Thursday, January 22, 2015

Women in STEM Club

Fordham has over 90 different clubs and organizations at Rose Hill that students can participate in, including cultural clubs, performing arts clubs, and academic clubs just to name a few (check out the complete list here

One of the great things about Fordham is that if there isn’t a club that caters to a particular interest, students are encouraged to start a new club.  I am currently in the process of starting a new club on campus with a few of my friends.  My friends and I are all majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, and we decided that we wanted to create a club that fosters community among females in these areas where we are usually in the minority. 

In order to become a club recognized by Fordham, we needed to complete an application packet.  The application involved finding a faculty member to act as our advisor, writing a club constitution, and gathering student signatures to show that there is a desire for this club on campus.  My academic adviser Christine Papadakis, who teaches in the computer science department, has been encouraging us to start this club, so she was the perfect person to ask to be our club adviser.  We submitted all of the necessary paper work to United Student Government, who is in charge of reviewing new club applications, at the end of last semester.  We received feedback on our constitution and submitted a revised edition, so now we are just waiting to hear back.

Although we are still in the process of becoming a Fordham club, my friends and I are looking forward to our first official event.  As the founding members, we are serving as the inaugural Executive Board (E-board), which means that one of our responsibilities is planning the events our club will host.  We have already had brainstorming sessions with our adviser to decide how we can make this club a resource for all students. 

A Twitter post about the IBM event we attended to
get ideas for our Women in STEM club.
To help get ideas for our club, my fellow E-board members and I attended an event in Manhattan hosted by IBM. We attended the event called “Girls Night Out” because the theme of the night, empowering women in technology, aligned with our goal for our own club.  When we got to IBM, we were able to network with influential members of the IBM community, including IBM General Manager Sandy Carter, who were excited to hear about our club.  She even tweeted pictures of us at the event! We then listened to a panel of women talking about their experiences working in the technology field and watched a demo of IBM’s new Bluemix platform.  Be able to attend sophisticated events such as this one is just another perk of going to school in New York City.  My friends and I are looking forward to implementing our ideas and building a stronger community of women in STEM on Fordham’s campus with our club.
IBM General Manager Sandy Carter was excited to hear
about our new club and gave us a shout-out on Twitter!

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