Editor’s note: This article was written in conjunction with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. ORSP reached out to The Point News (TPN) in order to create a series of spotlights. This is the first iteration of that series.
At St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), students are given a lot of leeway to explore a wide array of topics via the St. Mary’s Project (SMP) or research project. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) aids faculty and students in the process of getting grants in order to fund their research.
“One thing I’ve been trying to do is better track and count and better celebrate the research and scholarly and creative endeavors of the students that are already working on here because there’s a lot, of course, that is going on,” research administrator Adam Malisch told TPN, “it always doesn’t make it out there, like I hoped it would be.”
Two students involved with the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) project, Rose Young, ‘20 and Elizabeth Mulvey, ‘20 sat down with TPN and Patrick Martin, a student employee of ORSP, to discuss their project. Women in STEM is a project which is being organized by Angela Johnson, professor of educational studies. The project includes taking data from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) to analyze the diversity, integration and the success of women within the STEM fields.
They look for women who are are minorities and are studying a STEM related field. Then they focus on the women in physics and look at which institutions have the highest rate of completion.
Young has also been looking in at students who are nontraditional, such as returning students, students who have a dependent, etc.
“We hope that the federal government … can use our data to develop a criteria for colleges in the United States that say they are inclusive, that they support women in science,” Young stated. Mulvey told TPN that she hopes to shed light on diversity issues in the education system. Through their data research so far, they discovered that SMCM is highly ranked on the index of success for women graduating in STEM fields.
While they have faced some challenges with communicating with their sister school in England and facing many academic institutions, they have persevered and enjoyed traveling to conferences to share their work and future conferences and interacting with other woman within STEM fields.
They hope that the continuation of their work will increase the success of women of color within STEM fields.