This past Tuesday, members of our Outreach and Resource coordination group held a "Post-Stem Dinner" on campus. In a closed, intimate setting, we spoke to fellow Amherst students about their experiences studying STEM at the College--and, more importantly still, about their decision to ultimately choose other fields of study instead. We are particularly aware that we have a lot to learn about improving the STEM experience from students who are no longer engaged with STEM at Amherst.
The resulting conversation was incredibly illuminating, and we can't wait to share our insights with you soon. In the meantime, we've posted some of the photographs of some post-STEM students who shared their stories with us.
On April 1st, 2016, we presented our work in a panel at Amherst Explorations: A Celebration of Student Research and Creative Work.
You can see a video of us talking about the HSTEM course here.
Come meet the real-live people behind this website! We'll be holding a panel as part of Amherst Explorations, an event hosted by the Amherst College Writing Center that aims to highlight student research and creative work. The details are included below:
Friday, April 1st, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Robert Frost Library, Amherst College
A panel exploring our research and findings halfway through the semester. Refreshments will be provided as well!
All this information can also be found at the Facebook event page. Please feel free to invite your friends!
Gaby Mayer '16
As a woman (not to mention a feminist), I spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to be female: as a scientist, as a college student, as a so-called “millennial,” and as a consumer of contemporary art and culture. Curiously, however, I haven’t truly contemplated what it means to be a woman at Amherst College, the place I’ve called home for nearly four years. To call me “willfully ignorant” would be an understatement; after all, Amherst is an institution with a rich and complex history around gender. The College was founded in 1821 as an all-male school, only making the shift to a co-ed student body in 1979 (to put this into historical perspective: Oberlin College has admitted both men and women since 1833). It’s been roughly forty years since this momentous change, and yet the physical vestiges of our male-dominated past still litter the campus––from the profusion of male portraits in its central gathering space, Johnson Chapel, to the distribution of its plumbing. This is further complicated by our membership within the Five College Consortium, a group that includes two women's colleges–one the oldest in the nation, the other the largest–among its ranks. Stated simply, the Pioneer Valley is a place where gender has always mattered.
Luckily, this past Tuesday, I stumbled into a conversation series titled “Six Talks to Change The World: Pioneer Faculty Women." This event name is, admittedly, a bit flashy–all the better to lure tired, busy undergrads out of the library on a weekday evening. Yet despite my aversion to hyperbole, I believe the title “pioneers” is justly bestowed here.
Ruth Manzanares '18
Last Saturday, I was extremely fortunate to go to the Latino Medical Student Association 43rd Annual Northeast Conference at Dartmouth. This conference is open to high school students interested in medicine, undergraduate pre-med students, and medical students. Some of the schools that form part of the Northeast chapters are Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, and NYU, among other medical schools. (The Northeast chapter of LMSA has yet to include undergraduates.) The conference was a day long event made up of several key speakers and workshops that not only explored navigating the medical field as an underrepresented minority, but also the implications of being a Latinx individual in the medical world. Such topics included public health, undocumented Latinx that do not have insurance, politics in the medical world, and what is being done to try and change it to accommodate to the increasing number of Latinx in America. It was an extremely validating to experience and hear all the different success stories of young Latinx students who, despite all their trials and tribulations, were able to make it to medical school in the end.
Our Tuesday meeting last week largely focused on a paper, “Female peers in small work groups enhance women’s motivation, verbal participation, and career aspirations in engineering” authored by Dasgupta, et al. Dasgupta, a professor in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences next door to us at UMass Amherst, emphasized the nationwide need to increase the representation of women in STEM fields, pointing out that although the scarcity of women in these fields is widely recognized, few data-driven solutions are offered.