Scholar Kyle Vey Attends Conference for Out STEM Students

James Cotten discusses mentoring  [photo by @BASFJobs

James Cotten discusses mentoring [photo by @BASFJobs]

Thanks to Point Foundation, I attended the 3rd National Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) Conference at Google New York in late October. Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is a national society dedicated to educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA communities in the STEM fields. Until recently, I had not been very aware of or involved with this organization. Point presented me with an opportunity to attend the conference and conduct outreach on their behalf. Despite the extremely demanding school semester, I was determined to attend the conference.

Over the course of a weekend, I interacted with approximately 200 LGBTQ and ally students from across the country working towards their own STEM degrees. Without knowing what to expect, I plunged into the weekend of networking and STEM-focused activities. I learned a great deal about the student-led chapters at universities all across the country, including what it takes to initiate one of these chapters, how to successfully run one, and how to build membership, even at a school located in the South. In the future, I hope to be able to begin one of these chapters at my school, North Carolina State University.

As a junior in biomedical and mechanical engineering, I am in the process of applying for internship positions for my final summer as an undergraduate and ultimately consider what I would like to do after graduation. The oSTEM conference had a number of presentations devoted specifically to career development. I gained valuable knowledge about the job application process and spoke with other STEM students about the steps that they were taking to better their opportunities for employment when they graduate.

Near the end of the conference, I joined Point Foundation Academic & Project Program Manager, Jonathan Rosales to speak to students about Point. We discussed Point’s mission and encouraged students to apply. Often STEM students are underrepresented within the LGBTQ community, which makes it even more important to conduct outreach at events such as these.

Going to the oSTEM conference was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am truly grateful to Point for enabling me to participate in these events in addition to funding my academic pursuits, providing a professional mentor, and so many other great opportunities. Thanks to Point Foundation, I am confident that I will be able to not only thrive in a STEM-based career but also continue my passion for LGBTQ advocacy.

This post was written by Point Scholar Kyle Vey
Kyle grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He began to play the French horn in middle school. Since then music has been an essential part of his life. Kyle discovered his new passion for engineering while attending the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics. Learn more about Kyle.