From protest to progress through partnership with students: Being human in STEM (HSTEM)


  • Sarah Bunnell
  • Megan Lyster
  • Kristen Greenland
  • Gabrielle Mayer
  • Kristen Gardner
  • Tanya Leise
  • Thea Kristensen
  • Emma D Ryan
  • Richmond Ampiah-Bonney
  • Sheila S Jaswal Amherst College



inclusion, diversity, STEM, equity, students-as-partners


In Fall 2015, Amherst College students held a four-day sit-in in unity with student protests occurring all over the United States highlighting barriers to inclusion of underrepresented and marginalized students.Following appeals for action, students partnered with faculty and staff in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to develop the Being Human in STEM (HSTEM) Initiative. HSTEM involves exploring past diversity and inclusion efforts in STEM, sharing one’s own experiences in STEM with others, and developing student-driven projects to improve belonging in STEM. In this student, faculty, and staff co-authored paper, we describe the origin of HSTEM; share student, faculty and staff reflections on our experiences with HSTEM; and present two inquiry projects examining HSTEM impact. We discuss lessons learned and recommendations for diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education, both in and beyond STEM, emphasizing the power of an initiative that was originated by and remains driven by student partners.


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How to Cite

Bunnell, S., Lyster, M., Greenland, K., Mayer, G., Gardner, K., Leise, T., Kristensen, T., Ryan, E. D., Ampiah-Bonney, R., & Jaswal, S. S. (2021). From protest to progress through partnership with students: Being human in STEM (HSTEM). International Journal for Students As Partners, 5(1), 26–56.



Research Articles