Two weeks ago, the Bellevue College SACNAS chapter was recognized as 2014 SACNAS Community College of the Year. They were given the award at the National SACNAS Conference in Los Angeles, CA. On Wednesday, October 29, the Bellevue College SACNAS hosted an event in the L building to celebrate the achievement. There were complimentary desserts and drinks, and there were many speakers including Rob Viens, dean of the BC science division, Sue Miller, and others. “The science division is hosting an event and the goal of this event was really just to recognize what they [SACNAS] did and we wanted to kind of share that and to support their work as a chapter” said Viens.
The mission statement of the organization states: “SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. The full acronym stands for Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
“SACNAS is an inclusive organization. Student chapters enhance year-round mentor-ship and networking opportunities for SACNAS student members. Through participation in SACNAS chapters, students, postdocs, faculty and chapter advisers gain ongoing, local support for their development as scientists and science leaders.” The mission statment is on the student website for Bellevue College’s SACNAS. The Bellevue College SACNAS has been around since October 2012. “Basically we know that sciences in general there’s a lot of people who drop out in sciences and they don’t think about going there in the first place and they need support or whatever and especially underrepresented populations so I think SACNAS’s goal is to help people move through that process so they don’t feel bad and can achieve their dreams” said Viens.
Sue Miller, a science instructor at Bellevue College added that “The goal of SACNAS is to encourage and to foster students who are Chicano, Hispanic, or Native Americans in the field of science and thats the specific overarching goal, but it is open to all students.” The reason being that “Those groups of people have been historically underrepresented in science so I would say that the another goal that it’s a way of networking students and faculty from across the country and other countries who have a similar heritage to come and cooperate and to encourage increase the interest in science of all students really but specifically these populations as well.”
In the future “SACNAS plans to continue the work that they have been doing and the tutoring and mentoring programs that they have right now and do some authentic research projects,” Miller said.
Students can get involved by signing up for email alerts for meetings through the student website at http://studentweb.bellevuecollege.edu/bcsacnas/. Also, student’s can get involved by emailing the Bellevue College SACNAS email at BCSACNAS@gmail.com. Another way to find out updates on SACNAS is by going to their Facebook page