By: Teresa McKinney
“Making you a success.” Youngstown State University STEM Leadership Society, known on campus as SLS, is working to do just that for its members—the top students in YSU’s STEM college. SLS was created to provide outstanding students with the tools to grow and develop into leaders in their respective STEM fields. The organization is working to become a presence both on campus and in the community. It offers members the opportunity to have a supportive network of peers and faculty that will help pave the way for a successful, undergraduate experience at YSU.
STEM Leadership Society is a student organization that gives students the tools to succeed. One of its main goals is to convince top high school seniors of that YSU is the university for them.
The YSU College of STEM provides undergraduates with an exceptional education. STEM undergraduates are able to work with equipment that most schools only allow graduate students to use. Undergraduates get published and win national competitions. With these opportunities and the extra benefits that SLS can provide, YSU hopes to entice and recruit the best of the best into its STEM College.
STEM Leadership Society benefits its members the most through the meetings and events held each month. For example, in October a “Faculty Meet and Greet” was held at the Lemon Grove downtown to introduce students to many of the professors and department chairs of the STEM college. Establishing connections with professors is highly beneficial for students. It opens the doorway to research opportunities, internship information, letters of recommendations, and on-campus jobs.
An “REU Event” was set for November 29th and allowed students to hear from a panel of upper classmen who have already participated in Research Experiences for Undergraduates. This event informed members of research opportunities they can pursue and taught them how to obtain these REUs.
Another event to be held in January will connect students with the STEM Professional Practice Program office. The goal will be to give students résumé tips and inform them how they can find internships. They will also learn about what to expect in interview situations.
SLS also connects students to area businesses and paid internship opportunities. In past years students have toured V&M Star and the Youngstown Business Incubator. This spring they are set to visit Fireline, Inc.
While networking with faculty and businesses is important, SLS also holds events for members to get to know each other. The group holds a picnic at the beginning of each year to introduce new members to veteran members. SLS students also painted the rock to help advertise SLS to prospective high school seniors visiting campus on Crash Day. To celebrate the end of this fall semester, they will be holding a bowling event at Camelot Lanes.
This year, SLS has been working to reach out and become involved with the community. The group has given back by volunteering at events such as Silly Science Sunday at the Oh Wow! Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology downtown. Members have also participated in a riverside clean up and helped out with a Habitat for Humanity build.
STEM Leadership Society is still a young group, but it is making its name at YSU, in the community, and at area businesses. The growing group is achieving its goals on its steady path towards a bright future.