Leadership Overview


The KU Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) infrastructure is comprised of the following groups, with member representatives from each of the three schools on campus along with trainee representatives and ex officio non-voting representatives and volunteers who serve as support for the organization. Officers are elected and terms begin July 1st each year. The president appoints committee chairs who serve during her term, and then each committee chair populates their committee before July 1st so they are ready to serve when the year begins.


The preparation for the election process begins in February and concludes in June with the results announcement for positions on the Executive Council list below. If you are interested in a position, please contact Christie Befort, PhD, Incoming President.

  • President Elect
  • Secretary Elect
  • 2 School of Medicine Representatives for Basic Science
  • 2 School of Medicine Representatives for Clinical Science
  • 2 School of Nursing Representative
  • 2 School of Health Professions Representative


We believe by providing proper training including job descriptions and expectations for new officers and officer-elect positions in late spring, as well as for newly appointed committee chairs, we will ensure a smooth "passing of the information baton" from the current officers and chairs to the incumbents, and set our leaders up to succeed so we do not fail at our mission to be proactive in advancing the careers of women. This process will permit the organization to grow and continue to succeed for years to come, as well as turn out new leaders (or strengthen the skills of experienced leaders) among our women faculty in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Profession. View the Leadership Team Manual here for additional information about WIMS infrastructure, committee responsibilities and committee chair job descriptions.


Amy O'Brien-Ladner, M.D., founder or our organization, is the Division Director for Pulmonary and Critical Care in Internal Medicine Department and the Interim Chair for Internal Medicine. Amy is one of the recipients of the most prestigious faculty award presented by the School of Medicine, the Ruth Bohan Teaching Professorship. You know you have truly been honored when an award is named after you which occurred in 2012 with the Amy O'Brien-Ladner Innovation Award.

Kimberly Templeton, M.D., served as the second president of WIMS and has led an extremely successful career in her field of Orthopedic Surgery, including serving as the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts 2012 vice-president and the 2013 president. Most recently she received a Group Achievement Award from Johnson Space Center in 2015 for her work on the project and publication, "The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space," published in the Journal of Women's Health. In 2014 she was inducted into the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame and in 2013 she received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Medical Women's Association.

Julie Wei, M.D., past WIMS president 2010-12, was promoted to Associate Professor while in office and advanced in July, 2013 to serve as the ENT Department Chair at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando. Prior to leaving KU, she was appointed as the Mentoring Committee Chair in her department. And did we mention she wrote a book during all of this? Published in the spring of 2013, "A Healthier Wei" about the milk and cookie syndrome in children.

Brenda Rongish, Ph.D., served as the Interim Vice-President of WIMS from 2010-11 and during her term was promoted to Program Associate Director for the MD-PhD Physician Scientist Program in the School of Medicine.

Paige C. Geiger, Ph.D., since serving as WIMS 2010-12 Vice President and as the 2012-13 President, she has been honored with two prestigious awards since serving as president including one of the 2013-14 University of Kansas Women of Distinction and one of the Inaugural Stemmy Awards in 2014 from the Central Exchange in Kansas City, with the Rising Trendsetter Award. In 2013, she and Julie Wei were recognized by the AAMC for their work growing our organization as one of "the most robust" in the United States when their Toolkit entitled, How to Start and Maintain a Robust WIMS Organization was chosen for publication on the GWIMS website.

Julie Christianson, Ph.D., served at the WIMS Monthly Program Chair from 2012-2014. During her term she became the Director of the Graduate Education Program in her department, Anatomy and Cell Biology, plus she was awarded two 2 NIH/NIDDK R01 grants, totaling $2,212,500 in 2014.


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