Gains of LGBT people in STEM fields highlighted

The Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics student organization shed light on the strides the LGBTQ community has made in STEM fields at a Monday presentation.

As a part of LGBTQ History Month the oSTEM student-run organization hosted the event, which briefed the community on the mathematicians, scientists, engineers and technicians who made strides in their fields while identifying themselves as a member of the LGBTQ community.

oSTEM hosted the presentation to let people “know that there are people like them … we are everywhere,” said senior nursing major Loretta Slowik, a founding officer of the group.

oSTEM members wanted people to know they can be a part of the LGBTQ community and still go into their intended field of study.

Group adviser Charles E. Schumann Jr. said when he came out he wanted to enter the computer science field but was strongly discouraged due to his sexual orientation.

“I enjoyed the presentation and PowerPoint preformed by the group,” said junior English major Lena Al-Loussi. “They had a lot of information pertaining to important figures with different sexual orientations, and I learned a lot about what each of them contributed to their fields of study.”

The attendees learned about people like Alan Turing, who cracked codes during World War II, and Karl Ulrichs, who was one of the first people to publicly come out as a gay man.

oSTEM also provided support services to students in the science, math, engineering and technology fields, and the organization reaches out to high school students by providing educational and professional resources.

oSTEM’s next meeting is 4 p.m. Nov. 4 Altgeld Hall, Room 203.