Doctoral Candidate Courtney Kloske Leads Formation of WIMS Mentoring Program


Courtney Kloske, a fifth-year doctoral candidate, became involved in Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) thanks to Monica Chau, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery and then-chair of the WIMS student and trainee subcommittee. 

"She was so welcoming and asked if anyone wanted to become involved with the subcommittee, so I went up to her and talked about joining," Kloske said. 

Months later, Kloske helped organize a networking event for WIMS, which drew in more than 40 students and faculty members. This showed her the growth opportunities within WIMS and how important it is. Since then, she has expanded her role to become co-chair of the student and trainee subcommitee. She has been in this role since January 2020, and through it she founded the WIMS Mentoring Program, which pairs trainees in the College of Medicine, both MD and PhD students, with faculty members to provide trainees a mentor outside of their formal training and education. In its first year, the program had almost 70 people inovlved. That has grown to more than 150 individuals, about 70 pairs. 

Establishing the mentoring program is Kloske's proudest moment since being in the organization.

"The feedback I have received from this program has made the work worth it because I know some people have truly found mentors for life, and that is something I'm incredibly proud of," she said. "After I graduate, I am excited about the potential growth opportunities in this program, and I know I am leaving it in very able hands to help it grow even more. 

Kloske is currently studying the role of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease. She works in the lab of Donna Wilcock, PhD, in the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the College of Medicine Department of Physiology. Click here for an update on an Alzheimer's study that Kloske recently led.