Program Overview

Despite efforts to broaden representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, women of color* continue to remain significantly underrepresented across all levels of STEM education.


The I CAN PERSIST (ICP) STEM initiative is a year-long endeavor designed to advance the success of women and girls of color in STEM through the implementation of a comprehensive, culturally-responsive, four-pronged approach (see Fig 1) that foregrounds an emphasis on both the personal and professional elements of success (see Fig 2).

  • 01

    ICP Core Component # 1-

    The ICP program draws on the collective power of minority women across all educational levels (i.e., high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professionals) to provide a powerful multi-generational, trans-disciplinary STEM community that fosters connectedness and reaffirms students’ belongingness to their STEM academic programs. This community also explores the socio-cultural factors that affect women of color in STEM (e.g., microaggressions, sexism, stereotypes, etc.) and equip students with strategies and skills to thrive amidst these challenges. For example ICP STEM scholars will have access to supportive spaces for ‘real’ talk called Sistah Circles. This space is a culturally responsive counter to the stereotype that minority women need 'to do it alone' or 'to be strong.' 

  • 02

    ​​ICP Core Component # 2-

    The ICP program aims to promote scholastic success by engaging students in developmentally appropriate academic success opportunities. For example, undergraduate students will participate in study tables and graduate students will attend workshops focused on navigating qualifying exams and the dissertation process. All students will be asked to collaboratively create an individualized academic semester plan.

  • 03

    ​​ICP Core Component #  3 -

    ​​The ICP program seeks to facilitate disciplinary engagement and leadership skill development through the implementation of culturally-responsive mentor-teaching. ICP STEM Scholars will advance their curriculum and design skills, and  collaboratively lead science outreach activities with high school students. These activities are designed to translate your disciplinary knowledge into solving problems facing marginalized communities, and contribute to the development of the next generation of women of color in STEM through leadership and mentor-teaching. 

  • 04

    ​​ICP Core Component # 4 -

    The ICP program aims to to cultivate future STEM career preparedness. Consequently, ICP STEM scholars will engage in various career & professional development activities that facilitate self-awareness and equip students with tangible tools for career success. For example, students will participate in a STEM Career Speaker Series presented by professionals employed in academia or industry. Here, they will gain access to cutting-edge industry demands and specific ways in which they can tailor their experiences to maximize their competitiveness.

Program Benefits

  • Participate in a community of women of color in STEM to support your academic, professional, and personal  growth


  • Receive support and mentorship from peers, graduate students, and professionals

  • Engage in regular social outings (bowling, dinners, movies, hiking, arts & craft, etc.)

  • Develop and strengthen your future career preparedness

  • Gain access to a network of  women of color STEM professionals through job shadowing, informational interviews, and monthly career speaker series ​

  • Receive training in CV/Resume building, and interviewing, job/internship application

Academic Success

  • Learn strategies for working and thriving in male-dominated labs, courses, departments and industr


  • Develop key learning strategies and skills for excellence in STEM courses

  • Receive individualized help developing a semester plan, along with strategies for accountability

Disciplinary Engagement & Leadership Development

  • Develop and strengthen science communication, teaching, and outreach design and development skills


  • Learn to apply academic/disciplinary knowledge to solve real world problems

  • Have an opportunity to give research talks and teach seminars on a discipline related topic (*graduate students)

Belonging, Community & Support

Career Development