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GEMS Program

Improving the Geological Experience for Marginalized Students

Tips for success in larger classes
Field work projects
Leadership training
Dr. Dayanthie Weeraratne (GEMS Director) 
  • Mission: This program provides community building, academic and research support to encourage and improve the geological experience of disadvantaged and underrepresented marginalized (URM) students, such as Hispanic American, Latinx, Black, and Native American students at CSUN in the Department of Geological Sciences.
  • Peer Mentorship
  • Guidance in navigating and balancing academics with jobs and family
  • Assistance seeking and applying for academic scholarships and research support
  • Incentives for success and tutoring in Math and Chemistry
  • Incentives for better GPA performance
  • Assistance with Resume building (PDF) 
  • Assistance with transition after B.S. degree to employment or graduate school
  • URM students makeup more than 52% of undergraduate geoscience majors.
  • Develop skills in balancing time management 
  • We seek to support and improve diversity at all levels in academia and society to provide equal representation and also to improve diversity of scientific ideas, perspective, and more innovative discoveries (e.g. Hofstra et al., 2020). See current diversity statistics at CSUN below. It's a starting point!

Geological Sciences 

  • Faculty (2021)
    • URM: 8%
    • White: 77%
  • Graduate Students (2021)
    • URM: 25%
    • White: 75%
  • Undergraduate Students (2021)
    • URM: 62%
    • White: 27%

  • GEMS Program Student Success 2010 – 2020
    • B.S. Graduates (30 + 12 in progress)
    • Advanced to graduate schools M.S. or Ph.D. programs after CSUN GEMS (15)
    • Hired in industry jobs after CSUN GEMS (15)
  • Dr. Dayanthie Weeraratne (GEMS Director) is a person of color, raised by a single mother, first generation resident, and 2nd generation to college,who has risen out of poverty through her education and research which she loves passionately.

Join us!

VIDEO: Listen to former GEM Students!

Contact: Dr. Dayanthie Weeraratne,
Dept of Geological Science, CSUN