WFDC Committees and Officers

Molly Gathright, M.D. President

Molly Gathright, M.D. President

Susan Barr, M.D. Vice President

Susan Barr, M.D. Vice President

Marjan Boerma, Ph.D. Secretary

Marjan Boerma, Ph.D.

Jill Fussell, M.D. AAMC GWIMS Representative

Jill Fussell, M.D.
AAMC GWIMS Representative

Executive Committee

The WFDC Executive Committee is comprised of current and former officers as well as current committee chairs. This group serves as a steering committee for the WFDC.

WFDC Mission Statement:

Our mission and passion is to inspire, encourage and enable women health providers and scientists to realize their professional and personal potential and goals. The members of the Women’s Faculty Development Caucus are what make us tick. We share a common commitment and vision for professional development, and we collaborate on services and activities that have helped countless faculty members achieve their goals.


Mary Aitken, M.D.
Alice Alexander, M.D.
Teresita Angtuaco, M.D.
Nukhet Aykin-Burns, Ph.D.
Susan Barr, M.D.
Barbara Fuhrman, Ph.D.
Jill Fussell, M.D.
Molly Gathright, M.D.
Kathleen Gilbert, Ph.D.
Cynthia Kane, Ph.D.
Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D.
Tracy Nolan, B.S.
Sallie Oliphant, M.D.
Laura Sisterhen, M.D.
Sara Tariq, M.D.
Wendy Ward Ph.D.
Judith Weber, Ph.D.
Brandi Whitaker, Ph.D.

Mentoring Committee

In 1996, WFDC created the first mentoring program for women faculty using senior women advising junior women. This was a very successful program. With time, more departments and divisions have paid attention to the value of mentoring and have created wonderful programs for all faculty. The Faculty Center continues to match advisors with younger faculty who need career or specific mentoring. Contact Dr. Mayumi Nakagawa for more information.

The mentoring committee plans and develops a monthly faculty development series that is broadcast from either UAMS or ACH and participating AHECS. To access previous presentations, click here.

The Committee also plans special networking events with children to help junior faculty become acclimated and increase interdepartmental associations.

Our Mission:

To facilitate personal growth and professional development by providing support, guidance, and resources for successful career development.


Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D., Chair
Karen Abbott, Ph.D.
Beatrice Boateng, Ph.D.
Carrie M. Brown, M.D.
Aime Franco, Ph.D.
Rebecca Latch, M.D.
Abby Nolder, M.D.
Soheila Korourian, M.D.
Kristen Lienhart, M.D.
Jill Mhyre, M.D.
Wendy Ward, Ph.D.
Eylem Ocal, M.D.
Liudmila Schafer, M.D.
Gohar Azhar, M.D.

Professional Development Committee

The Women’s Caucus sponsors the Annual Professional Development Day in the fall to provide all faculty members the opportunity to develop and update their management and leadership skills. This committee also sponsors 1/2 of the cost for one woman to attend the AAMC Junior and Mid-Career Professional Development Meetings. Contact Dr. Brandi Whitaker for more information. We are happy to take your suggestions for topics and additional membership.

Our Mission:

We aim to promote leadership skills, collaboration, mentorship and faculty wellness through:

  • Distributing culturally, ethically and gender unbiased topics that enhance the professional development of faculty from all UAMS Colleges.
  • Providing a discussion forum for faculty at all levels, from instructor to established professors, to facilitate consultation, collaboration and mentorship.
  • Promoting the role and value of faculty development in a changing interprofessional education, healthcare, and biomedical research environments.

Our Objectives:

  • To provide up-to-date information and professional development interactive exercises to faculty in all Colleges within UAMS and to specifically increase attendance from faculty outside the College of Medicine.
  • To provide a forum for faculty development issues that promotes interprofessional collaboration.
  • To provide opportunities for productive interaction among researchers, clinicians, educators, and administrators.


Brandi Whitaker, M.D., Chair
Jennifer Aunspaugh, M.D.
Susan Barr, M.D.
Catherine Buzbee, M.H.A.
Melissa Efurd, Ed.D., M.S.
Laura Gonzalez-Krellwitz, M.D.
Jill Irby, M.D.
Ginell Post, M.D., Ph.D.
Sara Shalin, M.D., Ph.D.
Nicki Hilliard, Pharm.D.
Ozlem Tulunay Ugur, M.D.

Publications Committee

The publications committee creates and edits the annual Absolutely Unofficial Faculty Handbook or otherwise known as “FIGS” for Fill in the Gaps. Now in its 17th edition, FIGS provides a practical introduction to Little Rock, central Arkansas and the UAMS campus. It serves as reference handbook for all new UAMS faculty, house staff, administrative staff and recruits. While FIGS offers resources about the history of Arkansas, community and cultural events, as well as practical every day “know how” information, it is also an invaluable guide for UAMS resources.

Other committee responsibilities include publication of the WFDC information brochure as well as periodic contributions to campus publications to highlight Caucus work and events. Contact Dr. Molly Gathright for more information.


Molly Gathright, M.D., Chair
Jennifer Aunspaugh, M.D.
Jody Purifoy, D.N.P.
Nadia Lalla, MLIS

Research Committee

The Research Committee hosts several activities during the academic year to support young women scientists at UAMS. The committee coordinates a mentoring program for postdoctoral fellows, locates speakers for seminars and panel discussions, and hosts luncheons that foster discussions and mentoring opportunities between Faculty members, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Please contact Tracy Nolan for more information.

Our Mission:

We inspire, encourage, and enable women as they embark upon, persevere and succeed in research-related career paths by promoting participation, collaboration, and visibility at every level in the scientific community.


Gohar Azhar, M.D.
Nukhet Aykin-Burns, Ph.D.
Helen Benes, Ph.D.
Marjan Boerma, Ph.D.
Barbara Fuhrman, Ph.D.
Fusun Kilic, Ph.D.
Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D.
Tracy Nolan, B.S., Chair
Burcu Ozdemir, M.D.
Nirmala Parajuli, Ph.D.
Snehalata Pawar, Ph.D.
Susan Steelman, MLIS
Kristen Sterba, Ph.D.
Taren Swindle, Ph.D.
Jasna Vuk, Ph.D.
Patty Wight, Ph.D.
Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, R.N.

Salary Equity Committee”

This committee meets every five years to collect and analyze salary data within departments for men and women. In the past 20 years, three studies have been collected. Due to improved data collection, the current study will provide more accurate information.


Mary Aitken, M.D., Chair

Women In Training Committee (W.I.T.)

The WIT Committee’s focus is on mentoring medical students and residents. The Committee plans an annual event: either a residency fair or specialty choice discussion event for M2 – M3 students in the winter or spring, depending on the feedback of students. The multispecialty event features a panel of primary care physicians during the first hour and a contingency of specialists and sub-specialists holding signs that students can easily locate and target for individual and small group questions. This event is focused on lifestyle and specialty choice. Community and academic physicians address students’ concerns about making that specialty choice, call schedule, family time, residency, practice-based questions, and financial return.

Committee members host a welcome lunch for incoming freshmen women and greet residents at Housestaff orientation in June. WIT advises and supports the American Medical Women’s Association student group, a very strong group of young women who are engaged in community and campus projects.

Women faculty and AMWA students participate in the Arkansas Women’s Foundation event, Girls of Promise, designed to encourage eighth grade girls from around the state to stay interested in science and math. Speakers show and discuss what your career can look like if you continue to do well.

Our Mission:

We inspire, encourage, and enable women as they embark upon their medical training, provide mentorship to women in training, and support efforts of organizations focused on young women to pursue science-related fields.


Alice Alexander, M.D., Co-Chair
Sallie Oliphant, M.D., Co-Chair
Rachel Clingenpeel, M.D.
Allison Gizinski, M.D.
Laura A. Gonzalez-Krellwitz, M.D.
Jennifer Laudadio, M.D.
Kristen Lienhart, M.D.
Leann Linam, M.D.
Sowmya N. Patil, M.D.
Roopa Ram, M.D.
Laura Sisterhen, M.D.
Kandi Stallings-Archer, M.D.
Esther Teo, M.D.