MESA kicked off the first STEM Clubs Social Boba event of the year on September 8, 2023, with a STEM symposium. The event held in the STEM and MESA centers featured 13 students with various STEM majors who presented posters highlighting the work they completed during their summer internships. The event showcased the remarkable work these students had accomplished and aimed to inspire others to pursue their passions and apply for internships for next summer.

The event started with a short presentation from MESA co-directors Denise Hum and Emilie Hein about the role of MESA and upcoming events this semester, as well as an introduction of presenters and a poster session guide from Luis Prado, STEM retention specialist. The event was well attended, with over 70 participants, presenters, and attendees.  Among the attendees were Acting President Newin Orante, who said a few words during the introductions, as well as Acting Vice President of Student Services Luis Escobar, Interim Dean of STEM Jing Folsom, Dean of ASLT Torria Davis, and representatives from Growth Sector Gabe Hanzel-Sello and Rebecca Mora Baldwin. 

Attendees sipped on boba drinks while engaging with the presenters during the poster session. The event was also a practice run for those preparing to present at upcoming conferences. The posters displayed a wide range of topics and research areas, from advancements in artificial intelligence to combatting dental disparities in underserved populations. The presenters were Abigail Jean Alfonso, Kadae Aung, Camille  Catolos, Matthew Dacanay, Owen Fan, Allison Galon, Simon Herrmann, Tyler Kuwada, Kea  Kyle, Codie Lai, Phone Thant Myo, Sahil Niwas, and Megan White.  

The event was a success, thanks to the amazing students who stepped up to present their work, as well as the support of many, including Dr. Susanne Schubert, who suggested the idea, Thanh Nguyen, PTK mentor, and of course, Luis Prado, who recruited students for the events and mentored them through the process. The STEM Clubs Boba Social was supported by MESA which provided logistics and funding for the event, and MESA student assistants Sean Ruiz and Aaron Torres Mendoza. As applications begin to open up for summer 2024 opportunities, many students left the event inspired to seek out opportunities in their respective majors to further enrich their academic and professional journeys. 

Photo credit: Aaron Torres Mendoza 

Article by: Emilie Hein, Denise Hum, and Luis Prado

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