Women in STEM come together through new student organization

Mar 15, 2022 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science, General News, Students

Louisiana Tech University has a new Women in Stem student organization. What began this summer as an idea by two students, is now one of the largest academic student organizations on campus.

Jillian Carter and Arianna Miskowski participated in the School of Biological Sciences Alumni Mentoring Program during the winter and spring quarters of the 2020 and 2021 academic years. Through this program, Carter and Miskowski were introduced to Louisiana Tech alumni in their dream career fields.

Carter and Miskowski found their experience in the program to be so impactful that they wanted to pay it forward and create a program that would facilitate peer mentoring and empower students to pursue their goals in STEM fields.

“Jillian and I saw the need for more female representation within the College of Applied and Natural Science after being a part of the Biological Mentor Program last year,” Miskowski said. “We felt inspired by Dr. Newman and the other women in this program to celebrate women in STEM on campus.”

Carter and Miskowski strived to create an organization that promoted equity and a vision of support. Miskowski and Carter are co-directors but all members of the organization contribute ideas, support, and mentoring to one another through regular meetings and volunteer opportunities.

“I think there was a growing need for student-led women in STEM organizations on campus where we can find community and trust, ” Carter said. “Arianna and I have had the joy of watching this community quickly grow into one of the largest student-led organizations on campus within one quarter.”

This organization is focused on building connections amongst members and the community they are surrounded by. Some opportunities include a resume workshop, headshot night, STEM Center Volunteer days and food drive opportunities.

We will have several opportunities for members to get involved where they feel most comfortable,” Miskowski said. “It is also important that we share networking and professional development opportunities for the students involved.”

After their first meeting, the Women in Stem Student Organization had nearly 100 confirmed members who have already volunteered with the STEM Center and participated in a resume writing workshop. Students come from a mix of disciplines providing women with a tremendous network of students who want to learn from and support one another in achieving their goals in STEM fields.

“I have been so impressed by the vision, dedication, and enthusiasm that Jillian and Arianna have demonstrated over these past four months,” Dr. Jamie Newman, the organization’s advisor said. “They identified a need on campus and created something that is fun, informative, and focused on empowering their peers to be mentors, students, professionals and leaders.”

Louisiana Tech also has an Office for Women in Science and Engineering and WiSTEM, which are both faculty-focused organizations. The student organization is excited to collaborate with OWISE and WiSTEM to create even more opportunities for students across campus in all STEM disciplines.

For more information on the organization visit the Women in STEM website.