Simone Gbolo is responsible for increasing the engagement of historically underrepresented minority undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She focuses on retention through high impact practices such as providing opportunities for professional development, undergraduate research, preparation for graduate school, socialization in STEM, peer mentoring, and academic support.
Program Coordinator, North Star STEM Alliance
College of Science and Engineering,
University of Minnesota
The students I work with every day are the source of my inspiration. Our students desire to get a great education, become better individuals, and contribute to our society. They have a deep commitment to service and creating opportunities for other young people from underrepresented backgrounds interested in science, technology and math.
My parents! My mother always pushed me to do better, and my father instilled a deep appreciation for education, constantly reminding me that he did not have access to education growing up.
Flexibility, eagerness to learn, embracing diversity, networking, and the ability to listen.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi.
When Paul Strykowski, associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering, coined my work with students as the "Simone Effect" at the 2012 North Star STEM Alliance kick-off event. I was totally embarrassed. I missed the comment and students came up to me afterwards referring to his remarks in a humorous way.
I recently visited Harriet Tubman’s home in Auburn, NY. This quote struck me during the visit: "Tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer, and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step aboard." This reminded me to always stay mindful, recognize that change is constant, and be prepared because opportunity is all around.