By Sabrina Nguyen | News Reporter

Dr. Sonya Schuh has been involved in WiSE for most of her academic career. (Courtesy of Gerry Serrano)

A brand new club is starting for the female students and faculty of Saint Mary’s within the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) community. Dr. Sonya Schuh from the Biology Department is launching a Saint Mary’s chapter of the national student organization Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) in order to encourage and support women in the sciences.
“Being a part of these programs changed my life and gave me amazing friends, connections, empowerment, and an entire additional support system. I want that here for our students,” said Dr. Schuh.
“The idea for this club came from a brainstorming session between me and Dr. Ameer Thompson, director of our new STEM Center. We both came to the conclusion that a unifying club for our [female] science students to provide more support for them and more connections between students and faculty is exactly what Saint Mary’s College needs,” said Schuh.
Schuh was a member of the WiSE chapter as a graduate student at the University of Washington and was a female mentor at Stanford’s chapter. Local universities such as UC Berkeley also have WiSE chapters. Schuh is also involved in Faculty Women’s Group at Saint Mary’s College.
The club will have faculty-student mixers, a new mentoring program, career panels, social events, and involvement in campus-wide activities, she said.
According to Schuh, the new WiSE chapter is generating a lot of interest. The participating departments include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics/Computer Science, Physics, Psychology, and Kinesiology. Schuh also recruited six faculty members in just the past couple of days. The club will consist of student officers taking on the roles of co-presidents and treasurer.
The hope of WiSE is to transform the gender makeup of the School of Science by encouraging and fostering the success, solidarity, and happiness of the women in the sciences.
“It’s going to be an amazing resource and a lot of fun for our students, and I’m so glad to see all of the interest and excitement…It’s time for us to get WiSE,” said Schuh.


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