Only about a quarter of people who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project.
Undergraduate women in STEM majors are offered support, empowerment and an environment to destress by the Kent State Scientista chapter.
“Empowering women in STEM means giving women the tools they need to succeed on their own, and that is usually done through mentoring and providing resources for them to grow their skills,” said Nora Honkomp, senior zoology major and co-president of the Scientistas.
Club meetings include professional speakers, information on building connections, building resumes, research, scholarships, graduate school and support.
“This club can be the difference between getting a head start on getting ahead on their career goals or not,” said Honkomp. “It will introduce people to the many different resources that the university has.”
For Dalyanne Hernandez, a fifth-year chemistry major and Scientista co-president, being a part of this organization has made a big difference in her academic career and helped her find common ground with her peers.
“I found a place where I feel comfortable, we all have a lot in common and share the same goals,” Hernandez said. “It has also helped me learn more about the professional side of things and make connections with professors as well as my peers.”
While the club is labeled to be an empowering place for women in STEM, it is open for everyone.
“This can be their safe space. This is a place where no one gets judged, any major, any gender. It is a safe place for anyone to unwind and have a place to have something in common with others,” Hernandez said. “We accept any majors and any genders since our meetings are very open. Anyone can benefit from what we talk about in our meetings.”
In recent years, the club has experienced a growth in its membership.
“My freshman year there were only two consistent members who were not on the executive board; by my second year a lot more people started showing up. This year we have a lot more people,” Honkomp said.
Due to COVID-19, Scientista meetings have moved online via Google Hangouts. The group meets biweekly. Those interested in getting involved are asked to fill out this form.
The Scientistas are currently seeking new active members.
“We really want to get the word out about this organization; we grow every year and we love that,” Hernandez said. “We want everyone to know our values and our mission so we can get more people involved.”
Kandra Hill covers teaching. You can contact her at email@example.com.
SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA
Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.