Home Student Life Clubs Student Group Forms at GRCC to Support Women in Science

Student Group Forms at GRCC to Support Women in Science


By Tara Woods – Collegiate Staff

The science field is forever expanding, especially for the women at Grand Rapids Community College where a new; Association for Women In Science (AWIS) student organization is recruiting members.

Their first official meeting will be on Thursday, October 5, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 205 of the Calkins Science building.

Amber VanDerVelde leads the group as president of the new organization on campus. In an email, she expressed what she hopes the group will become on campus.

It is my vision that we can become a community that supports, encourages and lifts each other up so each student can reach their full potential,” VanDerVelde said. “Eventually every student will find themselves at a point in their career when they need to stand out as an exceptional student, whether that be when competing for a scholarship, entrance into a program, or even competing for a job.”

Meetings will be held at least once a month and topics will range anywhere from the do’s and don’t’s of scholarship writing, to interview skills, to how to manage your work/life balance. To become an official member all you will need to do is show up to two meetings or events each semester, which have scattered dates and times in hopes of getting more people involved.

Thus far, the club has 55 members signed up. You can also get involved in some of their events on campus, such as Community Science Day at GRCC. You do not have to be a woman or a science major to attend these meetings or events, they are open to anyone who wants to join.

If you can’t make their first meeting, the next one will be held on Wed.,  Nov. 8, from noon to 1 p.m. in room 138 at the science building.

Kate Kryger, a professor at GRCC  was a large influencing factor in starting the group.

Last spring she sent out an email that she had just joined the AWIS West Michigan chapter and she was looking for students that would also be interested in joining,” VanDerVelde said. “After I attended three meetings, Kate was talking with some of the GRCC students after the meeting and brought up the idea of possibly starting a GRCC chapter of AWIS.  I was immediately excited at what it could become and the benefits it could have for the students at GRCC. Kate then gave me a small list of students that were interested and I sent an email out seeing who would be willing to join.”

Both Kryger and Lauren Woosley are advisors over the group, although it is mostly student-run. Tabitha Wolfson acts as Vice-President, with Breezy Barcelo as the  Secretary and Katie Noble as the Treasurer.

AWIS is part of a global movement and has 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates. You can donate on their website here.

For more information, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or email them at awiswmgrcc@gmail.com.

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