(Fall 2018 - May 2019)

It is our great pleasure to share our STEM Ambassadors Program outstanding achievements and accomplishments throughout the school year. 


STEM AP at the UMass Amherst (UMA) builds upon decades of STEM education research that identifies mentoring and early research experiences as keys to STEM retention. In an ideal world every undergraduate majoring in STEM would, in addition to their formal course load, engage in research, have a network of formal and informal mentors and advisors, volunteer for a variety of STEM outreach activities, and participate in a rich offering of STEM-related social events. Unfortunately, most STEM students cannot access this ideal scenario. Nationally, and specifically for UMA, fewer than half of the students who enter into STEM undergraduate studies as first-year students will graduate with a STEM degree (Hayes et al., 2009).


Recent NSF data show the difference between various populations in science and engineering (S&E) education and employment, and their representation in the U.S. population (NSF, 2017)

The Need Graphic1.jpg

Noninstitutionalized resident population of the United States ages 18–64, by race, ethnicity, and sex: 2014

The Need Graphic2.jpg

Scientists and engineers working in science and engineering occupations: 2015


Through reflective and inclusive practices, STEM AP strives to create a diverse community of current and future scientists who value the unique perspectives of all its members.  Students are supported through their connection, collaboration and learning experiences in a counterspace that embraces the differing identities of each scholar.  We aim to increase STEM diversity and retention for populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM, and to change the dominant deficit narrative about students who so identify.



(Biology/English/Psychology,Fourth -year UMA STEM AP student)

“The STEM[AP} program, the STEM[AP] staff are phenomenal…They’re there for the students…I cannot emphasize more how much of a support system they’ve been for me, as a STEM
student, first generation, minority.  They help me navigate the world. They help me figure out
who I am and my place here. I feel accepted here.”


(Biology, Third-year UMA STEM AP student)

Because of STEM AP, I’ve been doing research in a lab...STEM AP definitely helped me because
I honestly would have left bio[logy] if it wasn’t for STEM[AP]...I have a lot of confidence now
especially because of the lab experience it [STEM AP] gave me.”


(Computer Science, Second-year UMA STEM AP student)

“I’m not alone in my worries and I’ve had many of them resolved by both my fellow STEM AP
friends and staff. As a computer science major, I feel a lot more comfortable about my
opportunities…I feel a lot more confident in both my

capabilities and my future

in a STEM major.”

STEM Ambassadors Program