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Saint Mary’s to host STEM preview weekend

| Friday, February 16, 2018

Saint Mary’s will hold its first-ever STEM preview weekend on Saturday and Sunday. This two-day recruiting event is intended to be a way for admitted students to get a better sense of the STEM programs at Saint Mary’s.

Thirty-five prospective students who have expressed interest in pursuing a STEM major are expected to attend the weekend’s programming. Experiments and events have been scheduled throughout the weekend for the students interested in the academic fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, math and computer science.

Professor Toni Barstis, who teaches physics and chemistry, explained in an email that visiting students will be hosted by current STEM majors during their campus visits. She said she hopes that the students fall in love with the experiments, activities and Saint Mary’s.

“Our goal is to convert them from admitted to enrolled students,” Barstis said. “On Saturday, students will arrive and meet their hosts, tour our [campus and buildings], attend a major-club fair, eat dinner at the student center, socialize. On Sunday, students will engage in activities alongside our current STEM majors, hosts and faculty.”

This recruiting event is a way for the science and math departments and the current majors in those departments to demonstrate what they can accomplish through a Saint Mary’s education. Barstis said the point of the weekend is for the admitted students to have an authentic experience of the STEM program at a women’s college.

“Our current STEM students and faculty will have the opportunity to showcase our majors and programs, clubs and research,” Barstis said. “Through coursework, research, one-on-one mentoring and professional development opportunities, our STEM majors are trained to become strong women leaders.”

Barstis said this weekend represents an opportunity to showcase the College and the intelligent women who work and research there. She said this first-ever STEM weekend event will be unique and hands-on and will hopefully result in more hard-working women deciding to attend Saint Mary’s.

“This is unlike other recruiting events in that the admitted students will perform research-based STEM activities alongside our current students and faculty,” Barstis said. “The participants are not simply watching, but rather engaging in STEM. The STEM faculty and students at Saint Mary’s College are active participants in their education, and this is what we are demonstrating throughout this event. We hope to grow our STEM majors [and] programs at Saint Mary’s, and create more STEMinists.”

Throughout the weekend the students will eat meals together, performs experiments together, socialize and listen to speakers. Professor Calli Versagli, who teaches biology, said in an email she is excited to meet some of the prospective students and show them why they should pursue their STEM Majors at Saint Mary’s.

“We have so many talented students who are coming in from all over the country to visit,” she said.It is important to share what we do at SMC and what makes our programs so special.”

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