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 STEM education advocate. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to share my journey as a woman in STEM 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 STEM.
Early in my journey, there were not many resources like we have today. I remember taking a Minorities in STEM Freshman Seminar Class at Penn State 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 who 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.
Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh:
When I started blogging I only had a handful of followers and I did not know about the science blogging community. I just knew that I wanted to share my journey with others. After a few months of blogging I received an email from Science Mentor and she told me how she liked my blog. This was exciting because I just started blogging. So I checked out her blog and it is indeed a gem of resources.
I enjoyed talking to her about my journey and moving forward in the science communication community. We have some overlapping interests and it’s good to talk to someone who understands the science journey. She gave me some great advice and I know it will help my readers out too. Even though I’m new to blogging and shy I’m going to work on putting myself out there because I want to help other STEM-ers. Thank you Donna for helping me and inspiring me to continue to share my journey through blogging.
There are many girls and young women that have this same question but some will never become scientists. Why? Because we didn’t give them the resources they needed to pursue their STEM degree and mentor them. If we don’t mentor them who will?
Mentoring is important at all levels. Mentors are people who went through the ups and downs of a STEM career and made it. It’s not impossible without mentors but mentors can make a huge difference. There is a lot I can say about mentors and I will talk about that in a future post and I’m looking forward to sharing my mentoring series with you soon.
My mentors from an early age and the drive I had inside pushed me to become a scientist, researcher, STEM advocate and science writer/blogger. Through all the ups and downs I still wanted to pursue a STEM career. Why? Because I cannot imagine myself in another career.
Further into my STEM journey I discovered my passion for STEM goes beyond research and writing. My passion extends to being an advocate for underrepresented groups, especially minorities and women in STEM. I want to share resources to help the next generations of scientists. As a science communicator I have a platform that will grow and I’m excited to see what’s next for Mademoiselle Scientist! What do you want to see?
Moving forward I want to continue to share resources that will help fellow Mademoiselle Scientists and the next generations of scientists. I will share my journey and help you with your journey.
A few months ago I participated in: The Real Talk about the Ph.D. #PioneerChat hosted by Dr. Monica F. Cox with guest host, Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro. Since I am prospective Ph.D. student I was looking forward to this twitter chat because I enjoy hearing people talk about their Ph.D. journeys. Plus it’s a great way to network with fellow women in STEM.
To find out more about #PioneerChat, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro click here.
Spring is around the corner! You know what that means — spring cleaning. I know most of you can relate to getting tons of emails every day. If you are looking for more spring inspiration check out my blog post, Ways to Refresh Yourself for the New Season of Spring.
A few months ago Science Mentor told me about a new science blogger, La Cientifica. So I went on over to her blog and came across her post, Please Refrain. In this post she shares some of the crazy comments she gets as a woman in science. Here are some of the comments that stood out to me the most:
Come on angels.
Women live longer than men because they don’t work as hard.
The only intelligent woman I know is my wife.
You don’t dress like a scientist.
Do you plan on having a baby anytime soon?
I can say that I have heard these before. Have you? These comments are inappropriate and disrespectful! I remember reading a few articles about this topic and the Women in Astronomy (Is Science in the Eye of the Beholder?) blog post.
When did society make it okay for people to make rude comments to women in STEM? This is unacceptable and has to stop! As a Mademoiselle Scientist I should only be judged by the work that I do, not what I look like. Since I look young and dress stylishly I often get the comments like: “you look so young”, or “real scientists don’t care about how they look, this is not a fashion show” and sometimes I don’t get taken seriously. It’s a shame that things are this way. The last time I checked there is nothing wrong with being feminine or taking pride in my appearance.
Last week I was reading Biochem Belle’s blog post, Changing Course, Part 3: Open exploration. This post was a continuation post and she shared how the myIDP tool helped her figure what she wanted to do next in her career. After spending time on the myIDP tool she discovered, MySciCareer.com. Since I never heard MySciCareer I had to explore and decided this would be a be a great double Feature Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist post. Thank you, Biochem Belle for sharing this resource and I look forward to reading more about your changing course series!
Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: MySciCareer:
MySciCareer was founded by two Mademoiselle Scientists that are biochemists, Eva Amsen and Lou Woodley. Eva is the Outreach Director at F1000 Research and Lou is currently a freelance community engagement specialist. Another cool thing about these Mademoiselle Scientists is that they are both bloggers and are big on science outreach. They both have lots of writing and blogging up their sleeve. Eva launched and ran the developmental biology blog, the Node, shares her musician side on her blog, MusiSci, and blogs on easternblog.net and The Finch and Pea. Lou founded and served as Managing Editor of BlueSci Magazine, If you want to see more of her, check out her blog, Social in Silico, where she integrates people, science and technology.
Remember when I said I was going to start getting involved in more twitter chats? So far I have been following #TWiV, #TWiGH, #ECRchat #PhDChat and #BLACKandSTEM chat. If you have any twitter chats I should check out let me know in the comment section.
On Thursday, October 30, I participated in a #BLACKandSTEM twitter chat hosted by @BLACKandSTEM. Every Thursday #BLACKandSTEM has twitter chats on various topics. Last Thursday’s topic was about being #BLACKandSTEM and a woman. When I heard about this topic I knew that I had to check it out.
Just in case you missed the #BLACKandSTEM chat click here to find out more information.
In my first Spotlight on Science post I talked about Dr. Vincent Racaniello. In January I talked about resources for scientists. If you have been following my blog for some time you know that I am a toxicologist I am exploring a vaccine research career. Dr. Racaniello and Coursera.org are great resources to check out.