DEI Faculty Spotlight - Tammy Nowling, Ph.D.

Natalie Wilson
September 20, 2022
Tamara Nowling Faculty Spotlight

As part of the Department of Medicine’s goal to promote a departmental culture that values and honors diversity, equity, and inclusion, we’re “spotlighting” DOM faculty, trainees and staff who are engaged in academic and community work that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Read an interview below featuring Tammy Nowling, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology. Nowling shares why she decided to take an active role in DEI initiatives and what she hopes to achieve through her work.

Supporting Women in STEM

"Twenty years ago, I was told that I would never be successful at a medical university because I prioritized my family before my career. Since then, supporting women in STEM has been a major passion of mine in addition to my science.

I joined the MUSC faculty in 2003, and not long after that the Women Scholars Initiative (WSI) was formed. I became involved soon after WSI was formed serving in various roles including the role of Vice Chair for several years with Dr. Darlene Shaw who served as the Chair. The two biggest highlights have been co-chairing the implementation and development of the Career Development Program, which has served hundreds of women, and serving as a Co-PI on the NSF grant that helped establish the Center for Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women in Science (ARROWS) in the Department of Medicine. I also served on the Sexual Harassment Prevention Council in 2019 led by Provost Dr. Saladin. Throughout my time with WSI/ARROWS, I have had the pleasure of working alongside many dedicated, supportive, and bright women and men. Without their collective efforts, WSI/ARROWS programming and success would not be possible.

In addition to my roles at MUSC, I began participating in the Academic Magnet High School (AMHS) Career Day Symposium in 2014, recruiting women colleagues at MUSC to serve on a panel of women in science and medicine for the past several years. I am also currently working with the Career Specialist at AMHS to help place female students who are interested in science/medicine careers with mentors at MUSC, and I have served as a research mentor for several AMHS female students. I believe it is crucial to show young women that they can be successful in a STEM field and have a family if they so choose.

In 2017, I was elected for a three-year term to the Steering Committee of the AAMC constituent group, Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS), allowing me to become involved in gender equity work on a broader scale. I was elected to a second three-year term in 2020. GWIMS has provided me the opportunity and pleasure of working with many accomplished, dedicated women and men across the country. A few highlights from my work with GWIMS include serving on the Sexual Harassment Task Force that recently released the monograph “Understanding and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Academic Medicine” and moderating several virtual and in-person webinars and town hall discussions on various topics of gender equity. Currently, I am co-chairing the Resources subcommittee, updating the GWIMS toolkit series and developing additional resources for women and institutions with a lens towards intersectionality (i.e women of color).

Supporting women in advancing their careers has been incredibly rewarding. I am honored to have played even a small role locally and nationally, and I encourage more women and men to get involved with these or other DEI efforts."