New club, STEM United has joined UCCS. STEM United is for all kinds of STEM majors to participate in competitions as well as represent the needs of the STEM student body at the university, according to founder Dance Mahaffey.
Mahaffey shared insight on the creation of the club as well as their first event, “The Sky’s the Limit?” which will be held next semester, after being rescheduled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Mahaffey, a freshman and electrical and computer engineering major, was surprised to see that UCCS did not have a STEM club when he first transferred to the University from Pikes Peak Community College. He and freshman Tanya Howland took matters into their own hands and created STEM United in September.
“There wasn’t an official STEM club, so we wanted to increase student engagement because there are so many engineering students and we wanted to increase student engagement,” Mahaffey said.
With the help of electrical and computer engineering professor Parul Patel, STEM United took form.
“With this club, we can advocate for [STEM students] needs to the university,” Mahaffey said. “Ideally, we can improve the performance and graduation rates of STEM majors and we can also improve the quality of the education that they’re getting from faculty. Campus engagement is a way to increase academic performance. Our goal is to support STEM majors with representation and engagement.”
“The Sky’s the Limit?” will be held in February and will be a virtual event through RSVP on Mountain Lion Connect.
STEM United will host guest Gautham Viswaroopan, a structural systems engineer with The Aerospace Corporation. Viswaroopan went from designing and launching miniature model rockets to designing the structures of Aerospace and Tesla rockets.
The event will include a presentation from Viswaroopan about his story of his educational and professional career.
“Viswaroopan graduated from CU Boulder with a masters in Aerospace Engineering,” Mahaffey said. “His story is relatable and hopefully makes attenders feel confident in their growth as a STEM major and inspires them.”
This event and the STEM United club are not limited to aerospace engineering students, as Mahaffey went on to say, “Biology, chemistry and art all are important to engineering too. There’s astrobiology, astrochemistry. Our club isn’t limited to engineers, but biologists, chemists and artists are all in play here too.”
Mahaffey hopes attendees of the event will be left feeling inspired and confident. STEM United’s event next semester will be held on Feb. 3, 2021, for a sky-high adventure!