Women in Math and Science Floor added at Fairfield University

Women in Math and Science Floor added at Fairfield University

Students among 948 coming on campus Sept. 4

Thirty young women just entering college, with aspirations for careers in math and the sciences, will be part of a new program at Fairfield University this fall that brings them together to live and study on the same residence hall, to be called The Women in Math and Science Floor.

Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said, "This distinctive living-learning environment is intended to nurture the aspirations of these gifted young women as they pursue the demands of studying for a degree in mathematics or the sciences. We plan to offer mentoring, study groups and other incentives, and the grouping of these students with similar talents and interests will reinforce their commiment and make their academic experience more interesting and expansive."

Dr. Snyder said research has shown that students of science learn most effectively in groups and that women in science often tend to study in isolation, especially when they are generally outnumbered in science programs, or in situations in which role modeling could be enhanced. "Ultimately, we are addressing directly one leg of the 'pipeline' for women in science. In general, at each significant step along the way to becoming a professional scientist, one finds fewer and fewer women involved. We want our segment of the pipeline not to follow that trend."

Jessica Viglioth of Orange, Conn., who is majoring in engineering, said she is excited about living on a floor where students have similar interests. She said it will be good to have "a support system because it's not the easiest thing for females who are trying to enter into a workforce that is not a particularly female area."

A graduate of Laurelton Hall in Milford, Jessica said she finds it reassuring "to have people looking out for us and backing us up."

Julia Massina of Manhasset, N.Y., said she heard about the option to live on the floor during orientation and liked the idea. A biology major and a graduate of Manhasset High school, she expects the floor to be "a quieter floor with people with common interests and goals. I'm pretty optimistic about it. I'm happy they have it and I'm looking forward to it."

Fairfield University will welcome 948 freshmen to campus on Sunday, Sept. 4. Among the incoming Class of 2009 will be 130 Merit Scholars, 72 presidents or vice presidents of their class or student government, 40 yearbook and newspaper editors and 23 Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold Award recipients. The average SAT score for the newly enrolled students is 1188 and nearly 75 percent of the class has participated in some kind of service-related activity.

In keeping with the computer age, more and more students are applying to college electronically. Of this year's 6,895 applicants 34 percent applied electronically as compared with two percent just four years ago.

Posted On: 08-30-2005 10:08 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 23