STEM Engaged Learning
Become a VISTA
Kristina Barger
Kristina’s Story

Kristina Barger is an AmericCorps*VISTA alumna and program director for CSU STEM VISTA. Read how VISTA changed her life »

Below are the position descriptions for the 2014-2015 program year. Available 2015-2016 positions descriptions will be posted in early March 2015.

CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) San Diego State University
Project Description: CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) is a system-wide affinity group for biotechnology educators and researchers. CSUPERB plans to administer a new Biological Sciences Entrepreneurship Education hub designed to build a supportive network, on-campus and off-campus, for emerging entrepreneurs across the CSU system. CSUPERB will host 2 CSU STEM VISTA members who will responsible for separate California regions and will be crucial in the launch of the new program. Both CSU STEM VISTA members will:

  • develop a mini-grant program to support faculty and student biotechnology entrepreneurs
  • build a statewide network to match faculty and students with alumni, external partners, mentors, and campus-based entrepreneurship resources
  • develop an administrative framework for the mini-grant, as well as tracking and managing members
  • develop and organize workshops and meetings statewide
  • identify existing campus resources,
  • recruit and retain new alumni mentors, industry experts and external partners
  • travel required

Institute for STEM Education CSU East Bay
Project Description: The Institute for STEM Education strives to address workforce development shortages in STEM industries and ensure that all students have the STEM knowledge required for decision making in their daily lives. One of the Institute’s five goals supporting this mission is to advance teaching and learning in STEM fields and disciplines in student’s early years, in K-12 schools, and in higher education. The Institute for STEM Education would like to expand STEM opportunities aimed at supporting student recruitment, preparation and retention in STEM fields/majors. The Institute will host 2 CSU STEM VISTAs who will focus on the following:

  • Develop a STEM Student Ambassador Program with an emphasis on offerings for middle school math and science classes that relate to life sciences and engineering. This CSU STEM VISTA member will:
    • serve as a liaison between CSUEB’s Center for Community Engagement, faculty, and community based organizations (mainly nonprofits, K012 schools, after school program providers, and community colleges)
    • collaborate with STEM faculty and students to design lessons and activities
    • organize events that address needs of partnering community organizations
    • develop and implement ways of tracking key contacts and participants and assessing individual engagements and continuous improvement
  • Enhance and expand STEM Career Awareness Days and other events that give CSUEB’s STEM majors and K-12 students opportunities to explore STEM college and career pathways. Emphasis will be placed on employers in the life sciences and engineering fields. This CSU STEM VISTA member will:
    • Serve as a liaison between Academic Advising and Career Education, the Center for Student Research, employers and economic development mangers
    • Develop a system for continuous communication with CSUEM STEM majors and K-12 students
    • Conduct an assessment of student support resources on campus
    • Develop partnerships with K-12 schools  and community colleges

CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science, and Technology (COAST) CSU Monterey Bay
Project Description: COAST is the umbrella organization for marine and coastal related activities within the CSU and promotes marine and coastal research and education and engages decision makers and the public for the development of responsible policy statewide. COAST seeks to engage students from all backgrounds in marine science and to increase CSU student success. The CSU STEM VISTA will:

  • Promote the COAST Summer Student Internship Program to increase undergraduate student participation
  • Develop new initiatives to create a pipeline of students interested in marine science as a degree option and a career choice
  • Develop the foundation for a hands-on research program for first and second year and community college students
  • Initiate a project to identify and articulate various marine science related careers serve as a liaison campus career centers to develop pathways to disseminate marine science career information
  • Develop mechanisms to engage undergraduate and graduate students and the faculty community

Division of Science and Environmental Policy and Service Learning (SEP) CSU Monterey Bay
Project Description: In the Division of Science and Environmental Policy (SEP), Faculty clusters provide particular strengths in marine and terrestrial biology/ecology, watershed science & hydrology, environmental science education, advanced technologies for geospatial data collection, analysis, and visualization, and molecular biology/genetics. Every student at Cal State Monterey Bay is required to participate in service learning at some point during their education. SEP would like to lay the foundations of a science-based internship program for SEP students and will be built on the core values and infrastructure already developed by the Service Learning Institute. The CSU STEM VISTA member will:

  • serve as a liaison between SEP (faculty, internship coordinator, students), Service Learning Institute, undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC), and community partners (new and existing)
  • develop internship procedural guides and trainings for students and community partners
  • develop new community partnerships with nonprofit, governmental agency, and industry partners for SEP internships
  • create a training manual for community partners supervisors
  • collaborate across divisions to collect, input and analyze program data

College of Science and Math (CSM) Fresno State
The College of Science and Mathematics at Fresno State is launching the new college Advising Resource Center (ARC) which will serve students in seven departments. The ARC increases CSM’s support system for student STEM success, particularly among underrepresented minorities. The ARC builds on and expands science service learning (SSL) and research, internships and career knowledge/explorations (RICKE) activities. CSM will host two VISTA members with the following project descriptions:
Project Description: Science Service Learning (SSL) VISTA will work with faculty and staff primarily in three CSM departments (biology, chemistry, and earth and environmental sciences) to coordinate science service learning activities, nurture and deepen existing partnerships (state, federal, industry, K-12 public schools) and cultivate successful new relationships to increase service learning and introduce students to real-world applications of their in-classroom learning.

  • develop workshops to help students understand service learning and how to become involved
  • develop outreach programming to develop deeper ties with community organizations and industry supporters, and to broader external partnerships
  • develop a plan to track student engagement in SSL experiences and evaluate the effectiveness of SSL courses and programs
  • assist faculty with proposed CSU STEM service learning research projects

Project Description: The Research, Internships and Career Knowledge/Exploration (RICKE) VISTA will inventory and creatively advertise research opportunities on campus, and will build a database of off-campus internships and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) elsewhere.  The RICKE VISTA will help disseminate timely and comprehensive information on STEM careers, service learning and research opportunities.

  • coordinate, promote and enhance student opportunities to participate in research
  • identify internship and career opportunities related to science and mathematics
  • collaborate with faculty to inventory and advertise campus research opportunities and off-campus REUs at other universities and countries
  • assist campus-based summer research programs, such as NSF-funded REU in mathematics
  • develop a timely and comprehensive database of internships available to STEM majors and help create a mechanism for advertising them
  • connect students with opportunities and help students make smooth transitions to internship experiences

Construction Management Program (CM) Fresno State
Project Description: The Construction Management (CM) Program in the Lyles College of Engineering at CSU Fresno has revised their program curricula to better prepare graduates to surmount complexities facing the construction management industry. CM recognizes the need for implementing a robust student success program and wishes to develop community partnerships that can provide experience that can further the academic and professional success of CM students. CM would like to focus on developing internship and service learning opportunities. The CSU STEM VISTA will:

  • develop and maintain ongoing relationships between the program and local K-12 schools and community colleges
  • arrange and conduct program visits for prospective students and/or parents, high school counselors and other administration
  • develop regular afterschool programs and engage currently enrolled CM students in activities
  • develop and maintain ongoing relationships between the program and industry
  • recruit, verify, and provide support to CM students who are interest in internships opportunities
  • serve as a liaison between the CM program and local community based organizations to identify internship and service learning opportunities

Center for Excellence in STEM Education (CESAME) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
CESAME was created to improve STEM education, teacher education and professional development, and the workforce pipeline in California. CESAME is responsible for several cross-disciplinary campus initiatives that impact STEM education and teacher development programs across the state. CESAME is focused on supporting efforts to more strongly build and better integrate students from underrepresented groups into academic and individual support networks composed of fellow students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community. CSU STEM VISTA members will focus on the PEEPS Program and the LSAMP Program. There are two VISTA member positions based on the following project descriptions:
Project Description: Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools (PEEPS) will offer scholarships to a cohort, or posse, of admitted engineering students from Cal Poly Partner Schools. The PEEPS program will adopt a posse model, cohorts will form learning communities to support one another and create a sense of belonging in the College of Engineering, Cal Poly, and the community. The cohorts will take several engineering support courses together and will be enrolled in supplemental workshops in STEM courses. The CSU STEM VISTA member will:

  • develop and support a posse-based learning community
  • develop and extend STEM-focused outreach programs for Partner Schools
  • collect and analyze data on the impacts of different interventions on student success
  • design and lead student self-reflections

Project Description: The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) is designed to support undergraduate students who face or have faced social, educational and/or economic barriers to careers in STEM fields. The goal of the LSAMP program is to increase the persistence and graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups who major in STEM disciplines.

  • develop an undergraduate research internship program for LSAMP students
  • identify and develop on-campus and off-campus individuals and agencies to support research  internships
  • support student exploration, application, and success in LSAMP
  • develop and facilitate informational programs
  • design and lead student self-reflections pre- and post- research experience

College of Engineering Cal Poly Pomona
Project Description: Cal Poly Pomona is a designated Hispanic Service Institution and the College of Engineering is uniquely positioned to provide significant impact the number of traditionally underrepresented student populations succeeding in STEM. The overall goal is to increase interest, participation, retention, and graduation in STEM fields among historically underrepresented and underserved minorities, including women. Two CSU STEM VISTA members will provide support for various aspects of implementing and assessing programs to effectively attract and retain a diverse student body in STEM disciplines, especially engineering. The 2 CSU STEM VISTA member will:

  • serve as a liaison between K-12 educators at partner schools involved in programs such as school robotics, student/parent outreach programs, and Project Lead the Way
  • create a database of existing K-12 outreach programs and identify best practices
  • develop and facilitate training workshops for students participate in K-12 outreach programming
  • develop marketing tools for K-12 outreach programs
  • develop and implement assessment tools for existing outreach programs
  • conduct an assessment of existing tutoring resources on campus

College of Science San Jose State University
Project Description: The San Jose State University (SJSU) College of Science Jay Pinson STEM Education program (JPSEP) focuses on addressing issues of poverty by mobilizing SJSU student sin service learning projects to instruct youth programs and participate in community outreach activities that foster skill development related to and awareness about STEM fields where there are projections of opportunities and job growth; areas such as computer science and cybersecurity. JPSEP will host 2 CSU STEM VISTA members that will:

  • sustain and develop new community partnerships
  • serve as a liaison between SJSU faculty, staff, and students; Center for Community Learning and Leadership; K-12 schools, students, and families; after school programs;
  • recruiting K-12 students and their families for STEM programming
  • recruiting and managing service learning students and community/industry volunteers
  • conducting outreach to College of Science faculty regarding service learning opportunities
  • support program evaluation and community assessments of needs and readiness