How STEP's Early Advocates Created New Pathways for Stevens Student Success
Since 1968, the Stevens Technical Enrichment Program (STEP) has been serving students traditionally underrepresented in the science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) fields by providing everything from a pre-freshman summer program to tutoring, career guidance and a strong social support system.
Two early advocates helped make STEP possible and effective: professors Snowden Taylor ’50 (physics) and Varoujan “Maz” Mazmanian M.S. ’71 (mathematics).
At STEP's 45th anniversary celebration in 2013, more than 200 alumni and guests gathered to honor Taylor and Mazmanian for their foundational work.
Rachel Jenkins ’80 was among those in attendance. As a high school sophomore, she hadn't known much about engineering but knew STEP’s summer program for high school students was worth investigating.
“He saw something in me, and he took a chance,” she recalled.
Fellow STEP alumna Angie Hankins ’95 recalled how STEP’s Bridge program, along with Mazmanian's teaching, helped her brush up on her math skills prior to entering her Stevens freshman year.
“He was such a good math teacher — just clear and concise,” she said. “I don’t think that I would have been as successful at Stevens and after without [STEP]."