By: Hasnat Aslam’27

The Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education will be hosting its second RAISE Up Inclusive STEM Retreat Feb. 17.

This retreat intends to empower students to successfully charter their academic and professional paths in STEM, while simultaneously making it an inclusive space. 

Hanson Center is one of only two Inclusive STEM Education Centers in the country, and aims to advance understanding and practices of equity and inclusion within STEM. According to Prof. Wendy Hill, who serves as Hanson Center director, “STEM fields, unfortunately, have been exclusionary, especially based on social identities.” 

To remedy this, the Hanson Center develops programs that support historically minoritized students, faculty, and staff, as well as promoting active citizenship within STEM.

According to Rachel Kimball ’26, a neuroscience major serving as a student organizer for this year’s retreat, “The retreat lies at the intersection of professional and equity conversations.” 

Jessica McDivitt ’24, a physics and mathematics major also helping to organize the event, is particularly excited for the RAISE retreat because it is influenced by various affinity groups, which allows it to reflect the student body’s diversity and cater to each group’s unique needs.

This year’s retreat will feature keynote speaker Joel Bervell, a Ghanaian-American medical student who hosts the famous podcast “The Dose,” student-led workshops, panels with alumni, networking opportunities, and a poster design session. 

“The programs are designed to be interactive, so participants can come up with ideas and actions to promote our collective mission,” Hill says.

Hill also shared an anonymous reflection from a participant of last year’s retreat that sheds light on what can be expected from the conference: “The most important thing I took away from the retreat was a new sense of belonging in the STEM community and excitement about my future path within the sciences.”

The retreat will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Marquis Hall and Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to register by Sat., Feb. 10 to attend the retreat.