Meeting in a Webb City café, a small group of passionate Missouri Southern students met to discuss how they could bring future female scientists together.

Their idea of forming a club began to take shape, with Women in Science (WIS) becoming a registered student organization in the spring of 2019. Three years later, it has become one of the most active clubs on campus.

The club provides a safe space for women working on their undergraduate degree in a STEM field and the opportunity to discuss common science issues and lift one another up to achieve greater goals.

“Because STEM is a very male-dominated field, providing a space for women to have a community of like-minded people was one of the main goals of the founders of this club,” said Rebekah Sweyko, a senior advanced medical school acceptance program student and current president of WIS.

Members promote WIS through special events as well as fundraising and volunteer efforts. Recently, they worked with Joplin’s Creative Learning Alliance to present a variety of experiments to teach kids about the wonders of science.

The club also uses social media to highlight women who have accomplished great feats in the STEM field and were not recognized for their work. They include Isabella Karle, who discovered a way to determine molecular structures; and Alice Augusta Ball, who was the first woman and African American to receive a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii and went on to revolutionize leprosy treatment.

“This club thrives with passionate, dedicated officers and committed members,” said Dr. Jency Sundararajan, associate professor of physics and adviser for WIS. “Their active participation has made it one of the most prominent student organizations on campus in a short period.”

For more information about WIS, you can find them on Instagram (@mssugrlpwr) or by email at mssuwomeninscience@gmail.com.