The Exciting Future for oSTEM: A New LGBTQ+ Club at Trinity that is Changing the Culture of STEM

3 min read

Annika Dyczkowski ‘25

Features Editor

Stephanie Garvis is a senior neuroscience major, and this year she is occupied as a board member of Trinity’s Hillel, goalie for the women’s ice hockey team, President of Nu Rho Psi, and new President of oSTEM. 

oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is the “largest chapter-based organization focused on LGBTQ+ people in STEM” (via The organization is recognized nationwide with over 100 student chapters, and Garvis took responsibility to cultivate oSTEM’s presence in Hartford. 

The club is still in the process of obtaining signatures in order to be recognized as an official club, so Garvis’ current responsibilities include meeting with S.A.I.L. (Student Activities, Involvement, & Leadership), the Student Government Organization, collecting signatures and spreading word of Trinity’s newest club. In the future, Garvis anticipates weekly chapter meetings and arranging discussions with STEM professionals to discuss their line of work and “being out and proud in their profession.”

Garvis was inclined to undertake a leadership position through her mentor Professor Grubb, after he had sent an email to select students inquiring if there was interest in forming oSTEM at Trinity. 

Regarding events the club will be involved in, Garvis is focused on hosting STEM professionals in order to showcase how  “you can be a part of the LGBTQ community and still be a successful professional in STEM.” There are also national oSTEM events, where all members are invited and different chapters can meet and network with one another.

In the STEM field, Garvis emphasizes “how being out and proud is important.” She finds that oSTEM will improve campus culture, bringing awareness to LGBT groups on campus and refining their representation in the field. “You don’t hear a lot of LGBTQ people in the professional world who are successful engineers or successful researchers, and we just want to create awareness and show that we are proud of who we are.”

Garvis is especially passionate about representation and visibility because of personal experience. This past summer, she did research for her internship and there was “not a whole lot of representation in the community.” She finds utmost importance in displaying that LGBT individuals in STEM “[do] exist and there is work to be done.” She continues,  “it’s hard to see yourself as successful when you aren’t aware there’s others like you who are clearly successful.” 

To students who are struggling with their identity, Garvis welcomes all with open arms. “We’re very welcoming and accepting, and everyone’s story is different.” She delineates that the purpose of the organization is to uphold and support LGBT individuals. “We’ve all been there, there’s no rush or final answer, everyone goes through their own process of figuring out who they are.”

If students are interested in joining oSTEM or have questions, they can contact Stephanie Garvis at or Treasurer Ingrid Schoenborn at Garvis is excited for the future of oSTEM at Trinity and her future personal accomplishments, “being queer can only add to my success, it doesn’t take away from anything, and it doesn’t make me any less qualified”

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