Reach Out! 12/98 Progress Report: II. Traditional Report B

II. B. Support for Michigan Mandate and Agenda for Women Goals

We found no particular barriers or challenges in these areas and made no adjustment to our original plans. We do feel that we made steady progress on achieving all of the following goals.

1. Promoting diversity; improving communication and interaction within and among groups

It is quite clear from the number and range of organizations identified by our mentor volunteers that we improve communications and interactions with and among groups across campus. One of our real strengths in this regard is that we are affiliated not on the basis of who we are but, rather, because of what we want to do: help kids succeed in math and science. Despite our variety of recruiting methods, we have found that word of mouth and relationship connections are our most powerful such tools. Over and over, we bring in new volunteers because they are someone's roommate, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend, old high school friend, or organizational acquaintance—often in a chain of such connections. For example, one Reach Out! founder brought in her roommate, who brought in her old friend from New York, who tapped his girlfriend, who corralled her sister, who has turned out to be a science club leader. Another founder brought in her fiancé for emergency science club assistance; he brought in his AFROTC peers; one of them drew in his fraternity mates, who have taken on a weekly science club. Despite what one might expect from this organic growth model, our personal connections evidence the diversity of the university community, with volunteers coming from at least 12 schools or colleges, and being at least 36% minority and about 60% female.

An unexpected bonus has been the effect that volunteering through Reach Out! has had on organizations such as the PreMed Club and AFROTC. Outreach has given members opportunities to get together, get to know one another, have fun, and act with a sense of purpose. Even the transportation time to sites in Ypsilanti has had an "up" side, in that a group in a van for half-hour trips has regular time to interact and to deepen their connections.

2. Providing leadership experiences for women students

All but one of our leaders are at this time women, although this was not by design. Two have been through formal LeaderShape training but all have taken on increasing responsibility: learning to speak before large groups and people in authority, to present at conferences and workshops, to approach business and community members with "cold calls" for career exploration resources, and to run complex programs with little supervision. As our sponsor, Jeannine LaSovage, has often said, "Empowerment works. By following your own passions, you have far exceeded any performance goals I might have set for you." For more detail, see the separate, anecdotal report on Reach Out! people and their accomplishments.

3. Increasing the number of underrepresented minority students entering UM and encouraging women to pursue technical education

Although we hope and expect that a side-effect of our mentoring and science club programs will be increases in the number of students entering UM from underrepresented groups and in the number of women pursuing technical education, we really have no way of measuring this. While some Reach Out! members have been drawn to engineering majors, others have left engineering for science education. While this may decrease the women and minorities in technical careers in the short run, it is surely a good thing in the long run to have strong and capable students attracted to science teaching.

I. Anecdotal Report
  A. Grace Kim
  B. Alicia Pinderhughes
  C. Debbie McCartney
  D. Marie Tripp, Jim Birnby & Amy Raudenbush, Aarti Raheja
  E. Yamina Acebo, Karyl Shand
  F. Roselle Herrera, John Nees, Fritz Weihe, Andy Rundquist, Reulonda Norman
  G. Cherita Hunter, Faye Booker-Logan
  H. Veronica Cottingham, Doris Calvert
  I. Erika Arias, Rachel Keefer, Srinivas Sridhara
II. Traditional Report
  A. Expand established programs
    1. Tutoring
    2. Wizards for Hands-On Science Activities
    3. Career Exploration
  B. Support for Michigan Mandate and Agenda for Women Goals
  C. Lessons Learned
  D. Next Steps
Appendix A: Volunteer Mentors from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998
Appendix B: Science Club Volunteers from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998
Appendix C: Outreach Sites from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998

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