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Mrs. Donna Stallings is the newest coordinator to join the IN LSAMP alliance. In this role, she is leading her students into STEM arenas across the Midwest. She isn’t waiting for students to find professional development opportunities, her approach is to proactively bring opportunities and events to her cohort of IN LSAMP scholars and work with them individually to prepare a plan to integrate experiences into their academic career. The first step in setting up a student to thrive is building a strong STEM network. Encouraging students to expand their comfort zone and visit college campuses, industry events, and national conferences is the foundation.
Post-secondary education is expected to substantially contribute to the cognitive growth and professional achievement of students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). cited: Nadelson, L.S., et. al., 2017
She may be new but already she is an asset to the IN LSAMP scholars at Ivy Tech Community College.
Ms. Stallings holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and an MS degree in Secondary Education. She taught mathematics at Lincoln University in Missouri and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Texas Instruments, the National Security Agency, the Ohio State University and the Department of Energy. Ms. Stallings is well acquainted with LSAMP at the national level from her role with MO LSAMP.
Stallings viewing UGR posters at IN LSAMP Annual Conference
Apart from her vast experience, what really stands out is her dedication to student development and passion for student success. As a first generation college student, she understands that students need encouragement and mentoring to achieve their goals. She takes immense inspiration from her faith and family to provide support as she acts as a catalyst for her scholars.
Sometimes a Little Push is All It Takes
Oriana Esteves-Ruiz is an IN LSAMP Scholar. She joined the program in 2018 and is seeking an AAS in Biotechnology. She has been mentored by Mrs. Stallings since joining the program. This mentorship has set her on the path to realize her dream of pursuing a BS in Biotechnology at IUPUI after graduation.
Mrs. Stallings has broadened her scholar’s experiences outside of campus to include technical symposiums and STEM conferences. Recently, Oriana attended the ABRCMS conference in Indianapolis, which has over 2,000 student attendees. The conference enriched her with ideas for both research and her professional goals.
Oriana Esteves-Ruiz, Fall 2018, IN LSAMP Learning Assistant
“I learned that there is a lot of opportunity for graduate school and a lot of financial help.” Her networking provided her with contacts around the country, leading her to opportunities for summer internships. Mrs. Stallings will be by her side as she navigates these paths. These experiences and support have inspired her to aim for a PhD. This journey started with encouragement from Dr. Don Pappas, IN LSAMP Campus Director, who encouraged her choice to apply to be an IN LSAMP scholar!
With the support of Donna Stallings, Oriana attended her first National STEM conference. Oriana credits Ms. Stallings with advocating for her to be able to attend ABRCMS 2018. “I would like to thank her not only for this opportunity but also for the patience, perseverance, knowledge and effort she has put into my development as a student, researcher and a person. Thank you for giving the extra push when I didn’t even ask for it!”
Oriana Esteves-Ruiz, IN LSAMP Annual Conference, 2018
As a bilingual student and Learning Assistant/Scholar, you can bet that Oriana will carry on in the tradition of Donna Stallings and will continue to pay it forward for future generations of URM STEM students.
References: Nadelson, L. S., McGuire, S. P., Davis, K. A., Farid, A., Hardy, K. K., Hsu, Y. C., … & Wang, S. (2017). Am I a STEM professional? Documenting STEM student professional identity development. Studies in Higher Education, 42(4), 701-720.