Welcome to Gavilan College STEM
Learn More About STEM:
The following math courses offer a linked support course (concurrent enrollment) to review neccesary prequisite skills:
Math 5 Statistics Support course:
- Instructor : Medina, Erik; Concurrent enrollment in Math 215 ( CRN : 11123) IN-PERSON
- Instructor : Yarahmadi, Fatemeh; Concurrent enrollment in Math 215 ( CRN : 11124) ONLINE
- Instructor : Potter, Raylene; Concurrent enrollment in Math 215 ( CRN : 11125) ONLINE
- Instructor : Johnson, Morgan; Concurrent enrollment in Math 215 ( CRN : 11126) ONLINE
Math 6 Business Calculus Support course:
- Instructor: Dachkova, Elena; Concurrent enrollment in Math 216 ( CRN : 11133) IN- PERSON
Math 8A First Half of Precalculus Support course:
- Instructor: Dachkova, Elena; Concurrent enrollment in Math 218 ( CRN: 11132) HYBRID
- Instructor: Medina, Erik; Concurrent enrollment in Math 218 ( CRN: 11131) IN-PERSON
Fall 2022: STEM-Based General Education courses
Humanities 3: Intro to Cinematic Arts, Film and Television
- Instructor: Grant Richards, CRN’s 10515 and 11881 This class fulfills the humanities requirement for the General Ed. Associates degree (C-2). Films will have a STEM focus. For more information, please contact Grant Richards at email@example.com
- Instructor: Jackie Collins, CRN 10604 This STEM-themed class will explore environment and changing climate, issues of environmental justice, and adaptations and innovations in response. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Instructor: Jessica Hooper, CRN 10606 and 10608 This “Health and Well-being” class will explore topics in the medical field and in the fields of study on mental health and emotional well-being including mindfulness practice. For more information contact email@example.com.
- Instructor: Marth Oral, CRN 10607 This course explores the worlds of science and technology with particular emphasis on plastics in our environment. For more information, please contact Martha Oral at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Instructor: Christina Salvin, CRN 11053 This class is conducted at the Hollister campus and Pinnacles National Park, where we hike with rangers including the cultural historian, condor program coordinator, and wildlife biologist to learn about the park. For more information, please contact Christina Salvin at email@example.com. Flyer for English 1A at Pinnacles National Park
English 1C: Critical Reasoning and Writing
- Instructor: Glenda Mora, CRN’s 10407 and 11564 This course is recommended for students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) For more information, please contact Glenda Mora at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instructor: Jackie Collins, CRN 10661 This STEM-themed class will explore environment and changing climate, issues of environmental justice, and adaptations and innovations in response. For more information, contact email@example.com.
- Instructor: Marth Oral, CRN 10651 This course explores data science and what it can tell us about ourselves. STEM students are encouraged to enroll. For more information, please contact Martha Oral at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidance 6: Life Skills for Higher Education
- Instructor: Diana Gonzalez, CRN 11404, offered online This is a 2-unit UC/CSU transferable course about the practical, theoretical and self-reflective requirements and outcomes of becoming an educated person. This class is recommended for newly declared STEM majors. Contact Diana Gonzalez at email@example.com for more information.
STEM Center, MathLab, & Tutors
The STEM Center has a variety of STEM tutors available to help students in various STEM classes such as Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Physics, and much more!
The MathLab specializes in an assortment of mathematics courses to help students. From the world of Calculus to Algebra and Statistics, the MathLab is willing to help any student in mathematics with their questions!
Gaining access to tutoring has been proven to help students obtain better grades and insight into techniques or tutor perspectives to assist students in their academics!
The STEM Center hosts Academic Workshops for STEM Refreshers:Learn about the STEM Refreshers
Information about the STEM Center
Follow the link to learn more about the STEM Center, MathLab, and tutoring: STEM Center
Gavilan College offers two specialized STEM counselors who will ensure the support of achieving your academic goals in your STEM field of study.
Students who utilize our STEM counselors gain the benefit of "being in the know" and are included in email newsletters of internship opportunities, STEM workshops, conferences, and other networking opportunities.
Information about the STEM Center
Follow the link to learn more about the STEM Counseling: STEM Counseling
Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA)
The MESA community college program can provide academic support to help you excel in these subjects and transfer to a university to continue your studies.
MESA's goal is to support educationally disadvantaged and historically under-represented undergraduate community college students and develop a new generation of STEM leaders in California.
The MESA program at Gavilan College provides not only services but also a culture and community geared toward student success in STEM disciplines. We are here to help you succeed!
Information about MESA
Follow the link to learn more about MESA: Gavilan MESA
From the biology of how our planet's ecosystems operate, to the massive industry that is computing with computer science, STEM Degrees are available here at Gavilan College.
Use the new STEM Program Mapper for Academic Pathways in the following STEM degrees:
- Computer Science
STEM Tutoring Services & Workshops
Tutoring services can help students become better at their academics, and can have the opportunity to become a tutor themselves.
Tutors specialize in a variety of STEM subjects, and there are a variety of places to gain STEM Tutoring such as:
- The STEM Center which specializes in anything STEM
- The Math Lab specializes in the wonderful world of math, including statistics, calculus, algebra, and anything in between.
- MESA Support, to help with any questions you have and to become connected with a counselor.
Academic Excellence Workshops (AEWs)
AEWs are geared towards students to gain a refresher on topics to be prepared for their courses! Usually, they appear before the Spring and Fall semesters, but there are occurrences that appear mid-semester such as the "Math Refresher" workshops.
Stay tuned for any upcoming workshops for Fall 22 semester.
Learn more about the tutoring services and workshops we offer
Go to the STEM Center/Math Lab/MESA Support page to get help with your STEM studies and questions!
What is the STEM Academy?
The STEM Academy is community support from instructors, counselors, and peers for STEM Students! The STEM Academy gives students resources to books, academic workshops to boost STEM skills, and mentors to specific majors.
- Recruitment is based on level of math entering Fall and Spring semesters.
- - Must be a declared STEM major
- - Prior to joining, the student must participate in:
- - Pre-semester math boot camp
- - STEM Symposium
- - Create an Education Plan with a STEM counselor
- - Submit the application (application link will be up soon!)
Students can receive a great number of resources from the STEM Academy to boost their academic performance.
The following are some benefits a student can receive from the STEM Academy:
- - STEM Family Community
- - Faculty and Peer Mentor resources
- - Lending Library to borrow books, technology, and various supplies
- - Financial awards for participation
- - Exclusive internship oppertunities
- - Regular check-ins and wraparound help
How to join the Fall 2022 STEM AcademyApplications are now closed
We are no longer accepting applications for the STEM Academy for Fall 2022 semester. We will be accepting applications to the Engineering Academy for Spring starting sometime in late October, early November. Please check www.gavilan.edu/stem for more information at that time.
The Calculus Academy
For STEM majors who will be enrolling in Calculus I, II or III (Math 1A, 1B or 1C) in the Fall 2022 semester. Eligible students must sign up for:
-Presemester workshop: Math 219 – Prepare for Calculus Bootcamp, CRN 80382 offered August 8 th – 12 th, M – F from 9am – 12:20pm AND 12:50 – 4:10pm with Erik Medina
-Attend: The STEM Symposium, led by Diana Gonzalez and Vania Parakati, Monday, 8/15 from 9-12, online. Students accepted into the Academy will be provided a Zoom link for this workshop.
-Enroll: Any section of Math 1A or 1B offered for Fall ’22 semester
The Precalculus Academy
The Precalculus Academy is for STEM majors eligible for Precalculus 1 in the Fall 2022 semester. Eligible students must sign up for:
-Presemester workshop: Math 415 – Math Immersion Review of Algebra CRN 80652, with Instructor Elena Dachkova, offered August 8 th – 12 th, M – F from 9:00 AM – 12:20 PM AND 12:50 – 4:10 PM
-Attend: STEM Symposium, led by Diana Gonzalez and Vania Parakati, Monday, 8/15 from 9-12, online. Students accepted into the Academy will be provided a Zoom link for this workshop.
-Enroll one of the following courses for Fall:
- Math 8A – Precalculus I, CRN 10136, 4 units, with Elena Dachkova, (offered as a hybrid – In person and online) AND corequisite Math 218, CRN 11132 (offered in person)
- Math 8A – Precalculus I, CRN 11962, 4 units, with Erik Medina, (offered as a hybrid – In person and online) AND corequisite Math 218, CRN 11131 (offered in person)
- Math 11 – Integrated Precalculus, CRN 11706, 8 units, with Ken Wagman, offered synchronously online. This class is equivalent to Math 8A – Precalculus I and Math 8B – Precalculus II.
Strongly Recommended for either Academy
Guidance 6 – Life Skills in Higher Education, CRN 11404, 2 Units, taught by our STEM Counselor, Diana Gonzalez, Fully Online
Have questions about joining?
Contact Marla Dresch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gavilan STEM Alumni Voices
Spanning across a decade of talented graduates, Gavilan STEM alumni share their student experiences and the transformational process that took place to acheive their academic and career goals. More testimoninals can be read in the current issue of the Gavilan STEM Alumni Magazine.
About of Laura Leon
The best thing about Gavilan College is the teacher's dedication to helping their students succeed.
My experience at Gavilan College was phenomenal because I had a great support system and made great connections with people.
What I love about working as an Application Engineer is learning how the technology gets applied in the real world and seeing how a product goes from concept to production.
My degree in Electrical Engineering has allowed me to explore different areas in industry and be a part of creating world-changing technology.
My advice to a student interested in a STEM field: Don’t be afraid to explore and try something new. It’s ok if you don’t know, just ask questions.
My favorite STEM moment from Gavilan: Joining the STEM Center as a Math Tutor was a great experience and always my favorite place in Gavilan.
Gavilan: May 2018
A.S. Degree in Mathematics
San Jose State University: May 2021
B.S. Electrical Engineering
About Vincent Alfonseca
The best thing about Gavilan College is the passion of the instructors.
My experience at Gavilan College was long but rewarding.
What I love about working in a STEM related job is the ability to design and create something that can be used for practical purposes.
My degree in mechanical engineering has allowed me to find a career in mechatronics.
My advice to a student interested in a STEM field is that if you are not tired, you are doing it wrong.
My favorite STEM moment from Gavilan is attending SACNAS conferences.
Transferred from Gavilan Spring 2015
BS in Mechanical Engineering from SJSU (2018)
Mechanical Design Engineer at Lin Engineering
About Dr. Joshua Sanchez
The best thing about Gavilan College is the community and professors who care about your education.
My experience at Gavilan College was the foundation I built my career from. I found my love for science and medicine.
What I love about working in Dentistry is solving problems, diagnosing disease, and getting to meet and help so many people.
My degree in dentistry has allowed me to help those in our community and mentor others pursuing health fields.
My advice to a student interested in a STEM field:
Don’t worry about the time. I spent 4 years at Gavilan getting prepared to transfer to UC Berkeley. Remind yourself to enjoy learning sciences.
My favorite STEM moment from Gavilan:
The community and the club Science Alliance. Some of my best friends I met at Gavilan college.
Dr. Joshua Sanchez
Gavilan: May 2010
UC Berkley: May 2013
BS Microbial Biology
Western University in 2019 for
About Dr. Melinda Soares
There are nearly 1,000 community colleges in the United States, together serving over 12 million students. These institutions provide a critical public service, allowing students to embark upon their educational goals in a radically supportive environment and without the debt burden that would accompany enrollment at a traditional university.
As a student at Gavilan College, I laid the foundation for my career as an astrophysicist. This is true both in terms of the early technical training I received in physics and mathematics, as well as the professional mentoring that was provided by dedicated instructors like Marlene Dwyer, Elena Dachkova, and Ken Wagman.
As a first-generation college student, the community of peers and advisors I found in Gavilan College's Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Community College Program was instrumental to my success, inspiring me to envision a future for myself as a scientist. If I had to summarize the "best" thing about Gavilan College, I would have to say it is the college's resounding commitment to equitable, accessible, and transformative educational outcomes. This is made possible by the exemplary instruction (the best I've received to date), idyllic natural setting, and collegiate cultural environment.
In a world abound with empty mission statements and virtue signaling, Gavilan College is a rare place where educators are actively living their ideals of democratic citizenship and the pursuit of educational excellence. Gavilan College campus still feels like home when I visit today, and somehow this familiar, comfortable setting never ceases to inspire me to be a better, more interdependent version of myself.
Dr. Melinda Soares
Gavilan: May 2008
AA degree in Liberal Studies
UC Santa Cruz: May 2014
May 2016: Masters in Astrophysical
May 2020: PhD in Astrophysical
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Postdoctoral Fellowship 2020 - 2021
NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship
About Elliot Picone
Best thing about Gavilan College:
There are so many amazing things at Gavilan I don't know where to start. What I love about Gavilan is the
individual attention that the teachers provide. Every single class at Gavilan was taught by a teacher who deeply cared about his/her students. Honorable mention to the cafeteria burritos.
My Experience at Gavilan:
My experience at Gavilan was the most memorable form of education I have ever received. I came to Gavilan after having failed out of a private college. In the beginning I almost failed out of Gavilan too. I took an algebra 2 class with Marla and a Japanese class with Fujita Sensei as my last ditch effort to remain enrolled and those two classes, changed my life forever. The quality of instruction at Gavilan is unmatched. It is a smaller school but this allows for the instructors to properly teach the students, motivate them, and provide them with all sorts of opportunities within the school. I quickly developed a passion for math which led me, in the end of my time at Gavilan, to become a tutor in the Math Lab and complete calculus 2 with a very high grade. I made lifelong friends and memories at Gavilan, going to school there was the best thing I have ever done for myself and my future.
What I Love about Working in Computer Science:
- I love to solve puzzles. Math and STEM in general can be extremely intimidating, I can remember a time where I thought
I would never be able to accomplish the things I have accomplished at Gavilan. For some people, computer science seems like an impossible thing to learn, but when taken piece by piece, it can be extremely fun and fulfilling. When I finish a program, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to make the computer do a specific task. Computer science is by no means
easy, but with enough grit and passion, it can be a fun and interesting career to pursue.
My Degree has allowed me to...
My degree at the moment has not allowed me to do anything because I am not quite finished. I can say that if you are at all interested in teaching people basic computer science or math in general, the math lab is a great opportunity to make good money and have fun doing it at the same time.
My Advice to a Student Interested in STEM:
My advice would be to not think of having a STEM degree as an insurmountable task that requires an almost impossible amount of work in addition to lots of suffering. In the beginning of calculus, Marla gave us a sheet of paper defining the idea of "grit". Grit was not about grinding through work tirelessly or staying up all night cramming for a test. Grit in STEM is about consistency. You must have the ability to take one topic at a time, small bites one could call it. To be successful in STEM you must not allow yourself to be overwhelmed, you have to schedule time during the day to master each topic and soon enough when the test comes around, you are prepared because you have practiced all the concepts over a long period of time. All in all, I would advise a potential STEM student to stay organized, stay consistent, do not be too hard on yourself, have grit, and take one day at a time.
My Favorite STEM moment:
In the summer of possibly 2018 I was participating in a summer program called "STEM academy". The students admitted earned a considerable sum of money for agreeing to doing a math bootcamp over the summer and clocking in a certain amount of hours in the STEM center every week. During the boot camp we had a fun little project where each team had to make a paper airplane out of straws, paper, tape etc. We had a big competition outside and it was tons of fun. I also love to remember the days during the school year where my fellow STEM academy friends would meet in the STEM center after class in the afternoon. We would share snacks and start the homework together, often arguing what the right answer was to all sorts of questions which would lead us to making giant equations on the chalkboards to compare everyone's answers close up.
Transferred in 2020
Currently at UC Santa Cruz
in Computer Science
About James Barnson
The STEM Academy was instrumental in my success at Gav. The support and community helped me keep moving toward my degree when my classes got hard. I never felt alone in my struggles as a student, and I was able to pass classes I never thought I’d even pass the prerequisites for.
I can honestly say that the best part of my time at Gavilan was being a part of the STEM Academy.
My advice to anyone interested in getting a STEM degree at Gav would be to join the Academy and stick with it.
Transferred in 2021 with an
AA in Natural Sciences
Currently at UC Santa Cruz for
Technology And Information
Monday, August 15th 2022
Virtual STEM Academy OrientationWhen: 9am - 12pm
New members of the STEM Academy must attend this virtual orientation. Returning members are welcome to join.
This orientation will be your opportunity to put it all together as it pertains to being a member of STEM Academy. Any questions can be emailed to Diana Gonzalez and can be addressed during the Zoom on Monday. Check your Gavilan student email for Zoom link.
Monday, August 15th 2022
The STEM Symposium
Gavilan STEM students will be presenting the meaningful work they've done during their summer internships. This is a great opportunity to see the kinds of research our STEM students engage in through Gavilan STEM's partnership with local universities and organizations. They will share their research posters in various projects and will be ready to answer any questions!
STEM Tech & Textbook Loans: Pick-up Appointments
The Gavilan College STEM Center offers a material lending program for STEM majors, student tutors, STEM Academy members, MESA students, and non-STEM major students enrolled eligible STEM courses.
Visit our Lending Library webpage for details on how to request and pick up items for Fall 2022.
Pick-up appointments in Gilroy and Hollister are available before semester begins Monday, August 22nd!
Smart Start Events
There is still time to register for Fall 2022 semester!
Take advantage of Gavilan's Smart Start Days to assist students with Applying to Gavilan, Financial Aid, and Counseling Services.
Plus FREE food!
Monday, August 22nd 2022
Fall Semester Begins
The Gavilan STEM Center will be open for students, staff, and faculty. A central hub for all things STEM-related! Visit us in the STEM Center for tutoring, coffee & snacks, and engage with STEM peers and mentors.Open: Mon - Thurs 9-5pm