University of Chicago Women's Board

Our Past Programs

2023 – 2024 Program Series

Women’s Board September Luncheon
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Future of Human Computer Interaction

Pedro Lopes, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, will present on the Human Computer Integration Lab, a research group focused on developing interactive devices that integrate directly with the user’s body. These devices are the natural succession to wearables and are intentionally designed to borrow parts of the user’s body for inputs and outputs, allowing computers to be more directly interwoven in our body’s senses and movements. This work has all kinds of applications, including developing therapeutic exoskeletons, and giving users new physical abilities such as smell.


Women’s Board October Luncheon
Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Russian Media and the War in Ukraine: How the Power and Perspectives of the Media Influence and Shape Thinking on the Conflict

William Nickell, Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, regularly teaches a course on Russian Media and Power, and will discuss how the war has been characterized by Russian and Western media. He will also offer a set of alternative perspectives that, though rarely considered, are proving increasingly relevant as the war has continued.

Ania Aizman, Assistant Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, is completing a book on Russian anarchism, and will present material from her research on Russian groups that attempt to sabotage their own government’s war on Ukraine––and on the media narratives that surround them.


Women’s Board Annual Dinner
Thursday, November 16, 2023

Impacting Millions of Lives with Economic Innovation: A Discussion with Nobel Laureate Michael Kremer

Michael Kremer is the University Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the 2019 co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Professor Kremer’s research examines how experimentation and innovation can be used to improve lives around the world. Covering areas including education, health, water, agriculture, and climate change, Professor Kremer will share the challenges and some new approaches to obtaining reliable answers about the best way to fight global poverty.


Women’s Board Holiday Cocktails
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Love It or Hate It: The Paradox of the 20th Century American Musical

The American Musical has been an integral part of the entertainment landscape for decades. In this enlightening presentation, Professor Thomas Christensen, Avalon Foundation Professor of Music and the Humanities, will discuss the making and meaning of the American Musical. Dismissed by some critics as a light genre of entertainment and escapism, the American Musical has also served as a vehicle of serious social criticism at important points in our country’s history. Taking several examples from various musicals ranging from Show Boat to Hamilton, Professor Christensen will explore — at the podium and the piano — the paradoxical position of the musical in American culture.


Women’s Board Curatorial Walkthrough
Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Ruth Duckworth: Life as a Unity

Ruth Duckworth was a renowned and innovative sculptor who was deeply engaged in the UChicago and Hyde Park communities of the 1960’s and 70’s. Please join us for a special, private tour of “Ruth Duckworth: Life as a Unity,” which features dozens of spectacular pieces, many on display from the private collections of Hyde Park residents, and never before publicly shown. A refugee from Germany, via London, Duckworth came to Chicago to teach ceramics at Midway Studios in 1964 and remained in Chicago until her death in 2009. She is best known for her abstract and anthropomorphic forms derived from nature. Her work is featured in the collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C., the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The tour will be led by exhibition curator, Laura Steward, followed by an optional lunch at Nella Pizza e Pasta.


Women’s Board Evening Event
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Health System Reform: Where Do We Go from Here?

Appointed in 2023, Katherine Baicker serves as the 15th Provost of the University of Chicago. As Provost, she is responsible for academic and research programs across the University and oversees the University’s budget. A leading scholar in the economic analysis of health care policy, she is the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, where she served as Dean for five years prior to being appointed Provost.

Baicker’s research focuses on the effectiveness of public and private health insurance, including the effect of reforms on the distribution and quality of care. Her large-scale research projects include the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, and randomized evaluation of the effects of Medicaid coverage. Her research has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Health Affairs, JAMA, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.


Women’s March Luncheon
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Impact of the UChicago Medicine Trauma Center: Today and into the Future

Back by popular demand! Selwyn O. Rogers, Jr. M.D., M.P.H., returns to talk to the Women’s Board after six years “on the job” as the inaugural Director of the UC Medicine Trauma Center. Now Dr. Roger’s story will be much enriched and expansive, as he shares his successes and challenges. He will also discuss the impact of the Violence Recovery Program (VRP) and the effect of a new cadre of hired surgeons.

A widely respected surgeon and public health expert, Dr. Rogers is building an interdisciplinary team of specialists to treat patients who suffer injury from life-threatening events, such as car crashes, serious falls and gun violence. His team works with leaders in the city’s trauma network to expand trauma care on the South Side. He holds a B.A. and an M.D. from Harvard, an M.P.H. from Vanderbilt, and completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


2022 – 2023 Program Series

Women’s Board Annual Dinner
Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Supreme Court and the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

The Rubenstein Forum Professor Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, will discuss the history of Abortion, the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, and its recent decision in the Dobbs case, which overruled Roe.  He will also comment briefly on a few of the Court’s other recent decisions to give a sense of where the current Court is headed.


Women’s Board October Luncheon
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

                          January 6 and the Rise of Violent American Populism                      

Robert A. Pape, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), will present research findings on the demographics, attitudes and social connections of those who participated in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol, and the emergence of a new force in American politics – a mass political movement that has violence at its core.  Pape will discuss implications of this movement on the 2022 midterm elections and on American democracy at large.


Women’s Board November Luncheon
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The James Webb Space Telescope and a Sharper View of Life and the Universe

Wendy L. Freedman, the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College will discuss the development and deployment of NASA’s new flagship telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), what astronomers are learning from its images, and how the JWST enhances knowledge about the history of the universe and origins of life.


Women’s Board February Luncheon
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

From Science Fiction to Reality in Organ Transplantation

Rolf N. Barth, Professor of Surgery and Director of Kidney, Pancreas, and Liver Transplantation at the University of Chicago Medicine Transplant Institute will speak about remarkable advances in organ transplantation including hand and face transplantation, uterus transplantation, and experimental use of animal organs for human transplantation. He will additionally discuss the historic and current unique roles that the University of Chicago has played in surgical advances in living donor transplantation.


Women’s Board March Luncheon
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

PME’s Second Decade: Leading the Way in Engineering Sustainability and Health

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering has developed a powerful new interdisciplinary approach to engineering from the molecular level up. This model can lead to transformative new technologies, which Dean Matthew Tirrell will illustrate using examples of new therapies for cardiovascular disease and the development of powerful batteries for heavy transit and grid applications. He will also discuss the way that PME’s research efforts can benefit both Chicago and the larger Midwest, including the creation of the new the Chan-Zuckerberg BioHub in Chicago and PME’s efforts to secure the next DOE hub in Energy Storage at Argonne National Lab.


Women’s Board April Luncheon
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Psychoactive Drugs in Psychiatry

Harriet De Wit, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, will present on the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory (HBPL) and her work on the medical and therapeutic impact of psychoactive drugs. Dr. de Wit investigates the subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects of drugs of abuse in healthy human volunteers. She will present on the need for psychiatric medications, what we can learn from the use of nonmedical psychoactive drugs such as ketamine, MDMA and psychedelics, and address big questions such as whether mystical or psychedelic experiences are necessary to therapeutic benefits.


Women’s Board May Luncheon
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A Winning Pitch: The Story Behind UChicago’s 2022 Men’s Soccer NCAA Championship

Julianne Sitch, Head Coach of Men’s Soccer at the University of Chicago, will share her journey to being the first woman to lead a men’s soccer team to an NCAA championship. She will also describe the application and interview process to be Head Coach, biases she has encountered and overcome throughout her career, and her approach to leadership.


Women’s Board June Luncheon
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Through the Looking Glass: Reimagining the UChicago Library

If the University of Chicago is going to remain at the forefront as an intellectual destination, the Library must be more than a shrine to books and a space for contemplative study. The future of the Library involves actively engaging with the complex knowledge environment transforming society. Torsten Reimer, University Librarian and Dean of the University Library, is re-defining what the UChicago Library can be. This program will be an exciting opportunity to learn about his vision for the future.