Full STEM Ahead

June 11, 2024

By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS

STEM Hub in Bush Science Center
Photo by Scott Cook.

The Bush Science Center’s new STEM Hub fosters opportunities for learning, connection, and equity.

Most mornings, Madison Linn ’25 is among dozens of students taking full advantage of the new STEM Hub, which has quickly become the go-to spot for math and science majors to study for exams, discuss coursework with classmates, or receive tutoring and guidance from fellow students.

“Since opening last fall, the STEM Hub has become an unofficial club for STEM students, where we support each other and share our academic journeys and career aspirations,” says Linn, a biochemistry/molecular biology major who serves as a peer supplemental instructor assisting other students.

The Hub was created as part of a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop programming that fosters inclusivity and equity among STEM students through curricular change, faculty development, and community building. Biology professor Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez leads the latter initiative, which included creating a social media presence for STEM majors to engage digitally along with securing and designing the physical space.

The furniture is modular, so it’s easy to move around, and it has built-in charging stations. There’s a whiteboard to work out problems and free materials like notebooks and pencils. Most importantly, STEM tutoring sessions are now available in the building where these subjects are taught.

“Our science majors are always in Bush, so it makes sense to offer this service here,” says Santiago-Narvaez. “But we also want the community building to happen naturally. We want a space where students can ask questions without feeling pressured and judged. Their classmates understand what they’re going through, and it’s so important to nourish those opportunities for connection and growth.”

Structured Support

The STEM Hub is just one of the many initiatives at Rollins focused on supporting students. In fact, The Princeton Review recently ranked the College in the nation’s top 25 schools for student support. From juggling academics to maintaining mental health, explore a few of the myriad resources and services that target the many layers of college education.

EMBARK student event
Photo by Scott Cook.

Get a head-start. Rollins offers several pre-matriculation programs that prepare students to thrive academically and socially once classes begin. EMBARK, for example, supports underrepresented students as they acclimate to college life.

Be healthy and well. Health and wellness are at the core of a Rollins education. The Rollins Wellness Center handles everything from routine exams to urgent care, and Rollins dining is consistently rated among the best in the country. It’s also easy to grab a stress-relieving workout on America’s most beautiful campus—from yoga on Mills Lawn to paddleboarding on Lake Virginia.

Biology professor and student work in the lab.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Make connections. From convocation through commencement, you have a dedicated faculty advisor—starting with your first-year Rollins College Conference (RCC) professor and then in your major—who will help you channel your passions and forge your path. You’ll also build relationships with staff experts, peer guides, and alumni mentors who are there to support you every step of the way.

Prioritize your mental health. Sometimes we need someone to talk to about things big and small. That’s normal and we’re here to help—whether it’s through ongoing support like individual or group therapy or our Rollins Mental Health Helpline, which is available around the clock.

Eryka Jennings and Nicole Edoziem
Photo by Scott Cook.

Plan for the future. The dedicated staff in our Center for Career & Life Planning help prepare you to pursue your purpose by connecting your major to your career goals, identifying your unique skills, building your network, and sourcing internship and employment opportunities both on campus and beyond.

Access financial aid. We have $89 million in combined federal, state, and institutional assistance available each year to Rollins students, and our Office of Financial Aid is here to help you tap into it.

Find your fit. Join one of our 100-plus student-led organizations or start your own. Make a difference by serving our community. Take part in campus-wide traditions like LipSync and Fox Day. We have entire offices dedicated to things like campus involvement, inclusion and belonging, and community engagement, so you’ll feel at home from day one.

A Rollins professor leads a discussion in an outdoor classroom.

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