Female Student Breaks STEM Club Barriers

By Anna-Kate Weichel

Aneli Thomsen is breaking down the barriers for women in STEM with a passion.

This school year, Thomsen is serving as President of MACU’s own STEM Club. She said her passion for the sciences comes from a tragedy in her life.

“My brother passed away from a brain tumor,” Thomsen explained. “Throughout his battle, my parents spent probably five years in the hospital and became close with the staff. The PA that helped my brother still comes over to my family’s house every year.”

It was those PAs, doctors, nurses and everyone in between that inspired Thomsen to do more and excel through the science industry. She went into her first college experience learning more about biology, but didn’t really enjoy her time with it.

It was at the time when she had moved back to her hometown of Ada, Okla., that Women’s Basketball Head Coach Hannah Moeller reached out to her. Moeller wanted to talk with Thomsen about the opportunity of playing basketball here at MACU.

As soon as Thomsen stepped foot on campus, she could tell that it was different than any of her other college experiences. “At other schools, they would just show you the material. But here, the professors learn how you study. They know each student’s learning style.”

But she said it doesn’t just stop there.

“The people genuinely care about you. I have faculty that invite me over for dinner. It is a different atmosphere here.”

Thomsen came to MACU to play basketball, but her drive and passion have now allowed her to make a difference as well. She said she encourages everyone to join the STEM club.

“You might not be interested in science or a science major, but it offers so much more than just science,” she said. “It shows you new occupations, different programs and helps you gain knowledge in an area that you aren’t comfortable in.”

Thomsen plans to graduate next year and go on to receive her Master’s from MACU as well.