Become a SMArt Member
Why Join SMArt?
If you are a science student who likes art, you should join SMArt because were a group of like-minded individuals who enjoy making art and sharing science with others. But there is a lot of other great reasons you should become a SMArt member. Science Meets Art is a student-run initiative, which means SMArt operates as a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with members. Students provide SMArt with the people-power to create science communication art pieces and run collaborative events. In return, SMArt provides students with numerous opportunities for resume building, learning new skills, and networking.
Getting involved with a club on campus is a great way to meet other creative science students and participate in rewarding projects that are also a lot of fun!
Get Your Work Published
Many of our SMArtists have published work, whether that be gracing the covers of prominent scientific journals, in peer-reviewed publications, as the logos of on-campus laboratories or in nationwide inclusivity and diversity in science campaigns. You can check out some of our publications here! Many of our volunteers have developed partnerships with labs on campus and work closely with researchers to develop numerous scientific visuals for their publications.
Volunteer Work Experience
Whether you're applying for graduate school or a job post-graduation, whoever is reviewing your application is likely skimming past your academic performance to the "volunteer and work experience section" of your resume. There is nothing worse than updating your resume, only to feel like you haven't done enough. A great way to add value to your experience section is to add an intriguing volunteer experience highlighting your diverse creative and scientific skills through a multidisciplinary initiative aimed at science communication.
Experience Planning, Organizing and Attending Events
Since SMArt is student-run, there are numerous opportunities to participate in many events held on and off-campus. As a SMArt member, you have the option of getting as involved as you would like. Take on the responsibility of planning the event and organizing teams of volunteers, or help with the set-up and take-down. No matter how involved you choose to get, these are great experiences to highlight on a resume, not to mention you get to attend some pretty cool events like "Birds and Beer"!
Have we mentioned SMArt is student-run? This means we are constantly looking for dedicated, organized and hard-working SMArt members to assume leadership roles within the organization. Positions include co-leader for more experienced upper-year students as well as a junior leader for our lower-year members. The ability to organize and oversee projects and teams of people is a highly desirable skill. Join SMArt today if you want a chance to showcase your leadership abilities.
Highlight your Relevant Transferable Skills
What we are trying to get at with the previous paragraphs is joining SMArt is a great way to prove to future schools, employers, etc., that you have the skills they are looking for. Whether it be hard skills or soft skills, joining SMArt allows you to demonstrate these skills first-hand. Do you want to show you are creative, organized, dedicated and have excellent time-management skills? Pitch a project to SMArt, organize a team of volunteers, and see your project through to completion. Do you want to demonstrate you can take a complex scientific concept and turn that into a thought-provoking visual piece that helps bridge the gap to non-specialists? Help us create a science communication piece that we can display at one of our many outreach events.
Learning and Building New Skills
Working towards your University of Windsor LEAD Medallion
The University of Windsor LEAD Medallion Scholars Medals is presented to students who have excelled beyond their classroom and academic performance. You can achieve either a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal depending on the categories you fulfil. There are opportunities within SMArt to accomplish each of these categories.
Leadership is achieved through peer mentoring and campus involvement. As mentioned before, there are many leadership opportunities available to SMArt members.
E - engagement
SMArt members dedicate at least 15 hours to the initiative qualify for the Engagement category. This can be done by volunteering at SMArt-run events, creating art pieces and visual communication materials, attending member meetings, or helping with other SMArt projects. It is the student's responsibility to keep track of the hours they volunteer and the nature of their work.
A - application
SMArt members can achieve the Application category by participating in hands-on activities in their field. This could include a service-learning position (for credit) with SMArt or using your SMArt skills in some other large-scale project/event.
D - discovery
The discovery category is acquired by undergraduate research and creative pursuits. SMArt members may choose to pursue research in the area of science communication.
If you want to learn more about the LEAD Medallion Scholars program, click here.
Develop Science Communication Materials
Experiential learning is a great way to acquire new skills! What better way to learn design software than to use it while creating a project. Nothing develops leadership and time-management skills like actually leading and organizing a project. Science communication is a field that focuses on bringing complex scientific information to the masses. Within Science Meets Art, we specialize in visual science communication. Join SMArt and learn more about this fascinating, rapidly developing field.
Attend Conferences and Events
Whether it be science communication conferences or Science Rendezvous, a wide variety of SMArt-relevant events to participate in and attend, the more events and conferences you attend, the more opportunities you have to highlight your experiences on a resume. Guaranteed, you will learn something new and meet great people along the way.
Community Partners and Organizations
SMArt regularly collaborates with community partners and organizations. Joining SMArt allows you the opportunity to work with these groups and build lasting relationships. Check out some of our work with community partners here.
University of Windsor Faculty Members
Whether you are already volunteering in a lab as an undergraduate researcher or it's your first semester on campus, SMArt can help you partner with a lab that interests you to help researchers create scientific illustrations. Many of our students have formed long-lasting collaborations and have developed multiple works for labs on campus. Collaboration between SMArt and faculty is not limited to only scientific publications. Check out more opportunities here.
Students and Student Groups
The chance to network doesn't stop with community partners or university faculty; SMArt works closely with many students and student groups. Some of which might be familiar to you already, like Science Society and Women in Chemistry. Many SMArt students belong to more than one organization, and they suggest new collaborative projects and partnerships. If you belong to a club and think you could work with SMArt, reach out to us. Check out more of our student collaborations here.
Course Credit -- Service-Learning
Joining SMArt opens the door for experiences that are not limited to volunteer work. Service-Learning is a pass/fail course offered by the University of Windsor that allows students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in the real world by helping a community organization. It is important to note that the science service-learning course requires students' placement to be relevant to their scientific program somehow. Previous SMArt service-learning placements included developing the "Tree of Life" project later used as an educational tool in first-year biodiversity labs, researching and developing visual science communication materials, and developing protocols and materials essential to the functioning of SMArt.
Learn more about service-learning here.
Paid Positions -- IGNITE Work-Study
Joining SMart allows you to showcase your artistic and creative abilities that may be useful in some IGNITE positions. IGNITE positions can be 1-2 semesters in length and are paid positions. For example, Lauren, one of the SMArt founders, through showcasing her "Birds of Windsor Essex" piece at the Birds and Beer event, was able to network with Dr. Dan Mennill, a bioacoustics researcher here at the University of Windsor. She has held IGNITE positions in his lab for the past two years creating graphics for publications, among other research tasks. She has had her work published in at least six peer-reviewed articles over this time!
Learn more about IGNITE here.
SMArt Membership Requirements
There are a few things that we expect from our student volunteers to become SMArt members.
Submit a portfolio
No need to stress; we are not looking for a perfectly curated display of 100 masterpieces. We are looking for 5-10 examples of work you have previously completed in your preferred styles and media. Examples include paintings, drawings, digital illustrations, posters, powerpoints, photography, etc. This gives us an idea of what materials you may need and what projects might be a good fit for you. Make sure to include images that showcase the full range of your talents and interests.
A lot of the communication between SMArt leadership and SMArt members is through email. We expect that SMArt members keep up with their emails to make sure they don't miss out on any important updates or opportunities.
Commit at least 15 hours to SMArt
Dedicating 15 hours to SMArt activities will guarantee you the Engagement (E) portion of your LEAD medallion. We expect SMArt members to be dedicated to the projects they commit to and actively contribute. Hours can include time spent creating projects, planning projects, attending events, or attending meetings.
Participate in mandatory SMArt projects
Some of the projects that SMArt takes on require many volunteers and much time. These projects are especially suited to make sure all members have an opportunity to contribute. If a project is mandatory, it will be explicitly stated. Another reason to keep up with emails! The Periodic Table Project is an example of a mandatory project SMArt has done in the past. All members were required to design and create at least one element of the periodic table.
Attend SMArt meetings
We expect SMArt members to attend all general SMArt meetings. If you cannot, give us a heads up, and we will send you all the relevant information you may have missed.