Bearkat Orgs: SWEET
April 6, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd
Bearkat Orgs is a series highlighting the works of SHSU’s many on-campus student organizations. For more information on campus organizations or information on how to join or start a campus organization, visit OrgLINK.
Story By Nhi Nguyen
Majors in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics have some of the lowest numbers of female attendees at Sam Houston State University. For female engineering students to find their community and form more connections, the Society of Women for Excellence in Engineering and Technology (SWEET) is there to support young women in pursuing degrees in engineering. The group is open to inform and give students the opportunity to meet like-minded STEM ‘girl-bosses’ to all SHSU students majoring/minoring in STEM/STEAM degree areas.
“I'm usually the only girl in most of my classes and that troubles me because I don't have anyone else to talk to or share my experiences with,” said Madeline Serna, president of SWEET.
The organization creates a great opportunity for female students in STEM to meet with peers, converse about each other’s experiences, get career advice and form more connections with individuals in the field.
“It's a big sisterhood, so girls could share their experiences and not feel alone,” Serna said.
Serna emphasized the impact the organization has had on her thanks to the sense of community that has been built. Noting that the organization provides her with a home away from home.
“My favorite thing about it is that I'm surrounded by people who are like me and have the same experiences as me, so I feel more comfortable and inclined to talk about all of my experiences that I have as a woman in this field,” Serna said.
Members of SWEET have taken part in exciting educational events like the City of Huntsville’s Scare on the Square, where they dressed up as Monster High characters for Halloween and performed scientific experiments for young children in downtown Huntsville. SWEET also joined female students interested in STEM (from elementary school to high school) to attend their recent visit to Klein ISD for Women in STEM Day. They carried out an experiment in making paper explosives, while other visiting groups performed rocket experiments and slime-making.
According to Serna, since STEM is known to be a male-dominated field, the biggest misconception is that women they are not capable of being in it.
“Most of the time women are expected to stay in fields that are ‘more suited’ for them. I think that's false because gender is not what matters, one should be able to do what they love to do.”
SWEET promotes STEM-related programs. SWEET Girls, however, want people to know that the group is for every female student who feels that she is not being heard or noticed due to her career path.
"We want girls to be seen, heard and to know they are not alone,” Serna said.
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