About The Hab
The Hab was founded in the United States by Donna Auguste, PhD, during Spring 2020, in response to grad students who reached out to Dr. Auguste and other STEM professionals for advice. The Hab emerged in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and during the nationwide riots against systemic racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. During this difficult time, underrepresented STEM graduate students found themselves even more marginalized than before -- dismissed from campus along with everyone else due to the pandemic, told to go home (though home was not available for everyone), suddenly separated from campus resources. Some Black students and allies shouldered the collective burden of attempting to educate U.S. society, once again, that Black Lives Matter but are constantly under siege. Some students wondered if they should quit school and get into the job market while jobs were still available. Some found themselves with unexpected expenses, such as a need to pay for off-campus housing while awaiting dorm refunds that might not be forthcoming. For some grad students, opportunities for summer internships evaporated, along with much-needed internship paychecks. Some grappled with balancing a desire to focus on their academic work, a desire to stay quarantined from COVID-19, and a desire to join the front lines of protests.
Dr. Auguste, along with colleagues and students who provided valuable input, designed and
implemented The Hab as a community space for underrepresented STEM grad students to gather, and
for all to learn how best to support the students. In this space, students and professionals began talking
through the issues that previously and currently presented obstacles to students finishing their
advanced STEM degrees. With Slack forums and videoconferences, they began to share
information about resources, such as remote internships, scholarship opportunities, and
tools for remote learning. Students began to make informed choices about their best
Beginning in early June 2020, the team launched The Hab community
space for a broader reach to underrepresented STEM grad students.
The mission of The Hab community space is to build a vibrant intergenerational community for underrepresented STEM graduate students, along with their mentors, coaches, and allies; help our grad students successfully GRADUATE 🎓 with advanced STEM degrees; and continuously learn from our evolving research to make the journey better for the next wave of grad students.