Spring Refresh: Updating your IDP Tool & Goals

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Spring is the perfect time to refresh your goals and update your IDP tool. When I started my blog years ago I did a blog post on how to use the IDP tool. If you are not familiar with the IDP tool check out my blog post and visit the website to create your IDP. Since spring is here I decided it was time to share what I learned from the Creating and Owning Your Individual Development Plan workshop hosted by The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). I encourage you to update your IDP tool and see how you are doing with your goals. Remember goals and plans change so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are ready to take the next step with your IDP check out the CIRTL follow-up workshop (I Completed my IDP…Now What?) on April 9. On the CIRTL website, you can register and find more resources to help you in your career. I’m looking forward to the follow-up workshop next month and I am ready to tackle my goals. Are you? Continue reading

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#ThankYourMentor – National Mentoring Month: My Science Mentoring Story

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Happy New Year and Happy National Mentoring Month! Throughout the month we have seen posts, tweets and stories about the importance of mentoring. This is why The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health started National Mentoring Month back in 2002. National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors to ensure positive effect in young people. 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor. Mentoring makes a difference, especially for underrepresented students who are interested in STEM fields. When students have science mentors it gives them the opportunity to learn about different science career options and build a positive support system.

Since today is the last event of National Mentoring Month (#ThankYourMentor day) and this is my first blog post of 2018 what better time to share how mentoring has made an impact on my science journey. I believe in the impact of mentors and encourage you to mentor someone new. In honor of #ThankYourMentor day I am going to share a few of my mentoring experiences.

As I mentioned in my Mentoring Series, mentoring at all stages is essential for students in the STEM fields, especially underrepresented minority students.  Continue reading

My Autumn Reading List

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I haven’t been reading a lot lately so I don’t have many books to share with you. If you are looking for books that are career focused this is the reading list for you. I’m always looking for book recommendations. If you have any recommendations leave them in the comments section below.

My Autumn Reading List:

Continue reading

A Bit More About Mademoiselle Scientist + The Importance of Having a Science Community

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This month I celebrated my 4th Blog Anniversary and I decided it was a great time for me to share a bit more about the Mademoiselle Scientist behind the blog. My name is Martina and I am a toxicologist, science writer, and science education advocate. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to share my journey as a woman in science and help the next generation of scientists. I am passionate about all things science: research, mentoring, education and outreach. I want to help scientists succeed, students excel and share information that I have learned along my journey. I see myself as a mentor sharing advice I wish I would have known when I was getting started in science.

Early in my journey, there were not many resources like we have today. I remember taking a Minorities in STEM Freshman Seminar Class in college and that was the first time I saw a large group of students that looked like me that were aspiring scientists and engineers. A few years later I found myself surrounded by even more scientists and engineers at the National Society of Black Engineers National Convention. Now I am seeing an increase of scientists and engineers that are in leadership roles in higher education, science policy, research and science communication that as a freshman I did not see. It is incredible to see science, education and research change, but it is also amazing that I have this platform. When I started my blog I did not think that my experiences, the information I learned along the way and resources would turn into a science community. I just wanted a way to help scientists, especially college and underrepresented students learn that they too can become scientists and engineers.

Every day the science community is growing. In 2013 when I started my blog there were only a few blogs out there. Out of the few blogs, I read there were not many blogs that shared information to help scientists, college students and those thinking about graduate school. Also, I did not see many blogs run by minorities or women in STEM. Today there is a blog for everyone.

A Few of My Favorite Blogs in the Science Community: Continue reading

My Reading List II

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I’m excited about sharing this reading list because it is a mix of really good books. Plus, if you haven’t read the book Hidden Figures or see the movie you have to check it out.

My Reading List II:

  • Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement by Freeman Hrabowski III
  • Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel Swaby
  • Zika: The Emerging Epidemic by Donald G. McNeil
  • The Craft of Research by Wayne Booth

What books are you reading? Comment below.

Black History Month Edition: My Experiences Participating in Research Training, Mentoring Programs & Science Organizations

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In honor of Black History Month I was inspired to share my experiences participating in research training, mentoring programs and science organizations. I am grateful for all of my experiences and mentors that helped me become the woman in science that I am today. Coming from an inner city neighborhood and entering a big rural state university was like a dream. My main goal was to get a great education and learn as much as possible to prepare for a science career. Everything after that was an added bonus. I joined science organizations and reached out to science peers for support. For the first time I was able to see people in science that looked like me and I was determined to use the many resources that my university offered.

I participated in science programs such as the Women and Science and Engineering Orientation and the Minority Undergraduate Research Experience Program. These programs taught me the importance of leadership and strong mentoring.  I gained research experience, scientific knowledge and confidence that I could pursue a science career. This inspired me to use my science background not only to include research but include helping other scientists, especially underrepresented groups.

I encourage everyone to seek mentoring, the earlier the better. If you are looking for science mentors check out research training programs, mentoring programs and science organizations. There is a mentor for everyone. As a Gates Millennium Scholar (GMS) later I went on to become a mentor in the GMS program. Then when I entered graduate school I served on the Graduate Student Association to help first-year graduate students transition. I am passionate about helping the next generations of scientists. Science is challenging and fun, but rewarding. At times in the midst of progress I was faced with moments of negativity. There were people who told me that I did not belong and that I would not achieve my goals. I did not let their negativity stop me. I’m sure most of us have experienced negativity or felt alone in science at one point. Don’t let that stop you. Keep moving forward, pave the way and soon there will be others like you in your career. Continue reading

My Spring/Summer III Reading List:

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Since summer is officially here and I haven’t shared my spring reading list I decided to combine my spring/summer list. I will update this list if I find a good book to share with you. If you have any books you want to recommend share them in the comments section.

My Spring/Summer Reading List: Continue reading

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: Beyond the (Micro)Scope Podcast:

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It’s been a long time since I have shared a Spotlight on Science or Mademoiselle Scientist post and I have to say I missed writing these posts. I haven’t listened to a science podcast in some time because I took a small break from podcasts. Not that long ago I was looking for a new science podcast and came across Beyond the (Micro)scope. Beyond the (Micro)scope is a podcast focusing on science, technology and business topics of women in science. I’m a huge advocate for women in science so this podcast was up my alley.

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: Beyond the (Micro)Scope:

Beyond the (Micro)Scope was founded by Lindsay Claiborn and Dr. Mumu Xu. Claiborn is a multimedia journalist with a background in television reporting and digital producer at FOX Soccer. She is a Claremount McKenna College alum and has a Master’s in broadcast journalism from Nortwestern University. Xu is an assistant professor in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and her research focuses on designing and controlling unmanned systems. She has a M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology and her B.S. from Harvard University.

It’s great seeing women coming together with a passion for STEM. I’m always looking for new science podcasts and/or blogs to check out to learn more about research news, science outreach and different STEM-ers doing great things. If you have any suggestions leave a link in the comments section.

What is Beyond the (Micro)Scope?: Continue reading

Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips

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In my previous post I shared my insight on the different types of mentors and how they have helped me on my journey as a woman in science. No matter what stage you are in your career you can benefit from having a mentor and being a mentor.

Just like many relationships; I have found the best mentors when I was not looking. I was at the right place at the right time. I remember one particular story of finding a mentor. I was at a National Society of Black Engineers Convention and I attended a GEM Consortium Workshop: “Why you should go to graduate school?” I was so impressed, inspired and motivated after the workshop and I realized I found my mentor (the presenter). After the workshop was over I introduced myself and asked him to be my mentor and he said yes. He gave me great advice and the top two takeaway messages I learned were: Remember what you came for and this (insert hardship/challenge you are facing) could be a blessing in disguise.

If you find yourself in a similar situation or find someone who would be a great mentor ask them for advice. People love giving advice. In my experiences, most people said yes. The people who said no were people who were super busy or I learned that they were not a good match for me. How did you find your mentor?

Finding Mentors: Continue reading

Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

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In my last blog post I shared how self-mentoring and understanding what you need in a mentor is the first step when finding a mentor. One of my first mentors was my aunt who is an electrical engineer and she gave me so much insight on my career. In high school I had a mentor that took me under her wing and helped me work on my Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) Application. I was so happy when I found out I got the GMS Scholarship, especially after opening a rejection letter from my dream college. These are just two examples of how mentors played a role in my life and I am grateful that they were my mentors. Fast forward years later one of my professors told me that I will need different types of mentors. And he was right!

Different Types of Mentors: Continue reading