, work, collaborate, and grow, regardless of gender or gender identity. Brief summaries of past programs are available here. Contact: Baobab Society


To mark Women's History Month, the Caucus has coordinated trips to visit local historical sites celebrating women, usually on the last Saturday of March, often including stops at the National Women's Hall of Fame and Women's Rights National Historical Park  in Seneca Falls. For the 2005 trip, we focused on women's contributions to the abolitionist movement, particularly Auburn resident Harriet Tubman. Contact:  tba

In more recent years, we've worked with Baobab Society and/or the Society of Women Engineers to screen and discuss documentaries. We also hope to do more with the Syracuse Women's Empowerment and Engagement Partnership! Contact: tba


Ruth Yanai ( and Heather Engelman ( manage the listserv. If the directions on the listserv page do not work, either can manually add, remove, or change your address on the list.

Calendar of Events