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AEMES Programs

Students looking at a notebook together. Text reads: Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences

The AEMES programs serve students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and promote the success of students from social groups historically underrepresented in those fields. We seek to ensure access for all students interested in enrolling in STEM courses and in obtaining research experiences. AEMES facilitates success by focusing on three key areas: recruitment, gateway experiences and captone experiences. We aim to increase the number and retention of students from underrepresented groups, to ensure success in our introductory STEM courses, and to support students interested in completing honors and special studies projects. 

A professor and student working together

Early Research pairs students who wish to participate in research with faculty mentors engaged in research on campus. Student involvement is typically a long-term commitment (one or two semesters) to a faculty research project. Contact between students and faculty outside of the classroom often leads to summer research opportunities and honors work. Early Research is a volunteer opportunity.

Early Research projects and applications are typically made available in the early days of each semester. If you are interested in applying for an Early Research project and you are not participating in the Peer Mentoring program, please contact the AEMES Team early in the fall semester.

Program History

In 2007, faculty members Laura Katz (biology) and Kate Queeney (chemistry) launched the AEMES Programs to enhance support for diverse students interested in STEM at Smith College. The programs have been supported by a generous gift from Janet McKinley ’76 with additional funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Dreyfus Foundation and Smith College. The AEMES Programs build in part on a long-running Peer Mentoring Program that was established in 1995 by Program Coordinator Casey Clark, Professor of Psychology Brenda Allen and several other science faculty members.


The Annual AEMES Research Symposium

This symposium is a yearly opportunity for McKinley Junior and Senior Fellows and AEMES Scholars of all class years to present their research to an audience of faculty, peers and special guests.

Explore Science! at Women of Distinction

During this event for high school seniors visiting campus as part of the Office of Admission’s Women of Distinction Program, faculty and students from the Clark Science Center talk to the visiting students about the STEM disciplines offered at Smith and engage them in entertaining activities.


Attending Conferences

Every year, the Office of STEM Advising and Mentoring provides advising and occasional financial support for students to attend selected conferences. Conferences recently attended by Smith students include:

Funding for Conferences

AEMES offers funding for conference-related expenses to those who are members of the AEMES family, including the following groups:

  • AEMES Scholars (all cohorts)
  • Participants in the AEMES Mentoring Program
  • McKinley Fellows (juniors and seniors)
  • AEMES Early Research
  • STEM Posse

Priority goes to AEMES Scholars but all members of the AEMES family are welcome to apply.

Attendance at the conferences must align with the AEMES mission, which is the promotion of full and equitable participation in the sciences for students from underrepresented populations.

The maximum grant award is $500.

How to Apply

Fill out the online application by October 1 (though we will accept and process applications after the deadline if there are monies available).

Program Leaders

The AEMES Programs are led through a team-based approach involving students, faculty and staff. Working together, our groups offer programming and build community within AEMES and among the greater Science Center community at Smith.

The AEMES Scholars Advisory Board (AAB) includes representatives from each of the four cohorts on campus. Together, students on the AAB host community-building events for the AEMES Scholars and serve as liaisons between the scholars and the faculty/staff AEMES Team.

Mentor leaders are returning students who have served as peer mentors in the past. These students are a “mentor's mentor.” They serve as a resource for other mentors, they assist in the planning and facilitation of trainings and they host social events for the mentoring community.

The McKinley Honors Fellows provide leadership in the area of research in the sciences. These seniors offer presentations about getting involved with research at Smith, and they serve as informal mentors to other students.

The AEMES Team is a small group of faculty and staff who lead the AEMES programs.

David Gorin

Faculty Director | Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry                                                                                                                                                                Research: 1) Organic chemistry: the development of safe, stable alternatives to widely-used hazardous chemical reagents. 2) Chemical biology: the development of DNA-based reagents for the chemical modification of one target compound in a biological mixture.

Dave Gorin is mostly an organic chemist, but dabbles at the interface with biology.  He teaches general chemistry, organic chemistry, advanced laboratory courses, and a chemical biology seminar.  Dave is also a member of the Board of Prehealth Advisors, and is always happy to chat with students considering career paths in the sciences and/or health professions. 

Valerie A. Joseph

Administrative Director | Clark Science Center Administration Valerie is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests are social and structural bias and discrimination, especially those seemingly hidden in mamainstream cultural messages and behaviors. Her research interests and her skills in mediation, consulting and diversity training led her to Smith where as the AEMES Mentoring Administrative Director, she supports students from populations historically blocked from access to and inclusion in the sciences. Her duties extend to providing opportunities for public conversations about socially important issues through her work with the Office of Equity and Inclusion's The Roundtable Group (TRG) and her convening of a unique and powerful form of public discourse that she developed: Grounded Knowledge Panels™

Gary Felder

Faculty Liaison for AEMES Peer Mentoring | Professor, Physics Gary’s research is on the universe in the first moments after the Big Bang, and on the connections between chaos theory and quantum mechanics. Gary is chair of the Math Success Group that tries to promote success for all students in quantitative fields and co-chair of the Science Center Committee on Diversity.

Jack Loveless

Faculty Liaison for AEMES Early Research | Associate Professor, Geosciences Jack Loveless studies active plate tectonics and earthquakes. In research, he uses high precision Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements to track the motion of tectonic plates, using these data to infer the behavior of faults that could generate earthquakes. He teaches courses in geographic information systems (GIS), structural geology, and tectonics.

Lisa Mangiamele

Faculty Liaison for the McKinley Fellowship Program |  Associate Professor Lisa is an integrative neurobiologist interested in animal communication, comparative neurobiology, and the evolution of the brain. She is faculty member in the Dept of Biological Sciences and in the Neuroscience program, where she teaches courses in Animal Physiology, Experimental Methods in Neuroscience, and Systems Neurobiology.

Faculty mentors welcome students from the AEMES Scholars and Early Research programs into their research groups. AEMES Scholars faculty mentors also serve as academic advisers.

Shannon Audley
Associate Professor, Education & Child Study
Research Advisors, School for Social Work

Michael Barresi
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Annaliese Beery
Associate Professor, Psychology

Reid Bertone-Johnson
Lecturer, Landscape Studies

David Bickar
Professor, Chemistry

Maren Buck
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Judith Cardell
Professor, Engineering

Deborah Day
STEAM Outreach Coordinator

Peter de Villiers
Sophia and Austin Smith Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Rob Dorit
Professor, Biological Sciences

Glenn Ellis
Professor, Engineering

Jean Ferguson
Director, Learning, Research, and Technology

John Foley
Visiting Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Bosiljka Glumac
Professor, Geosciences

David Gorin
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Adam Hall
Professor, Biological Sciences

Mary Harrington
Director of Neuroscience
Tippit Professor in Life Sciences, Psychology

Virginia Hayssen
Chaired Professor, Biological Sciences

Elizabeth Jamieson
Professor, Chemistry

Stephanie Jones
Assistant Professor Exercise & Sport Studies

Laura Katz
Elsie Damon Simonds Professor, Biological Sciences

Katherine Kinnaird
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Statistical and Data Sciences

Mona Kulp
Laboratory Instructor, Chemistry
(413) 585-3735

Jack Loveless
Associate Professor, Geosciences

James Lowenthal
Professor, Astronomy 

Lisa Mangiamele
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Peggy O'Neill
Assistant Professor, School for Social Work

Paulette Peckol
Louise C. Harrington Professor, Biological Sciences

Nnamdi Pole
Professor, Psychology

Sara Pruss
Associate Professor, Geosciences

Daniel Schultheis
Lecturer, Mathematics & Statistics

Alexandra Strom
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Cristina Suarez
Professor, Chemistry

Julianna Tymoczko
Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics 

Dano Weisbord
Executive Director, Sustainability and Campus Planning VP/Finance & Administration
413- 585-2427

Paul Wetzel
Curr & Research Administrator, Center for the Environment
413- 585-2646

Steven Williams
Gates Professor of Biology, Biological Sciences
413- 585-3826

William Williams
Associate Professor, Physics

Sarah Witkowski
Associate Professor, Exercise & Sport Studies

The Science Center Committee on Diversity (SCCD) is a group of faculty, staff and students that initiates and promotes programming to increase diversity and promote education on issues of diversity and social justice in the sciences, technology, mathematics and engineering. We believe that effective programs to increase underrepresented and first-generation student participation in the sciences will enable these populations to achieve excellence early in their time at Smith and will generate a better learning environment for all students.

In addition to supporting the AEMES programs (AEMES Scholars, Peer Mentoring, Early Research and the McKinley Honors Fellowship Program) and activities with Union of Underrepresented Students in the Sciences (US2) and Minority Association of Prehealth Students (MAPS), SCCD supports new individual and departmental initiatives to promote diversity in the sciences.

 2021 Leadership

The SCCD is a self-selected group of mainly DivIII students, staff and faculty, representing student organizations, administrative units and academic departments and programs.

Co-chairs: Laura Katz, Professor, Biological Sciences; Gary Felder, Professor, Physics; Wayne Ndlovu '22, Major: Geosciences; Shevaughn Holness '23, Major Bioloigcal Science

Posse STEM Initiative

The Posse Foundation

The Posse Foundation was founded in 1989 by MacArthur Fellow Deborah Bial. Posse recruits 10 student leaders from public high schools for each “posse,” sending them to colleges across the country with full-tuition scholarships. The Posse STEM Initiative was launched in 2008 and is partnered with Brandeis, Bryn Mawr, Davidson, Franklin & Marshall, Georgetown, Middlebury, Pomona, Texas A&M and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Smith joined this partnership in 2015 when it enrolled its first STEM Posse.

More information on the Posse Foundation and the STEM Initiative can be found on the Posse Foundation’s website. For more information about Smith’s involvement with The Posse STEM Initiative, see the Grécourt Gate article.

Smith’s STEM Posse

Photo of posse 5 cohort


  • Jasmin Almonte
  • Ama Boamah
  • Shabathyah Charles
  • Jiayun Chen
  • Naomi Giancola
  • Brenda Gutierrez
  • Marge Poma Alarcon
  • Jiselle Ramirez
  • Christina Sherpac
  • Alicia Weaver
Group photo of students in posse cohort 4


  • Ahlenne Abreu
  • Stephanie Bravo-Heras
  • Ashley Cruz
  • Melany Garcia
  • Rebecca Harrigan
  • Ashley Jackman
  • Yeji Lee
  • Diamond Lewis
  • Desiree Michel
  • Akilah Williams
  • Sakina Ali
  • Alana Brown
  • Yacine Fall
  • Isabel Gomez
  • Storm Lewis
  • Vivienne Maxwell
  • Amarachi Okorom
  • Mayeline Pena
  • Braina Peter’s
  • Aminah Williams
  • Alina Siminiouk
  • Asha Reed-Jones
  • Dana Ragoonanan
  • Elizabeth Boahen
  • Emely Tejada Jaquez
  • Gabrielee Valle
  • Leanna Troncoso
  • Mariama Jaiteh
  • Stormi Smith
  • Tiffany Xiao



AEMES Programs

Bass Hall 112
Smith College 
Northampton, MA 01063

David Gorin, Faculty Director
413-585-3889 | Ford Hall 310

Valerie Joseph, Administrative Director
413-585-2638 | Bass Hall 112