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STEM Ambassadors at Illinois State University logo


Who are STEM Ambassadors?

STEM Ambassadors are first-year STEM majors who care deeply about EDI in STEM (equity, diversity, and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines). They want to become change agents in their field and support more equitable and inclusive practices.

STEM Ambassadors are paid student employees of ISU’s Center for Mathematics, Science, & Technology who work 4-8 hours per week. The four-year position provides mentorship and offers valuable research experience.

What Do STEM Ambassadors Do?

In 2023-2024:

STEM Ambassadors engage in the first-year experience at ISU as they conduct participatory action research. Through paid research, STEM Ambassadors generate knowledge about how the introductory science experience can be made more inclusive and equitable. STEM Ambassadors learn this justice-oriented research framework while also receiving mentorship and support for success in their first year of college.

In 2024-2025:

STEM Ambassadors design programs for making the college science experience more equitable and inclusive. STEM Ambassadors have a budget and mentor support to implement their programs and to gather data about the programs' success.

In 2025-2026:

Programs are iteratively improved to be more effective: program impact data leads to program changes in the new year. STEM Ambassadors begin sharing what they have learned with STEM faculty, administrators, and other campus leaders. As a result, small pilot programs lead to better programs throughout the university.

In 2026-2027:

STEM Ambassadors fulfill their roles as campus change agents and leave their legacy by creating permanent programs at ISU. STEM Ambassadors graduate from their degree program with valuable new knowledge and skills, ready to become leaders in their discipline and support DEI efforts in all STEM fields.