Finding Yourself in STEM is an ad-hoc Biocommons Ambassador student-led project that focuses on building community with students, especially underrepresented students, across STEM fields.
The librarian involvement in this project, along with Dr. Jeri Bryant of the Biocommons, is as collaborator and facilitator for programs the students want to organize. Programs focus on education, STEM environments, professional development and community building. Virtual events include a book club reading Ruha Benjamin’s Race After Technology, and a presentation on Anti-Racist Artificial Intelligence.
STEM Librarian instruction with STEM students usually happens in the context of a formal course or assignment support. Finding Yourself in STEM brings the librarian closer to the STEM students’ education outside of the formal curriculum and allows the librarian to have a mentorship role in that aspect of their learning. Students are also able to experience the Libraries and librarians as educational support outside of the formal course structure as well. Pivoting all programming to online due to COVID has also established a foundation for students to engage online in the community building that the programming affords.
Planning for the project began in 2017 and the first program took place in 2018. Current programming is ongoing.