Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Emerging Scholars Program - What is it?

“The program supports its scholars by fostering a diverse and engaged community, involving them in mathematically rich and cooperative learning experiences, and providing personally tailored advising and mentoring, with the goal of helping them flourish and reach their potential. In addition to benefiting the individual students in the program, we aim to contribute to the health of Harvard University more broadly by increasing diversity within the population of STEM concentrators.”

                                                                                    - Program Advisor 

Program Structure

1. For-credit seminar that lasts a whole academic year for first-year students, and the focus is on strengthening problem-solving skills and developing students’ mathematical modeling toolkits through various team projects and assignments. It all culminates to an open final project where students can choose any topic that interests them whether it be in global agricultural trade, diseases and epidemiology, or the environment and energy production and usage.

2. Weekly Faculty Friday lunches that are discussion-based and usually cover ideas with study skills or time management with the Bureau of Study Counsel, or with specific department faculty in STEM like the Senior Lecturer on Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Andrew Berry and Senior Lecturer on Chemistry and Chemical Biology or Deans Rakesh Khurana and Jay Harris, just to name a few. 

3. Individualized academic and personal advising in addition to a first-year’s main triangle of advisors from their Peer Advising Fellows, Proctor, and Academic Advisor, ESP students get STEM-specific advice from the advisors who work in the Department of Math as well as holistically support from the same ESP advisors, whether that be how to better navigate Harvard, like dealing with suitemates or learning how to juggle 4 PSET classes.

4. Opportunity to participate in a study-abroad program in Venice, Italy, at Ca’ Foscari University to further advance their mathematical knowledge by taking Math1b and another course of their choosing. International experiences like this create a great chance for cohort-building, both in working together in rigorous academic settings as well as being abroad working with Italian students and being in a new country. 


Key Focus 

To increase STEM persistence, ESP was developed on the four following key activities:

1. Active learning in the classroom,
2. Early research experiences,
3. High-quality academic advising and mentoring, and
4. A responsive social support system  


"I've never felt more supported or included in a community in STEM until I stumbled upon ESP with other women in STEM interested in the program. Through countless advising sessions, faculty meals, and life advice imparted onto us by the team and fellow ESPers, I've grown tremendously and feel a lot more confident in my pursuit of a STEM degree and career." 
                                                                              - Student in 2nd Cohort  

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