More than 160 undergraduate students participated during the 2021-2022 academic year in dialogues and met with professionals from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations as part of Florida State University Libraries’ Diverse Voices in STEM Speaker Series.
The series calls attention to challenges of underrepresented groups in STEM as they progress through their academic career. The project also allows the FSU community to engage in conversations that highlight what it means to be a STEM scholar.
Employment in science, technology, engineering and math has grown 79 percent since 1990, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
Despite that surge amid the U.S. transformation to an information-based economy, women and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in these fields, Pew reports.
STEM Libraries, a group of Florida State University librarians and staff that engage STEM scholars across the research, learning and teaching lifecycles, found during research that undergraduate students from underrepresented populations were less likely to pursue a graduate-level education in STEM. This observation led to the creation of the Diverse Voices in STEM Speaker Series.
“As science librarians, our team has been exploring ways to provide library services and programs that address equity and diversity issues in higher education,” said Renaine Julien, director of STEM Libraries. “Diverse Voices has been a fantastic opportunity to highlight and amplify the voices of scholars who have been typically underrepresented in STEM.”
During the 2021-2022 academic year, the series hosted five virtual events featuring professionals ranging from molecular biologists to linguists.
Discussions were led by Carleen Sabusap, Ph.D., research assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Stephen Chelko, Ph.D., assistant professor in FSU’s College of Medicine; Jesusa Legaspi, Ph.D., research entomologist at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology within the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Antje Muntendam, Ph.D., associate professor in FSU’s Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics; and Monica Abou Harb, Ph.D. candidate in FSU’s Department of Biomedical Sciences.
All discussions can be found on the FSU Libraries YouTube Channel or at diversevoices.create.fsu.edu. For more information, visit libraries.fsu.edu.