Mayia is the co-vice president of the Berkeley chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), which is part of a larger national association directed towards undergraduate physics students. The club aims to provide resources and connections to undergraduate students and hopes to help make all students, especially those in minorities, feel included, well also giving undergraduates a voice in the department. They have weekly meetings that allow students to learn about opportunities and outreach events, acquire information, and meet other physics majors. There are also frequent barbecues that bring together people from all levels of the department, events coordinated with local public schools and science fairs, and faculty-student lunches, which allow undergraduates to learn about the research going on at Berkeley and have a casual opportunity to talk to the physics faculty. Recently Mayia has helped coordinate a mentorship program to allow lower division student to have an upperclassman mentor who can provide them with advice and support as they begin their physics education. Berkeley’s SPS chapter has won the national outstanding chapter award three years in a row, and has been recognized officially by the department with the building of a new office across the hall from the new undergraduate reading room.
Sylvia Lewin is the Head co-ordinator for the Society of Women in the Physical Sciences (SWPS) at UC Berkeley. SWPS is a group of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Earth and Planetary Sciences. Our goals are to encourage women and members of other underrepresented groups to study the physical sciences and to create a friendly and supportive environment in these departments for all students. Our events include workshops for undergraduates, informational presentations, and social events. We also create mentoring groups of undergraduate and graduate students who meet regularly throughout the school year. Our website is https://swps.berkeley.edu/.
Alejandro Ruiz founded IGenSpectrum. IGenSpectrum is a student organization at Berkeley Physics Department run by LGBT+ graduate students and allies. Our mission is to improve workplace climate for LGBT+ students and faculty members in our department, which will enhance recruitment, retention and productivity. We want to demystify LGBT+ role in science and society, show LGBT+ high school and undergraduate students that science is a viable career path, and create an more inclusive work environment for all minorities in the physical sciences.