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STEM Advice: Clubs to Join on Campus

The best STEM-based organizations to get involved in this semester

Marlo Armstrong | March 20, 2023

There are over 45 different STEM clubs and organizations on Vanderbilt’s campus. That number may seem super overwhelming when trying to figure out the right club to join. This article is dedicated to highlighting some of the amazing STEM clubs at Vandy in order to help you find the perfect fit. 

Profession-Specific Clubs

I’m a part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – a club consisted of mostly Civil Engineering majors. We have weekly meetings to engage with guest speakers, plan for the ASCE Mid-South Student Symposium, and learn about the variety of work and innovation in the field. There are other clubs like this that are created for specific majors and fields, such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.  For ASCE, all of the events are open to the entire Vanderbilt community, according to Megan Higgins ’24. Each year, ASCE has students outside of Civil Engineering who come to the speaker meetings and even some who compete on symposium competition teams in their areas of interest. “My favorite part of ASCE is the community it has provided me so far during my time at Vanderbilt,” Higgins said. “Attending weekly speaker meetings has also helped me to figure out which areas of Civil Engineering interest me, and our annual industry night career fair has helped me to widen my network and find opportunities.”

The ASCE Concrete Canoe team prepared and poured concrete on February 11 for the Mid-South Student Symposium. Photo courtesy of Dr. Ghina Absi

Clubs Serving Underrepresented Groups 

More than major-focused clubs, Vanderbilt also has organizations dedicated to underrepresented groups in STEM. The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) demonstrates a great example in this field. They host monthly GBMs to connect female engineers with each other, preparing them with skill-learning opportunities for the professional world,  according to Phia Pannullo ’23. “SWE allows for women in the School of Engineering to have a community-based organization outside of classes to connect and build friendships,” Pannullo said. “My favorite part of SWE is sharing meals with new friends. Just the simple act of coming together after stressful classes and exams to share a meal and meet new women engineers can brighten my day.”

Greek Life & Academics

Vanderbilt also features intersections between academics and greek life. Theta Tau is a pre-professional engineering fraternity that emphasizes brotherhood, professional development, and service, according to Reagan Brown ’26. “I am a co-brotherhood chair, so I help plan events like our Super Bowl watch party and retreat in Gatlinburg, TN,” Brown said. “We also have bigs and littles in Theta Tau, and I would say my favorite part of the organization as a whole is my family.” This organization was established at Vandy in 2011, according to Ryan Suarez ’25. The fraternity is comprised of approximately 100 undergraduate students across all eight different types of engineering. “My favorite thing about Theta Tau is the ability to walk into the Featheringill Atrium and always seeing multiple brothers,” Suarez said.

The 2023 Theta Tau brothers pictured together on January 30. Photo courtesy of Ryan Suare

Last, but definitely not least, is Vanderbilt Vanguard: the club that allows me to produce the extraordinary content that you are currently reading. I love Vanguard because it allows me to combine my passions in both STEM and journalism while tapping into my creative side. The column I’m writing for right now is our “STEM Advice” column and it has been nothing but rewarding to produce articles that can potentially help people find ease in the STEM field. 

Hopefully, by now you have a pretty good sense of what STEM clubs and organizations are available to join on campus and I hope you consider being a part of the wide variety of these communities. I believe it’s important to find well-roundedness and balance in college so pick what clubs you think will be the most fulfilling and that you’ll actually enjoy. A full list of the STEM-based clubs at Vanderbilt University is available on AnchorLink.