Vision: Building a Diverse STEM workforce, creating generations of science-trained leaders bringing equitable solutions to all sectors of our society. A model program for how to develop and retain, diverse populations and future leaders in the STEM enterprise.
The Approach: Following the sabermetrics revolution in sports analytics, the STEM Scholars program develops “undervalued talent” to fill the gaps in how we train students in the sciences. STEM Scholars provides professional and leadership development tailored to individual and group needs. The program is unique to most University training programs in that there is no GPA/ACT/SAT requirement and membership in the program is for life. STEM Scholars uses a multifaceted approach including personalized mentoring, financial literacy for higher education, belonging to an inclusive community, and pursuing highly competitive professional activities (research, internships, study abroad, scholarships, campus leadership positions) to prepare our members for a world after ISU.
Leadership and Future Impact: A core value of the program is giving back to the community. If a STEM Scholar participates in an impactful professional development training, then they are encouraged to deliver a workshop for the STEM Scholar community by organizing and serving as panelists and/or moderators. As a result, our undergraduates and alumni are resources for their peers and are developing leadership skills as communicators and educators while reducing barriers to those following in their footsteps. STEM Scholars leave ISU with the experiences and ability to navigate the next challenge(s) on their paths toward a career in STEM with the leadership skills to have a positive impact in their work spaces and communities.
Funding: STEM Scholars is funded by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, but its student membership includes students from across 4 colleges (CLAS, CALS, CoE, CoHS). Since 2020-2021, most members are largely drawn from CLAS majors.