Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Women's Caucus

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, Jaime Mirowsky, Diane Kuehn, 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.

ESFWomen Listserv

Join our ESFWOMEN LISTSERV for the most up-to-date information about Caucus meetings and programs, or to receive information about other events of interest to women on the ESF campus. To subscribe, send an E-mail message to:


  • With nothing in the subject line of the header and only 1 line in the body of the message:
  • SUBSCRIBE esfwomen FirstName LastName
  • For example, if Jane Doe wants to join, she'd put the following in the body:
  • SUBSCRIBE esfwomen Jane Doe

To remove yourself from the list, follow these instructions, but change the message to: signoff esfwomen. You would use these same key words to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from, any SYR LISTSERV. However, send a separate email for each LISTSERV that you are joining or leaving.

If this does not work, or if you have other questions about the ESFWOMEN listserv, please contact the list owners, Ruth Yanai ( or Heather Engelman (

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

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 students 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: Wenona Timmons, YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County or Heather Engelman, 315-424-0040.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (AKA Kids Day)

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 Diversity 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.

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