From mentorship to internships, the partnership between College of San Mateo and Stanford University is forging strong futures in STEM.

CSM’s MESA program and Stanford University’s CCOP hosted the Second Annual Day of Science event on April 20, 2024.

CSM’s MESA program and Stanford University’s CCOP hosted the Second Annual Day of Science event on April 20, 2024.

On April 20, 2024, College of San Mateo’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program proudly presented its Second Annual Day of Science in collaboration with the Community College Outreach Program (CCOP) at Stanford University. This vibrant event showcased the remarkable journeys of our MESA students, from scientific discovery to career exploration in STEM fields.

The day was filled with inspiring activities, including scientific talks by Stanford graduate students, a STEM career panel featuring industry and academic experts, and presentations by College of San Mateo MESA students on their research in Stanford labs. The event was highlighted by a compelling keynote on “Enhancing Your Sense of Belonging in Science Through Science and Stories,” delivered by Dr. Steve Lee, Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Stanford University. “The event was engaging, informative, accessible, relatable, and an effective way for our students to connect to people who have relatable experiences and are further in their STEM professions.”, added Dr. Catherine Ciesla, CSM Chemistry professor. 

The MESA and CCOP partnership, a unique collaboration that emerged during the summer of 2021 amidst the global pandemic, was spearheaded by two former community college students, now graduate scholars at Stanford. Recognizing the untapped potential in connecting current community college students with opportunities to advance in STEM, they initiated a partnership that has flourished. It began with mentorship programs and expanded to internships at Stanford Labs.

Since its inception, over 25 College of San Mateo students have participated in these paid internships, a testament to the tangible benefits of the MESA-CCOP partnership. These internships have not only provided students with valuable experience but have also given them a glimpse into their future careers. They have played a pivotal role in solidifying the students’ commitment to STEM and broadening their understanding of the professional landscape in these fields.

“The Day of Science not only celebrates the achievements of our students but also underscores the strong collaborative spirit between CSM and Stanford,” said Olivia Viveros, MESA Project Director. “This partnership has been instrumental in opening doors for our students that were previously out of reach. We are excited to continue this partnership, anticipating even greater opportunities and achievements in the years ahead.”

More than 130 attendees participated in this year’s Day of Science, including key CSM faculty and students from neighboring MESA programs at Skyline College, Mission College, and Woodland Community College, illustrating this event’s expansive reach and impact.

Through the MESA program’s dedication to increasing the success of first-generation, low-income students in STEM and the ongoing partnership with Stanford’s CCOP, College of San Mateo remains a pivotal starting point for the next generation of diverse STEM leaders.