Upcoming MCS DEI Programs
The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh STEM Stars offers middle school girls weekly tutoring and lab activities in all the different STEM areas. In addition to their after-school opportunities, they also have a popular Saturday Academy, where students travel to a college campus to do lab experiments and meet women leaders in their respective STEM fields. We have established a connection with the program, and at the end of October, we will host one of their 10 yearly lab days. The day will consist of students coming onto campus, where they will visit with members of our college, tour our facilities, see some of the labs and meet women STEM professionals leading the college. The girls will participate in an experiment led by one of our professors. Afterward, students will have an opportunity to meet with Glen de Vries Dean Rebecca Doerge, so they can ask her about her journey as a woman in science and learn about the skills she acquired along the way. The dual message of active engagement and representation offers young women the chance to see a future in STEM as a real and attainable path for them. By meeting women in STEM leadership and learning about their failures, struggles, accomplishments and triumphs, they will be able to see STEM careers as a tangible, rewarding opportunity.
MCS DEI committee
MCS will be creating a DEI committee to uphold and sustain its mission of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The committee will be composed of MCS members across the departments from every facet of the college. We are hopeful that together we can create a climate committed to inclusivity, curiosity and equity in all we do. The college is also looking to collaborate with alumni in order to bolster our perspective. The experiences of students over the years will provide insights into ways the college can better serve its members, especially the most marginalized in our community, as we address disparities in policy, access, culture and outcomes in the college. This partnership will also serve as the nucleus for the college’s diversity and outreach efforts. By absorbing the responsibilities involved with building partnerships and managing logistics, we can give our members the easiest pathway to engagement. We want every member of MCS to feel confident in the college’s ability to represent their needs in all we do, and we will communicate that through our actions and our policies.
ACT 153 Days: Access as a Vehicle to Community Engagement
The college is committed to creating and sustaining relationships with institutions and organizations that share in our devotion to uplifting our community, centering the marginalized, innovating for equity and creating pathways to a more diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, we are striving to find innovative ways to address racial, ethnic and gender disparities in workforce representation at major research universities and industry. We see service through volunteering, outreach and community engagement as central to our ethos. We know interventions that develop students’ interest, academic skills and opportunities in STEM work best when they occur early in their education. This knowledge is a central tenet of our vision toward both improving the Pittsburgh STEM education network and improving scientific fields as a whole. We strongly encourage students and faculty to incorporate service into their careers, offering awards for students and faculty who engage with their communities. However, our scientists have informed us that obtaining the necessary clearances in order to conduct service projects is often too arduous, creating a barrier to engage with young scientists at the earliest possible points in their careers. To remedy this discrepancy, MCS will be conducting ACT 153 Days, where members of the college can register to have their FBI Fingerprints done on campus and apply for their PA state and child abuse clearances on the spot. Bringing what our scientists, students and staff need to their doorsteps is an integral part to instilling belonging; it develops trust and confidence while providing an active example of the cultural climate. We hope to offer Act 153 Days throughout the year to ensure all who want to engage in meaningful and impactful outreach can do so without hinderance. ■
■ Demetrius Baldwin