By: Sarah Aparicio ’25

Warm weather and blue skies were the backdrop for the Raise Up Inclusive STEM event held on the Quad Sept. 29. Its slogan, “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act,” couldn’t have been more meaningful and relevant as more than 300 students, faculty, and staff attended the event focused on fostering opportunities and pledging actions for inclusion and equity in STEM education at Lafayette. RAISE (Representatives to Advance Inclusive STEM Education), the new coalition for existing student STEM organizations and their supporters, was recently launched by the Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education.

Students stand outside of their table on the Quad, smiling.

Photo by: Lisa Karam

To celebrate its launch–and other programs supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM–those gathered enjoyed food trucks with tacos and desserts, giveaways including shirts and tote bags, kite-making and flying, music, as well as interactive art installations.

Prof. Wendy Hill, director of Hanson Center, collaborated with Prof. Nestor Gil, associate professor of art, and Jim Toia, director of community-based teaching, to feature large kites at the event, made by students as a way to symbolize the idea of raising up. These art installations included enormous jellyfish, sunflowers, dragons, the Batman signal, and more. 

“[It] makes me happy to know there is faculty here doing their best to include underrepresented communities like mine,” says Hector Morales ’24. “It makes me feel more connected to my community.”

Students smile on the quad, wearing matching Hanson Center t-shirts.

Photo provided by: Wendy Hill

Harshil Bhavsar ’23, Hanson Center’s first student project coordinator, has enjoyed the process of launching RAISE. “It’s been super rewarding to be a part of this initiative early on, in the developmental phase. I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to leave an impact,” he says.

Students who are interested in joining RAISE or anyone who wants to engage with the Hanson Center should contact Harshil Bhavsar or Prof. Wendy Hill.

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Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education

Located on the third floor of Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, Hanson Center is one of only two Inclusive STEM Education Centers in the country–and the only one at a liberal arts college. Hanson Center works to advance practices of inclusion and equity in STEM to create the programs, policies, and culture that promote inclusive excellence.

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Categorized in: Academic News, Featured News, News and Features, STEM