The idea behind WIL is to offer a forum in which students or post-docs doing scientific research in the broader field of Learning Theory, Behavior, Memory and Neuroscience can seek advice, support, and guidance on the advancement of female researchers from a notable female researcher who has already carved a path in the field.


Pavlovian Society Logo

The Pavlovian Society.

To become a member, or learn more about the Pavlovian Society, please visit: pavlovian.org.

American Psychological Association Logo
American Psychological Association.

Information on the APA can be found here: apa.org


Women In Learning was founded by a graduate student and is run solely by a small group of students and postdoctoral fellows.

Moriel Zelikowsky, Ph.D.

Marieke R. Gilmartin, Ph.D.

Janine Kwapis, Ph.D.

Sarah Hersman

Virginia Long, Ph.D.

Jennifer Perusini

Kylie Huckleberry

Leah Hitchcock

Please contact us if you'd like to get involved!



5th annual WIL Luncheon

Friends, members, and supporters of WIL, we are excited to announce our upcoming 5th annual Women in Learning luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 as a satellite event off the annual Pavlovian Society meeting in Portland, Oregon. We are delighted to announce that Dr. Karyn Frick (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) will be our speaker this year, sharing her thoughts on life, science, and academia.


Dr Karyn Frick
Dr. Frick began her career at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where she earned a BA in Psychology and Biology. She continued her education at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a PhD in Psychology in the lab of Dr. David Olton, researching age-related deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory. Dr. Frick then conducted her postdoctoral research at Wellesley College under the mentorship of Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, where she began to study how the estrous cycle affects memory formation and investigated sex differences in age-related memory impairments. Following her postdoctoral training, Dr. Frick accepted a faculty position Yale University, where she and her laboratory continued to research the effects of sex hormones on learning and memory throughout the lifespan.

In 2010, Dr. Frick joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is currently a full Professor. At UWM, Dr. Frick has continued her seminal research on aging, sex-steroid hormones, and environmental factors that affect hippocampus-dependent memory. This work has recently expanded to encompass epigenetic mechanisms that are activated by estrogen to enhance long-term memory formation. On a more personal level, Dr. Frick is a steadfast mentor and role model for students and female researchers studying neuroscience. We are honored to have Dr. Frick as our guest speaker for the 5th annual WIL luncheon.

To learn more about the research being conducted in the Frick lab, please visit: http://uwm.edu/%7Efrickk

We look forward to seeing you all this fall!

All are welcome.


THANK YOU to everyone who attended the 2014 WIL Luncheon this past Saturday in Seattle, WA!

We are happy to report that the event was another wonderful success!! As usual, the luncheon was a perfect mix of good company, food, energy and science! Once again we would like to thank the wonderful Dr. Sheri Mizumori for taking the time to share with us her thoughtful insights on being a woman in science. We would also like to thank everyone at Rock Bottom Brewery and Deluxe Screenprinting (t-shirts) for their contributions to making the event so wonderful. Special thanks to current Pavlovian president Jeansok Kim and to Jeff Wilson for their support of WIL.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who made it out to the WIL luncheon. We had such a wonderful mix of people from across institutions, countries, cultures and sexes. You guys are the ones that make WIL the wonderful group that it is. Thank you! We look forward to seeing you next year in Portland, Oregon!!!

~~Team WIL

4th Annual WIL Luncheon

Friends and colleagues of WIL, we are looking forward to hosting another wonderful WIL luncheon, to be held during this year's upcoming Pavlovian Society Meeting in Seattle, Washington. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Sheri Mizumori (University of Washington) will be our speaker this year, sharing with us her experiences in science, academia, and everything in between.

Dr Sheri Mizumori
Dr. Sheri Mizumori began her scientific career at the University of Washington, where she received her B.S. in psychology in 1977. She went on to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology at UC Berkeley in the lab of Mark Rosenzweig, followed by a postdoctoral position at the University of Colorado under the joint advisement of Carol A. Barnes and Bruce L. McNaughton. It was here that her prolific and pioneering work on the role of the hippocampus in spatial coding began. Combining in vivo recording with hippocampally-sensitive behavioral tasks, Dr. Mizumori made groundbreaking advances, from elucidating the contribution of regions such as the medial septum to hippocampal processing, to the discovery of pattern completion processing in the hippocampus. Following her postdoctoral training, Dr. Mizumori took a position at the University of Utah as a professor of psychology before returning to the University of Washington, where she runs an ambitious research program investigating the hippocampus and its role in learning and memory.    

Dr. Mizumori currently serves as the chair of the Department of Psychology as well as the co-director of the Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of Washington. The ongoing research being conducted by the Mizumori lab continues to push the boundaries of what we know about the neural circuitry underlying spatial navigation by studying how the hippocampus biases decision making circuits and processing during active navigation. We are honored to have her as our guest speaker at the 2014 Women in Learning Luncheon.

More information about the research being conducted in the Mizumori lab and publications can be found at http://depts.washington.edu/mizulab/.

The 4th Annual WIL luncheon at Pavlovian will be held Saturday September 20th, 2014. If you would like to attend the luncheon, please register here. We ask that a donation of $10 be made to help offset the cost of the luncheon. Additional contributions are always welcome and make it possible to keep WIL events going! If you are not yet a member of WIL, you can become one here.


Hope to see you in Seattle!

-- Team WIL

Women in Learning @ APA

Dr Sheri Mizumori
Dr. Rebecca Burwell is a Professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University with a secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience. Her laboratory studies the structure and function of the cortical regions that surround the hippocampus. She uses behavior, electrophysiology, and optogenetics to study how hippocampal and parahippocampal structures interact to support memory and other cognitive processes. Dr. Burwell strongly supports the participation of undergraduate students in neuroscience research, with an emphasis on increasing the number of women and individuals from underrepresented minority groups in neuroscience.

Learn more about Dr. Burwell and her research and outreach here: http://www.brown.edu/research/labs/burwell/.

The 1st WIL luncheon at APA will be held Friday, August 8, 2014 (more details to come). Please RSVP to Dr. Sangeeta Panicker (spanicker at apa.org) Please consider contributing to WIL. Your donations make it possible to keep these WIL events going! If you are not yet a member of WIL, you can become one here.


3rd Annual WIL Luncheon

Once again, we had an amazing turnout for our 2013 Women in Learning last weekend in Austin, Texas, with record donations thanks to all our wonderful members! The luncheon is a forum to open dialog, but really its you, our members, who engage in the conversation. So thank you! We deeply thank Dr. Rankin, who shared with us some wonderful thoughts on how to approach science - her points on self-confidence and enthusiasm resonated at the luncheon as well as across the rest of the weekend.

Additional thanks to:
-The wonderful staff at El Sol y La Luna, for providing a fun atmosphere and delicious food: elsolylalunaaustin.com and to Marie Monfils for organizing this luncheon spot.
-Deluxe screenprinting for fabulous tank tops (Look for our much anticipated male tanks and onsies next year!): deluxescreenprinting.net
-Samantha and Beki Coagan of COATT Jewelery, whom generously donated their custom made morse-coded necklaces (spelling WIL): coattonline.com
-The Pavlovian Society, in particular this year's president and host, Steve Maren, for their continuous encouragement and support of WIL.

Lastly, thanks to the ever-supportive Jeff Wilson, whom once again took some great photos. These will be posted on our website shortly: womeninlearning.com, and are already up on our Facebook page.

We look forward to seeing you all next year in Seattle! In the meantime, stay up to date on relevant issues and matters concerning women in science or feel free to share thoughts or links of your own on our Facebook page.


-- Team WIL

3rd Annual WIL Luncheon

We are excited for this year's upcoming 3rd Annual Women in Learning Luncheon, which will once again take place as a satellite event off of the much anticipated annual Pavlovian Society Meeting in Austin, Texas.

The luncheon is set for Saturday, September 28, 2013

Once again, we are honored to have an amazing scientist as our distinguished guest this year.  Dr. Catharine Rankin (University of British Columbia) will be providing us with her thoughts and insights on life and science.

Dr Catharine Rankin
Dr. Rankin received her Ph.D. from The City University of New York and did her postdoctoral training at Yale University under the mentorship of Dr. Tom Carew.  There she began some of the initial investigations into the molecular machinery underlying the development of learning and memory in Aplysia, working to distinguish sensitization and habituation processes. Thereafter, Dr. Rankin took a faculty job at the University of British Columbia, where she and her team began to systematically and elegantly map the genetic and molecular underpinnings of sensitization and habituation, using C. elegans as a model organism. The large body of work and diversity of studies that have since emerged from the Rankin lab speaks to the persistence and creativity of Dr. Rankin.    

Breakthroughs in memory reconsolidation, the reversibility of experiences such as social isolation, and identification of the cellular basis of non-associative learning across development, combined with technical advances such as the generation of a system for high-throughput analysis of behavior in C. elegans, has established Dr. Rankin as a leader in the field of Behavioral Neuroscience. We are thrilled to have her as our guest speaker at this year’s annual luncheon.

For information about relevant publications and ongoing research in Dr. Rankin's lab, please visit: psych.ubc.ca/~crankin/

-- Team WIL

2nd Annual WIL Luncheon

@ 2012's Meeting of the Pavlovian Society
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Jersey City, NJ

We are proud to report that our 2nd annual luncheon was another success! We had an amazing turnout, with almost 70 people in attendance, from across a variety of labs and countries! 

Thank you to all who made it out to our 2012 Luncheon. It was a wonderful opportunity for all supporters of Women in Learning to gather, enjoy food, wine, and exceptional company!  Thank you to our wonderful speaker this year, Dr. Elizabeth Gould, who shared with us her perspectives and insights on being a women in science.  And an especially big Thank You to all of you for being a part of WIL!  

A special thanks to the following people whom made this event possible:
- Jeff Wilson and Peter Balsam for their incredible support and promotion of WIL this year.
- Sisters Samantha and Beki Coagan of COATT jewlery, whose gracious donation of custom made morse-coded necklaces (spelling "WIL"), allowed us to raise the final funding needed for the luncheon (check them out at www.coattonline.com)
- Markers Restaurant in Jersey City for their friendly and accommodating staff and their amazing food (www.markersrestaurant.com)
- Cynthia at downtown Los Angeles-based Deluxe Screenprinting, whom provided us with a great deal on WIL tank tops (deluxescreenprinting.net)

-- Team WIL

2nd Annual WIL Luncheon

@ 2012's Meeting of the Pavlovian Society
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Jersey City, NJ

We are proud to announce Dr. Elizabeth Gould (Princeton) as our distinguished guest at this year's WIL luncheon!

Dr Elizabeth Gould
Dr. Gould received her Ph.D. from UCLA and completed a postdoc at The Rockefeller University, where her pioneering work on neurogenesis and cell death shaped the early development of these fields. Dr. Gould went on to join Princeton University as a professor of psychology. Her lab has produced breakthrough work on the effects of stress, hormonal factors, glucocorticoids, aging, maternal care and exercise on adult neurogenesis, structural plasticity, and memory.

For information about relevant publications and ongoing research in Dr. Gould's lab, please visit: princeton.edu/~goulde/index.html

Inagural Luncheon Was A Huge Success!

WIL would like to thank everyone for attending our inaugural luncheon this past meeting of the Pavlovian Society. The luncheon was a huge success! Special thanks to Tracey Shors, who did an amazing job and gave a truly inspiring inaugural speech. Also, WIL would like to thank all the people who helped put this event together. Lastly, we couldn't have made this happen without all the attendees who supported us and all the people who signed up as members. Thank you!

Because of the incredible support we received, we were able to put on an amazing luncheon (see pictures of below). Hope everyone had as good a time as we did! Please circulate information about WIL to your friends and colleagues, and encourage people to sign up for membership here on our website. Donations are also greatly appreciated. Help spread the word about WIL and make sure to stay tuned for future events.

Thanks again everyone for a great luncheon. See you next time!

-- Team WIL

Inagural Luncheon

@ the annual Pavlovian Society meeting,
Saturday, September 24th 2011

We are very excited to have Tracey J. Shors (Rutgers University) as our very first special guest.

Dr. Shors has provided groundbreaking research on the behavior and neuroscience of learning and memory, with a particular emphasis on the role of post-natally born neurons (neurogenesis) and sex-differences.

More information about Dr. Shors can be found at: rci.rutgers.edu/~shors/

Tracey J. Shors


As WIL is a young group, we are still looking for additional support and funding. Any donations or advice regarding funding options would be greatly appreciated!


WIL invites anyone interested in supporting the advancement of women in science to become a member. Membership in WIL is free and lifelong, thus, we encourage donations from anyone able to make a contribution.


Special thanks to: Dr. Michael Fanselow, Dr. David Anderson, Dr. Fred Helmstetter, Dr. Carol Barnes, Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, Dr. Stephanie Bissiere, Dr. David L. Pomeranz, Denni Zelikowsky and
Casey Fluster for their help and advice.

Become a member


Register to attend our 2015 luncheon