9 December 2020 • STEM Announcing the HWS STEM Scholars Program

A new program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is designed to support more inclusion of racially and ethnically underrepresented scholars in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The HWS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will launch the STEM Scholars Program in the spring 2021 semester, offering opportunities for academic support and financial aid to ensure all students have the resources to succeed in their chosen fields.

Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Khuram Hussain says, “In recent years, HWS faculty, staff and students have worked to make STEM disciplines more inclusive. They have done so with the understanding that if students of all backgrounds are to realize their capacities and participate fully in academic life, they must have viable access to STEM disciplines.”

To that end, the STEM Scholars Program will include opportunities for underrepresented STEM students to serve as paid STEM peer mentors and participate in monthly STEM Scholars meetings highlighting research and internship opportunities as well as curricular information.

Going forward, the Office of Admissions will award targeted financial aid packages annually to 15 incoming students demonstrating aptitude in STEM fields; these 15 students will also participate in a weeklong summer welcome program.

Finally, the program will support a public event each semester with a national speaker discussing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields.

To be eligible as an HWS STEM Scholar, students must be at least a second semester first-year; self-identify as a student with a racial or ethnic background that is underrepresented in the U.S. STEM community; and have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a major or minor in one of the following fields:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Geoscience
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Ahead of the celebratory launch of the program in the spring semester, the DEI offers three invitations:

  • For STEM Scholars: self-nominate to be a STEM Scholar here.
  • For Peer Mentors: apply to serve as a Peer Mentor here.
  • For Allies and Supporters (faculty, staff and students): nominate STEM Scholars or indicate interest in support the program here.

The program builds on the HWS Strategic Diversity Plan and an earlier iteration of the STEM Scholars program initiated by Solomé Rose, as well as the work of the newly formed BIPOC in STEM club and the HWS faculty working group for STEM Diversity.