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STEM Corps Fellows Program

The STEM Core Fellowship is a program in the Department of Mathematics involving undergraduate and graduate students who are involved in service projects in the community. Projects which have a bearing on math and social need can be self-initiated or identified with the help of a faculty member and students must commit to at least 30 hours of work over a year to participate in the program. Candidates will be nominated by faculty every year and selected on the strength of the project and commitment to service. Fellows will receive a small stipend, a certificate of participation and more significantly a valuable experience. Currently, the department plans to distribute a maximum of five fellowships every year depending on available funds and projects.

Cohort 3 (2023-2024)

Brendan Serafin
Major: Mathematics
Expected Graduation: Spring 2024

Throughout my youth, I always loved mathematics, and solving problems always brought me so much joy. I enjoy trying to find a better solution to everyday problems and use critical thinking skills to find the optimal way to go about finding a solution. I didn’t always have a passion for mathematics. That love has grown over years of schooling, and has led me to my studies today. I want to share this passion with others and inspire them to learn more math.

In my recent studies, I have become interested in the applications and accessibility of mathematics. This has led me to becoming a STEM Corps Fellow where I hope to make an impact by increasing students interest in mathematics. People are often impressed to hear that I study mathematics, thinking it is so difficult. Math is difficult, but I feel more people are capable of studying and succeeding at mathematics than those who actually do. I want to find ways to encourage more people to find an interest in mathematics. I also want to show more people the wide use and application of math and mathematical skills. I am hoping to use my knowledge and experience as a STEM Corps Fellow to make a positive impact on the mathematics community by making it larger in the future!

Rebecca Siclari
Major: Mathematics
Expected Graduation: Spring 2024

I have developed a deeper connection with mathematics over the course of my education, despite encountering challenges along the way. Mathematics takes time to learn and pushes you to grow as a person. It challenges your own personal skills and makes you think deeper, while having a specific, definite answer at the finish line. Problem solving along with critical thinking is a crucial part of mathematics, and these skills will help you better yourself now and in the future.

Mathematics and the STEM Corps Fellows Program have led me to where I am today, wanting to find research that will directly impact others and society as a whole. After graduating in May I hope to continue my education and receive my Masters degree in Social Research and Analysis here at Montclair. The STEM Corps Fellows Program will help me enhance my skills and allow me to teach students to think creatively while doing fun STEM based activities. I hope to gather useful information from this program to help me better understand differences around the world, so that I can have a positive impact on others in the future!


Cohort 2 (2022-2023)

Ursula Derios
Major: PhD Mathematics Education

On behalf of the partnership with AmeriCorp, Montclair State University, Paterson, and New Destiny, I am working to create a Math Initiative for students who participate in the Elevate Mentoring Program at East Side High School during the school year called The M.A.T.H. Matters. During Summer 2023, among the initiatives for this program are the plans to provide incentives to motivate all participants to make a commitment to attend and benefit from tutoring, inquiry based math projects, and the connect to Math Mentors who will assist us in making mathematics meaningful beyond the classroom and into real world, college and careers.

Cristina Flores
Major: BS Mathematics; MA Social Research Analysis
Expected Graduation: BS Spring 2023; MA Spring 2025

What I like about math and my goals after graduation: I love mathematics because of how straight forward it is. Yes, mathematics has a broad range of topics like Calculus, Statistics, Probability, etc. But when it comes down to solving a problem, there is always an answer for everything! Problem-solving skills are crucial for our daily lives and mathematics is one way to strengthen those skills. My goal is to become a Social Research Analyst so I can investigate social issues using both qualitative and quantitative data. I will definitely be able to use my problem-solving skills I learned from mathematics and apply it to improve societal issues.

Community service bio: Participation in community service will help me develop new skills and possibilities that are crucial for my career. Being able to help others through STEM skills is crucial to me. Volunteering is a great way to educate others using STEM to make a change within our society. Service in the community is beneficial to become self-aware about what skills I would need to work on for the future and how I can change for the better. This program will prepare me for my M.A. in Social Research Analysis. For the future, I plan to gather research about a particular community and present new findings using STEM to inform others.

Julian Putnam
Major: BS Mathematics
Expected Graduation: Fall 2022

For a long time I’ve been inspired by the seemingly boundless utility and scope of mathematics. In the future I’d like to pursue a career that uses math as a creative tool to help the world, so becoming a STEM Corps Fellow feels like the perfect “first step” along that path. I look forward to working closely with everyone involved in the program and hopefully making some useful discoveries together.

Jacquelyn Franqui
Major: BS Mathematics
Expected Graduation: Spring 2023

My journey of being a mathematics major has been very enriching and informative once I got to Montclair University. The level of support I have received here has inspired me to enhance my mathematical skills to benefit today’s society. The resources I will be able to give out once I advance my career is what motivates me to educate myself as efficiently as possible in the STEM Corps Fellowship Program. I hope being involved in this project will expand my passion for math as well as expanding my knowledge of how to use math as a tool to serve the community.

Cohort 1 (2021-2022)

Garnisha Pierre
Major: BS Mathematics
Minor: Economics

Growing up, I have always loved math, however, when I first came to Montclair State University, I was a Biochemistry major. After a year of contemplating and seeking my true passion, I officially followed my heart and switched my major to Mathematics. Being a black, Haitian woman in STEM is a rarity and I want to inspire other women just like me to become leaders. I aspire to open up my own STEM learning center in different countries and participating in the STEM Corps Fellowship Program is just the beginning.

Jim Stanton
Major: BS (Mathematics, Mathematics Education Concentration with Teacher Certification in Mathematics (Preschool – Grade 12)

As an aspiring math teacher, I believe interaction with the community is crucial. Math is a dynamic and necessary tool in our society. Going out into the community to share mathematical knowledge and provide opportunities to engage with mathematical concepts is an essential part of growing the math community. It also serves as a great help to myself. As a teacher, I will be interacting with students and fellow faculty every day. Participating in service to the community is good practice for the skills and activities I will be using every day in my professional life.

Katherine Yarusso
Major: BS (Mathematics)/MA (Social Research Analysis)

Cristina Flores
Major: BS (Mathematics)/MA (Social Research Analysis)

Participation in community service can help me develop new skills and possibilities that are crucial for my career. Volunteering helps me identify what to do and what not to do for my future. Service in the community is beneficial to become self-aware about what skills I would need to work on for the future and how I can change for the better. This program will prepare me for my future in Social Research Analysis by gathering research about a particular community and presenting new opportunities in the STEM field to their community.

Emily Roberts
Major: BS (Mathematics)

It took me a while to settle on a STEM major, but my decision to study Mathematics has opened many opportunities for me. I would love to help other students realize their interest in STEM fields, especially those who do not have access to the same resources as American students. It is so important during educational exploration to have positive role models – people who truly care about you and your interests. I am honored to have the chance to be a mentor to students in Kenya. It is exciting for me to be able to combine my interests in STEM, service work, and tutoring to make a difference for participants in this program.