June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.599.1 - 8.599.4
Giving Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Support and Leadership Experience through a Women in Science and Engineering Program at The University of Texas at El Paso
Rosa M. Gómez, Ariana Arciero, Patricia Nava, Elvia Martín Del Campo, and Benjamin Flores
The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a commuter campus that mainly serves students of the region, a majority of which are first generation college students. The Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program at UTEP was created to give successful women majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields educational stipends as well as opportunities to use their talents, leadership abilities, and academic skills to positively influence girls in the El Paso community to focus on math and science through outreach activities. These opportunities allow young girls to interact with young women who are educationally focused and demonstrate success, confidence and competence in STEM fields. A high percentage of members in the WiSE program are Hispanic and through their active participation, positively impact the girls of our region, who are themselves primarily Hispanic. This paper will discuss the WiSE initiative on the UTEP campus and our progress thus far.
UTEP’s WiSE program was established in the spring of 2001 with 23 students. The program began as a way to involve female, university science and engineering majors with one another through regular meetings, interesting workshops, and community outreach activities. Students with a 3.0 GPA or above who were interested in joining were asked to submit a letter of interest, a transcript, a resume, and two letters of recommendation from a faculty or staff member. A committee of faculty and staff selected the students and they were awarded a $400.00 educational stipend award for the semester. The program is overseen by a coordinator and a graduate student assistant. Throughout the course of the semester, students were offered opportunities to meet and participate in workshops that they had expressed an interest in attending. The first workshop that the students were invited to was one on self-esteem, gender differences, and time management. A training company was hired to present and facilitate the first workshop. With the success of that first workshop, we have continued to offer similar ones with themes such as stress management, time management, resume writing, and financial planning. The WiSE program is now 59 women strong with nine graduates, with five of those graduates currently enrolled in graduate programs.
Through meeting with the students, we inquire what they believe would most help them while they are pursuing their careers. Through these workshops, female students have a venue to discuss their challenges, share their feelings, and offer advice to other female students who are going through similar situations as they pursue careers in non-traditional fields. Since there is no active Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter on campus, this group is the best option for those students who are interested in being in an organization that focuses on women’s issues.
Part of WiSE’s mission is to create opportunities for students to interact socially and educationally with one another and to provide personal development and leadership
“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering”
Flores, B., & Martin Del Campo, E., & Arciero, A., & Nava, P., & Gomez, R. (2003, June), Giving Women In Science, Engineering, And Mathematics Support And Leadership Experience Through A Women In Science And Engineering Program At The University Of Texas At El Paso Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/11864
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