By RACHAEL CASTILLO
Are you a science or math major and an upperclassman? If so, you probably spend plenty of time in the Asher Science Center, and you likely have seen signs posted around the building about a new opportunity for science and math students—the STEMM Fellows Program.
In an effort to increase the number of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) students at Georgetown College, the science and math faculty have written a grant to provide the college with funding to develop new programs. In 2008, Georgetown received a four-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to provide incentives and resources to STEMM students, particularly first-generation college students. For example, the grant allowed GC to create the GCPALS program and provide summer research opportunities to its STEMM students.
This year, the science and math faculty wrote a second HHMI grant aimed at creating even more opportunities for its science and math students. The four-year grant, spanning from 2012 to 2016, has five components meant to meet the various needs of GC’s STEMM students. In addition to the creation of a summer program, unique Foundations courses and a trip to Washington, D.C., the grant allows for the creation of the STEMM Fellows Program.
According to Dr. Kristine Roinestad, one of the professors involved in writing the grant, junior and senior majors in science and math disciplines may apply to be STEMM Fellows. Fellows will be given a $500 stipend each semester for “mentoring freshmen, creating nexus events and being leaders in the college community.” When asked to elaborate on community involvement, Dr. Roinestad explained that the “STEMM fellows will be a group of junior and senior science leaders who have a strong scientific understanding of the world, a passion for inquiry and a desire to pass this knowledge and passion on to others in their community.” The program hopes to help science and math students develop into leaders who can spread interest in the STEMM disciplines among their peers and act as mentors to new potential STEMM students. In addition, fellows will plan and implement nexus events for the GC community and “reach out” to “the greater Georgetown community,” as Dr. Roinestad put it.
If you are a junior or senior and a science or math major, you may want to apply to the STEMM Fellows Program. If you are interested in being a leader both on and off campus, or if you would like to mentor freshmen in your discipline, you may want to apply to be a STEMM fellow. If planning events such as Geek Week, National Chemistry Week and Pi Day appeals to you, you may want to apply to the STEMM Fellows Program. Applications are due Monday, Nov. 19. Contact Drs. Dickinson, Roinestad or Sheridan for more information.