Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2019
Westminster College alumna Rachel Woofter Kopper ’91 has expanded her role in promoting women in life sciences careers with her acceptance of the national presidency of Women in Bio (WIB).
WIB is a nonprofit organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences. Though the presidency will be Kopper’s largest role in the organization yet, she has been supporting its mission since joining as a volunteer in 2011.
She went on to co-found the Pittsburgh chapter of WIB in 2012, and she has served as the chair for this local chapter since 2016. Kopper has also served as the national vice-chair of the WIB Membership Committee in addition to her duties in Pittsburgh.
When Kopper is not working to advance women in the life sciences, she is serving as the director of business operations and finances at Knopp Biosciences LLC, where she has worked since 2007. The Pittsburgh-based company develops medical treatments for diseases, and Kopper specifically serves the organization by managing finances, human resources, information technology, communications, data management, internet protocol, investor relations and facilities support.
Kopper, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Westminster College in 1991, attributes her professional success to the liberal arts education that she received at the College, as well as the diversity of coursework within the public relations major. Without her humanities-based foundation, Kopper believes she may not have developed the skills required to communicate effectively, collaborate or research and develop creative solutions.
“The collective experience helped me develop patience, respect and compassion, but also taught me how to advocate for myself and how to create my own boundaries and the personal structure I needed to stay focused,” Kopper said. “In my view, these are traits necessary for success.”
Women in Bio was founded in 2001 and currently has 13 chapters across North America. The organization provides professional educational programs and peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and networking opportunities for its 22,000 members.