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STARS Leadership Corps comes to Loyola

Starting in Fall 2011, Loyola will have a chapter of the STARS Leadership Corps (SLC) of the STARS Alliance. SLC members will be engaged in assignments that benefit the computing community or advance their own computing skills, keeping in mind the overarching goal of broadening participation in computing (especially among women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities).

SLC assignments may earn credit and/or a stipend. Some of the possible kinds of assignments are described below. Many assignments can fit within the context of a service learning course to be run as COMP 390-002 in Fall 2011, while other assignments may proceed more independently (as a for-credit independent study or as a non-credit activity). All students engaged in an activity falling within the broad framework of possible SLC assignments may request to become members of the SLC. Stipends of $500 per semester will be available for up to 10 SLC members each semester, but all students engaged in appropriate activities will be permitted to join in SLC meetings and group activities.

Any student seeking membership in the SLC and/or a stipend should email Dr. Ronald Greenberg with an explanation of the activities they would like to carry out and how the student's SLC membership and activities will further the goal of broadening participation in computing. Especially favored will be students enrolling in the COMP 390-002 service learning course. Students in this course will meet Mondays from 2:45 to 3:35 at Lake Shore Campus and must perform at least 25 hours of outside work involving community engagement and/or leadership; we hope to soon achieve recognition of this course section as satisfying the Core Curriculum values requirement in "Promoting Civic Engagement or Leadership". (Graduate students signing up for any section of COMP 490 can also follow a similar path, though Core requirements do not apply.) In any case, enrollment in COMP 390-002 can count towards the 6-credit practicum requirement in undergraduate degrees, and graduate programs can include up to 6 credits of COMP 490. The first group of SLC members and stipend recipients for Fall 2011 will be selected from requests received by May 15. After that time, additional requests will be periodically considered as received but subject to the previously mentioned limit on the number of available stipends.

Per the broad guidelines of the STARS Allinace, SLC assignments generally fall within the following categories, and include three components: written reflection, presentation to peers, and outreach to community

  • Outreach Ambassadors in K--12
  • Service Learning
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • Internship Experiences
  • SLC Peer Coordinators, Peer Ambassadors, Peer Mentors
  • Tiered Mentoring

 

Some more specific suggestions of activities that might fit well in the context of the service learning course include:

  • visiting high schools and/or other schools to make presentations to students about computing
  • mentoring/tutoring high school students in computing and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects
  • helping to coach robotics team, e.g., for FIRST competitions
  • working with oganizations such as the Chicago-based i.c.stars that provide technical preparation and mentoring for young adults to achieve career-redirection into IT
  • working with groups like Girl Scouts, Aspira, BDPA, etc., to provide computing experiences to students
  • run after-school or weekend workshops to help students and parents with concrete computing needs
  • mentor less experienced university students
  • run university or high school computing clubs possibly focused on underrepresented demographic groups
Students should feel free to combine various activities and/or propose new ones.

 

(Note that the STARS Leadership Corps, as a chapter within the STARS Alliance is distinct from the older but more local STARS mentoring program run by Loyola's Office of Student Diversity. These programs do, however, share some goals and may be able to build positive synergies between them.)

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