Illinois State University has a variety of unique registered student organizations on campus and one student has brought a new club to campus.
It is not just any club, it is a chapter from of the National Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science, also known as SACNAS.
“SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership,” SACNAS’s website states.
SACNAS has attained 6,000 members, 115 chapters and 20,000 community supporters since its start in 2009.
A Ph.D student in the School of Biological Sciences established an unofficial chapter at ISU last February which is open to all students.
Rosario Marroquin-Flores created SACNAS ISU and has big plans for the chapter.
With slightly more graduate than undergraduate students, the organization offers professional development opportunities to student researchers.
SACNAS ISU is working to create a journal spotlighting published research in peer-reviewed journals by students themselves.
The RSO meets monthly and plans to host sessions on grant writing for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health this semester.
Marroquin Flores is working with fellow members Pooja Kadaba Ranganath and Eric Walsh to collect and edit the journal entries.
Scientists are typically the only ones reading other scientists’ writings so it’s difficult for those not in the field to understand the publications.
“We have this idea of not only taking students’ research and making it digestible, and communicating to everyone, but also giving students their 15 minutes of fame, so to speak, for what it is that they’ve done for all their hard work,” Walsh said.
Assistant Professor of Molecular Neuroethology Andres Viddal-Gadea is the group’s facility adviser and says SACNAS is a great way to provide students with out-of-class activities and resources aimed at increasing their competitiveness and success.