KUWomenofDistinction

Paige C. Geiger, Ph.D. (Left)

Paige C. Geiger, Ph.D. (Left)

Honors, achievements, and special recognition:

  • National Science Foundation International Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Florence, Italy 2001-2002
  • National Institutes of Health RO1 Grant Recipient, 2010

How I became interested in my area of study:

As a high school and college athlete, I was always interested in the science of exercise – why are some individuals lightning fast, why can others run and run and never tire, and how much of a factor do training and genetics play in exercise performance? From my initial interest in exercise and sports, my interest in exercise and health emerged. Now I study how exercise and diet can both treat and prevent the development of diabetes and obesity. Because I see the impact my research could have on public health, albeit many years down the road, it is exciting and rewarding every day.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me and why:

I am most proud of my efforts to revive and maintain an active Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) program on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus. I served as the Secretary (2010-2012) and then President of WIMS (2012-2013), and helped reinvigorate a pre-existing but dormant organization.

WIMS now operates three standing committees (Program, Recognition, and Mentoring), as well as a new sub-committee called Moms in Medicine and Science (MIMS) - a valuable and supportive resource for junior women faculty balancing the demands of career and family. In the past three years, WIMS helped establish lactation support rooms throughout the medical center campus, developed an annual WIMS Professional Development Conference, hosted numerous speakers from exemplary medical schools across the country, and created a Leadership Training Program for incoming WIMS officers. Each year WIMS competitively awards scholarships for four faculty members to attend the AAMC Early and Mid-Career Professional Development Conferences. The network, support, and leadership opportunities for the 300+ female faculty members at KUMC have changed dramatically in the last three years with the presence of an active WIMS organization. The growing influence of WIMS on our campus will enhance future recruitment and retention of female faculty at KUMC.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

My father has always been a strong role model in my life. He taught me to work hard for the things that matter most, to treat people fairly, to strive to learn from those around me, and to improve upon every day. My mother is my role model for all matters of the heart, and she taught me to have compassion for others and confidence in myself. I can only hope to be half the mother she is someday. I learned a great deal about discipline, team work, and leadership from my graduate advisor, Dr. Gary Sieck, and two amazing high school coaches, Stuart Ordman and Tamra Strano. They taught me many life lessons disguised as manuscript critiques or scouting reports. I strive to emulate their excellent mentoring and guide my students to succeed in all aspects of their lives. My husband supports me in all that I do, and his positive attitude and outlook are my daily inspiration

My favorite KU memory:

I am proud to be a third generation Jayhawk, and there are too many favorite memories tied in with family and friends over the years to name just one. But as an undergraduate, I had the unique opportunity to serve as Co-Captain of the first Women’s Rowing Team at KU. In the fall of my senior year, we competed in the world famous Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA. I will never forget rowing the Charles with my Jayhawk teammates!

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know….

Work hard, have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff. Life has a way of working out for the best.