Star-runner and computer scientist Bee Greenberg found community and a role model at UMassD. Now, Greenberg aims to fill that role for other women and LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
At UMass Dartmouth, students often find mentors in their professors and faculty advisors, but sometimes the best mentor is someone who has been exactly where you are. Upper-level UMassD students can serve as role models and a source of support for their younger counterparts, as was the case for Bee Greenberg '25.
Greenberg is a student-athlete studying computer science. When they arrived at UMass Dartmouth, they found a welcoming community and a mentor and role model they could look up to in Alexa Van Voorhis '22, '23. Now, Greenberg aims to fill that role for other women and LGBTQ+ people in STEM, serving as captain of the women's cross country team and vice president of the Society of Women Engineers.
Why did you choose UMass Dartmouth?
"I liked the location, and I was recruited to join the UMassD cross country team. I wanted to continue running in college and be able to study computer science. UMass Dartmouth would allow me to do both of those things.
"When touring schools, one thing that grabbed me about UMass Dartmouth is the architecture. It's easy to hate on the architecture, but I like that it's unique and that the whole campus has a very cohesive design. I like that there are lots of green spaces and trees. Plus, the campus has the athletic facilities I was looking for."
Why computer science?
"My mom works with medical software, and when I was growing up, I was always interested in what she was doing. I started coding in 5th grade as part of a STEM workshop at school and got hooked. I went home that night and continued what I'd started at school and pretty much never stopped."
What do you enjoy most about your program?
"I like that I can do research as an undergrad. I've been doing research in cybersecurity with Dr. Gokhan Kul. It's a cool opportunity, and when I apply to internships, I'll already have some experience that will give me an edge."
Tell us about someone at UMassD who has had a powerful influence on your life
"My former team captain was Alexa Van Voorhis. When I arrived at UMassD as a first-year student, I saw her as someone I could look up to. She was a runner, an engineer, and the founding president of oSTEM. She helped connect me with that group. I had been hoping to find a community of other queer people in STEM on campus, and I found that in oSTEM.
"Alexa also showed me it was possible to be a great athlete, an accomplished scholar, and a campus leader at the same time."
Diversity in STEM
For underrepresented people in STEM, it can be an isolating experience. Connecting with people of similar backgrounds and identities in the field can be impactful.
Tell us about your involvement with the Society of Women Engineers
"As the vice president of the Society of Women Engineers, I help to plan our outreach activities. We do a lot of outreach with middle school and high school students in New Bedford to teach them about what it's like to study engineering. We hosted a Girl Scout troop here on campus and built a catapult together. That was a full-circle moment for me because I used to be a Girl Scout. We want to show girls that engineering is a real option for them.
"I'm in engineering because of my mom. If girls see someone they relate to doing things in STEM, they're more likely to do it too. That's why being visible to other people is important. I now have the opportunity to be that example for someone else and encourage other girls and women to explore a future in STEM."
As the UMassD Women's Cross Country team captain, Greenberg recently led their team to a 3rd place finish at the 2023 Little East Conference Cross-Country Championship and finished 5th in the conference individually.
Greenberg was also named to the 2023 Little East Conference All Academic Team.
How has being an athlete shaped your college experience?
"Being an athlete has definitely allowed me to make connections on campus. My former running captain became my mentor. My roommates are fellow athletes. Being an athlete is a big part of the reason I came to UMassD. It's very grounding. During finals or other stressful times, I can go to the track and just focus on running."
What advice would you share with future Corsairs?
"Get involved, meet people, do things! During my first semester, track forced me to get out of my shell, but the more I did, the happier I was. I realized that this is a community, and there are all these people here to support me. If you stay in your room, you won't get the benefit of that community."
What are you most proud of?
"I'm proud of myself for balancing an academically rigorous program and doing well in track at the same time."
Favorite memory on campus?
"There have been many, but the most recent one is when my roommate and I carved pumpkins in the amphitheater!"