By: Alyssa Uribe, SDSU Chapter Member
This week I interviewed Maria Boccia, the President of the new Tiffin University Women in Science Society chapter. She is a third-year student, double majoring in Exercise Science and Chemistry. Aside from her WSS ambitions, she plays lacrosse for her university, holds a board position for the Burrito Boyz non-profit organization and is a student representative for the Talent and Engagement council. She is a pre-med student and is excited to enter the world of medicine once she completes her studies.
Maria is an outstanding student and leader on her campus, but she was not always sure about science. Going into college she “tried to stay as far away as [she] could from the STEM fields.” As she continued her studies, she found a natural attraction towards science and switched her major from Criminal Justice to Exercise Science. She “quickly fell in love with STEM and never looked back.” Maria’s fierce passion for science was abruptly greeted with a lack of representation at her University. STEM related clubs, networking, and research opportunities seemed non-existent on her campus. Because of this, STEM students had a difficult time in their majors and often switched out of science completely. She took matters into her own hands by seeking out science faculty and peers in an effort to find a solution to this critical problem. After discovering that her home town of San Diego had a WSS chapter at SDSU, she decided to form a chapter at Tiffin.
In her chapter’s first year on campus, Maria’s main goals are to turn around her school’s perceptions of STEM and encourage other women to pursue a degree in the sciences. Maria was specifically drawn to the support system that WSS provides. She wants WSS to offer members inspiration and excitement to keep pushing through. Maria hopes that her chapter “brings a group of empowered females together to motivate one another through the rollercoaster that is STEM.” She can’t wait to provide members with opportunities such as conferences, mentorship, and shadowing through WSS! In the future, she is interested in offering women scholarships as well. By starting a chapter of WSS, Maria is changing the science culture at her university and will impact so many STEM students in the years to come. She is more driven than ever and we are excited to help her lead Tiffin University’s women in science to success!