This year our Skyline College STEM learning communities have had a chance to connect with professionals in the field remotely! Our STEM Learning Communities consist of Engineering and Tech Scholars (ETS) and Biology and Chemistry Scholars (BCS). Last semester, ETS lead a software engineering panel with speakers ranging from front-end web developers and iOS engineers to cybersecurity engineers. Students have also been exploring their career options by participating in zoom coffee chats with various STEM professionals such as civil engineers, nurses, vet techs, and cancer researchers. Though internship and research opportunities may look different this year, we’ve been gearing up for internship applications by offering a resume workshop and 1:1 resume help. We are also looking forward to leading a “How to Be Competitive for Medical School” panel for our Biology and Chemistry Scholars interested in pursuing medicine. The panel will take place on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm as part of our “Science in Action Series.” These events are made possible through the efforts of STEM Retention Specialist, Amber Gougis. She focuses on building community, connecting students with professional development opportunities, and serves as a mentor for Skyline College STEM students. She’ll also help lead a new “Data Scholars” program in the Fall in collaboration with Professor of Math, Denise Hum, who recently secured an NSF grant to support the project. The goal of the program will be to encourage students to pursue STEM majors through data science.

The STEM Learning Communities are supported by the college’s STEM Center Student Success team, the core of which includes our STEM Retention Specialist, STEM Counselor, STEM Instructional Aide, and STEM Center Program Services Coordinator. Seed funded by the college’s STEM Pathways grant (U.S. Department of Education award no P031S180169), the STEM Center team provides services and opportunities that focus on the specific academic and social needs of the STEM student community here at Skyline College. Through the integration of peer, staff, and faculty support, the STEM Center team helps students not only stick with an intensive academic pathway but have fun while doing it!

If you or a student you know are interested to learn more or join a STEM Learning Community, please visit the following sites:

Engineering and Tech Scholars (ETS)

Biology and Chemistry Scholars (BCS)

You can also reach out directly to STEM Retention Specialist, Amber Gougis at

Recordings of the workshops are linked below:

Software Engineering Panel 2020

STEM Center Resume Workshop 2020

“Science in Action” Meeting Link:

Article by Amber Gougis and the STEM Center Team

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