Dynamic Research Education Academy for Mentoring Womxn in STEM

The DREAM program is a holistic and dynamic mentorship program at Simmons University to mentor women (cis, trans, and non-binary) to build confidence, formulate STEM identity, and develop successful STEM career pathways. The program is designed to guide students until their graduation.

A group of Simmons STEM students and alums

A holistic and tiered mentorship program funded by NASA

The goal of the DREAM_WSTEM program is to provide support and guidance throughout our student’s 4-year undergraduate college experience. To achieve this goal, we have partnered with faculty representing various STEM disciplines, Institutes of Inclusive Leadership at Simmons, alumnae/i, a professional coach, and corporate partners. The program will provide one-on-one mentoring as well as group mentoring sessions via several professional development activities.

Our intention is to reach out to underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, Racial and Ethnic minorities, first-generation students, and sexual/identity minorities within STEM. We hope to help these students build confidence and resilience, formulate STEM identity, improve scientific literacy and competence and develop successful STEM career pathways at Simmons and beyond.

The logo for the DREAM_WSTEM program

NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) created this unique funding opportunity for women-centered institutions to address the gender gap in STEM-related fields. As statistics reveal, while women are obtaining a higher percentage of undergraduate degrees than men, only 10% of women's degrees are in STEM. Moreover, female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians are far less represented in the workforce. The NASA award, which totals $5 million allocated to seven different women's colleges and universities across the country, is a milestone for Simmons University.

DREAM Program Activities

Goal-oriented activities are designed to navigate students as early as their first year of college to be more proactive while seeking STEM career opportunities.

Who is eligible for the DREAM_WSTEM program?

Full-time Simmons students who are STEM majors or interested in being a STEM major. Enrollment in the program is invitation-based. Invitations are sent out every summer to the in-coming freshmen students at Simmons. If you are interested in becoming a DREAM scholar, please reach out to Professor Saha at [email protected].

STEM majors involved in the DREAM program

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics
  • Neuroscience and Behavior
  • Physics
  • Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Statistics

Mentors and Partners

Associate Professor Arpita Saha

Arpita Saha

Associate Professor

Photo of Megan McCarty

Megan McCarty

Associate Professor

Jane Lopilato photo

Jane Lopilato

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology

Photo of Meghan Johnston

Meghan Johnston

Associate Teaching Professor

Administrative Assistant

Megan Rahal

MLIS Candidate

Mentoring the Mentors Programs

Michele Houston

Associate Director, Custom Learning Design and Development

Dr. Tracy Robinson-Wood

Professor, DAP, Northeastern University

Partnership with Simmons HHMI-IE3

Rich Gurney photo

Rich Gurney

Professor and Chair of the Chemistry and Physics Department

Partnerships with Professional Coaches

Lara Kallander

Lara Kallander

Professional Certified Coach

Simmons University Partners

Office of Undergraduate Advising

We partner with faculty advisors, academic departments and other Simmons support staff to encourage academic and personal development of all students.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Simmons (SURPASs)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Simmons (SURPASs) is a paid, mentored summer research and creative scholarship experience for undergraduate students across all academic disciplines.

The Career Education Center

The Career Education Center is here to empower all Simmons students and alumnx with the expertise, skills, and resources to engage in, access, and explore diverse opportunities for their life’s work, integrating their passion with their purpose in meaningful careers.

The Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership

The Simmons University Institute of Inclusive Leadership was founded in 2019 and builds on the University’s rich heritage of igniting positive action, fostering everyday leadership, and striving for lasting social justice. The annual Leadership Conference provides a powerful opportunity to be inspired, hear the wisdom of world-class women leaders, build leadership skills, and network with experts from around the globe.

The DREAM Program in the News

A group of Simmons STEM students and alums

Simmons Receives Award from NASA to Support Women and Minority STEM Students

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded $5 million to women's colleges and universities to help increase the retention of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.