Microbiology senior Megan Melnyk saw the need for a place for women in STEM to share ideas — a place that was all their own. Out of that idea, Revel Magazine, which will release its first issue Jan. 25, 2019, was born.
Tucked in a back neighborhood of downtown San Luis Obispo, Melnyk’s house has become the headquarters for Revel. Storyboards with articles pinned up cover her walls and computers wait idly by. Not only is she the president of the club, but it was also her idea and combined her passion for journalism and the sciences that brought the project to life.
While writing an article for Her Campus on advancements in birth control, Melnyk realized that the amount of coverage on women in STEM was not representative of the amount of progress they have made.
“Why aren’t there more science articles that focus on women?” Melnyk said under her handmade wood painted Revel Magazine sign embellished with a DNA strand.
She acknowledged that magazines like National Geographic dedicate a month to women in STEM, but she wondered why no one was doing it year-round. Out of this frustration grew the idea for Revel Magazine.
The goal is to fill this void and create a publication for women, by women, focusing on their many advancements all year round. It became clear to Melnyk that it was necessary for a publication like this to exist because of the leaky pipe phenomenon. As positions in STEM get higher, the presence of women lessens.
“A place for women to feel at home in the STEM field,” Melnyk said, is the key to combatting this phenomenon. In this “home,” Melnyk said she hopes to make women feel more connected to the field they are a part of. It is not just about sharing ideas and celebrating accomplishments, but creating a space that can change the landscape of the STEM field.
Revel Magazine was just an idea for a long time. Over the summer, the magazine creators began to recruit writers and build a website, which currently remains under construction. The end idea is to have it be print, but obstacles like print cost stand in the way.
“I was so lucky to have a good group of people around me,” Melnyk said. “When we all got together I was like, ‘OK, this can happen.'”
It was a project too large for one woman to handle, but to her surprise, many people felt connected to the idea and were willing to help.
“I wanted to be involved in some way and be a part of this movement,” landscape architecture senior Larissa Kurtz said.
Writing did not necessarily peak her interest, but she found her way and now holds the titles of treasurer and head of media. Even outside of the STEM field, women across all majors at Cal Poly are involved and feel this same passion for the project.
“We have met so many people from so many different majors who felt connected to this project and thats something we didn’t expect,” Melnyk said.
Already, Revel Magazine is creating connections between women in STEM — and the first publication has not even been completed yet.
Currently, Revel staff is working hard to structure articles into features and sections. They became recognized as an official club by Associated Students, Inc., and plan to use this recognition to put on events for people in the STEM field who will bring awareness to the magazine’s mission.
In a field dominated by men, the female voice can be drowned out. But Revel Magazine is making sure they are heard loud and clear.
Revel will hold a launch party for its first edition at 8 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (Building 65).