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Jeremy Babendure, adjunct professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and also one of our many successful alumni, recently took a group of middle and high school students from Arizona to the west board room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just steps from the White House.
The group of “Chief Science Officers” (CSOs) as he calls his group of bright students, who are supported by a program of the same name founded by Babendure, met with Dr. John Holdren and Ms. Megan Smith of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, about changing the way science is perceived among their peers and communities.
Each CSO has several duties on and off their school’s campus. While in school, the elected CSO helps serve as the campus’ “STEM voice,” identifying STEM opportunities for their school that reflects their peers’ interests. “They will serve as the school’s external point of contact and streamline the ability for the STEM-based organizations to meaningfully connect with their school,” adds the CSO website.
Off campus, CSOs serve as STEM ambassadors to the community; communicating events, building partnerships, advocating future opportunities with local businesses and industry leaders. In addition to several other duties, “they will team with their CSO peers as part of a state-level cabinet,” according to the website.