Key figures in STEM history recognized by DeLaMare Library

On-campus effort aims to celebrate diversity in fields of STEM with monthly exhibition

The exhibit was curated to display the wide range of cultures and backgrounds that have impacted the field of STEM.

8/31/2018 | By: Hannah Alfaro |

Since February 2018, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library has been recognizing diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Each month, library staff choose a theme where they can best recognize five individuals that have shaped the world of STEM, giving them the spotlight that most of history has denied them.

The curator for this exhibit, Maria Duque-Rueda, worked alongside University librarian Tara Radniecki to create this display as a part of the campus-wide initiative to promote diversity. Duque-Rueda, library operations manager and outreach coordinator for the DeLaMare Library, is also the Staff Employee's Council representative for libraries and participates in the Diversity Council and is an active member of Alianza.

"I do research, I find different people, and I find the best pictures every month to represent different groups," Duque-Rueda said. "Even if there is not a nationally recognized month for a certain group, we try to make sure everyone is being represented."

To date, topics have ranged from African American's in STEM for Black History Month in February, to LGBTQIA in STEM for Pride Month in June. The exhibit, located along the wall leading to the Makerspace in the DeLaMare Library, was curated to display the wide range of cultures and backgrounds that have impacted these fields of study.

The theme for the month of August is Jewish American's in STEM. The exhibit features photos and biographies from accomplished individuals such as inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, crystallographer Ada Yonath, and computer scientist Shafi Goldwasser.

"The exhibit highlights the importance of acknowledging that individuals of diverse backgrounds don't usually get the credit they deserve, especially in fields of STEM," Duque-Rueda, said. "Shining the spotlight on the great achievements of these inventors and scientists is necessary so that they are remembered for their efforts and contributions to STEM, as well as celebrated for their diversity."

"Not only do these exhibits honor our diverse past, they let our community know that we share their values of inclusivity and diversity," Radniecki, said. "The STEM discipline is stronger the more diverse voices it has and DeLaMare Library strives to be a space where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs."

Be sure to stop by the DeLaMare library and see this display each month. Next month's theme will be Hispanic Heritage Month.


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