Women Empowerment in STEM - Coastal Carolina University
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Women Empowerment in STEM

  • Tuesday, September 13th
    Drop-in Event
    (Any time between 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.)
    Atheneum Ballroom
    Refreshments served
  • Tuesday, October 11th
    5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Picture a Scientist: Movie & Discussion Refreshments served
  • Thursday, November 10th
    Thriving in a Male-Dominated Career
    Time & Location TBD

Join our Remind Group for Upcoming Event Notifications

Text the message @we-stem to the number 81010.


“Women Empowerment in STEM” (WE-STEM) is an interdisciplinary, inter-collegiate initiative that aims to support female students in STEM by equipping them with the tools to deal successfully with challenges, intimidation, and stereotype threat, and to make them feel like they truly belong in their areas of interest, via professional, scholarly, and social engagement.

WE-STEM is a collaborative effort between CCU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program (Ina Seethaler) and the Departments of Computing Sciences (Jean French), Chemistry (Gabriela Pérez-Alvarado), and Physics and Engineering Science (Brianna Thomas).

WE-STEM will:

  • Create a mentorship program in which female undergraduate and graduate students will offer advice and support to new female STEM majors.
  • Bring together female STEM students in monthly meetings that can serve as consciousness-raising sessions and community-building programs
  • Support undergraduate research and conference registration.
  • Arrange for prominent local female speakers in STEM fields to visit campus for presentations and prominent female speakers in STEM fields to present talks remotely and participate in dialogue as part of the monthly meetings.
  • Conduct workshops on life-long learning skills to support success in students’ graduate and professional endeavors.
Our Faculty Team

Email:  we-stem@coastal.edu

  • Dr. Brianna Thomas, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Gabriela Perez-Alvarado, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Jean French, Department of Computing Sciences
  • Dr. Ina Seethaler, Women’s and Gender Studies Program


In 2018, we received a CCU Student Achievement Funding (SAF) grant to develop what we called the “Women in STEM Fellowship.” The Women in STEM Fellowship was designed to equip female students in male-dominated STEM majors with the tools to deal successfully with challenges, intimidation, and stereotype threat and to make them feel like they belong in their areas of interest. The fellowship offered a mentoring program, financial support for conference travel, research, workshops, and other professionalization opportunities, and brought prominent female speakers in STEM fields to CCU to serve as role models for our fellows.  During the 2.5 years that we are actively able to run the fellowship (initially interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic), we retained 94.2% of our fellows in a STEM field at CCU, which diverts significantly from the rate at which our university retains women in a STEM major, which was at 40.4% between 2016 and 2018.  

Our experience with the fellowship allowed us to expand and redesign the program as part of the Univerisity's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  The 2022-27 QEP, Succeed@Coastal, is a multi-year, campus-wide effort to enhance inclusive student learning and inclusive student engagement at the University through the implementation of specific high-impact learning activities and practices.