Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science Receives Role Model Award

The new Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science chapter at Colorado State University received the 2006-2007 Chapter Role Model Award for outstanding leadership as a first-year chapter. More than 40 SACNAS chapters contended for this recognition.

"Although Colorado State SACNAS is only a year old, we have created and implemented many opportunities to meet the needs of science majors and the Colorado State University community," said Michelle Przybyski, president of the SACNAS chapter.

The Colorado State SACNAS chapter is the first of its kind to be established in the state. The organization receives guidance through a faculty-advisory board which is comprised of professors and administrators from diverse academic backgrounds. Colorado State SACNAS plays a role in recruiting tutors for Triunfo, a program that provides academic support and mentorship to K-12 underrepresented students in the community.

For the past two years, members served on the planning committee for Math, Science, & Technology Day, an event that provides hands-on science activities to diverse fourth and fifth graders. The chapter also volunteered at World Aids Day last fall to increase awareness of AIDS on a global scale. This school year, participants look forward to planning a regional SACNAS Conference and reaching out to more students.

While community service is a strong value for Colorado State SACNAS, professional development is another significant draw for members. This past year, 33 students attended the national SACNAS conference, a forum where students can network with other scientists and gain exposure to graduate programs and scientific research. To prepare for the conference, Colorado State SACNAS officers and advisors facilitated professional development workshops where students learned how to create resumes and network in professional settings.

The mission of SACNAS is to encourage Chicano/Latino and Native American students to pursue graduate education and obtain the advanced degrees necessary for science research, leadership, and teaching careers at all levels. Although the organization’s name speaks to certain populations, people from all ethnic and racial backgrounds who want to work with diverse populations in the sciences are welcome to join SACNAS. The group’s advisors are Arlene Nededog, Christina Paguyo, Jill Dahl and Aaron Benally.

For more information, please contact Jill Dahl at (970) 491-5365, or Christina Paguyo at (970) 491-1603.