#ThankYourMentor – National Mentoring Month: My Science Mentoring Story

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) 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 #ThankYourMentor – National Mentoring Month: My Science Mentoring Story

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

This month I celebrated my 4th Blog Anniversary and I decided it was a great time for me to share a bit more me and why I started Mademoiselle Scientist . My name is Martina and I am a toxicologist, science communicator, and STEM education advocate. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to share my journey as a woman in STEM and support the next generation of scientists. I am passionate about all things STEM: 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 who 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 increasing number 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 Mademoiselle Scientist 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. When I started Mademoiselle Scientist 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 platform for everyone.

A Few of My Favorite Blogs in the Science Community: Continue reading A Bit More About Mademoiselle Scientist + The Importance of Having a Science Community

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

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

My 2nd Blogiversary: My STEM Journey – To be Continued…

Welcome to my 2nd Blogiversary of Mademoiselle Scientist. After two years of blogging here is what I learned:

STEM interests generally start early: I have always been excited about all things STEM. At a very young age I knew that I wanted to become a scientist and later get my Ph.D. (This is something I’m still exploring if the right opportunity/program/time comes.) But the one thing I questioned was; how would I get there? I know we all have been there at one point of our STEM career.

Resources need to be accessible to all. There are many budding students who have this same question but some will never become scientists due to lack of resources. With the right exposure, opportunity and mentors students will have the tools needed to become scientists. I am excited to see what the next generation of scientists brings.

Mentoring is important at all levels. Mentors are people who went through though the ups and downs of a STEM career and want to pay it forward. It’s not impossible without mentors but mentors can make a huge difference. My mentors from an early age helped me to become a scientist, researcher, STEM advocate and science communicator. Through all the challenges I still wanted to pursue a STEM career because I cannot imagine myself doing something outside of  STEM.

Science communication is a great tool, especially when combined with education. Further into my STEM journey I discovered my passion for STEM goes beyond research and writing. My passion extends to being an STEM educational advocate for underrepresented groups. My goal is to share resources to support the next generations of scientists. As a science communicator I hope to grow Mademoiselle Scientist into a platform that will be accessible to all who are interested in STEM careers.

Continue reading My 2nd Blogiversary: My STEM Journey – To be Continued…

Mademoiselle Scientist/Spotlight on Science: Dr. Monica Cox

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8) I want to do a double feature to spotlight Dr. Monica Cox as this month’s Mademoiselle Scientist and Spotlight on Science. If you want to check out my last double feature check out my feature about MySciCareer and Dr. Amy Freeman to learn more about women that are doing great things in science!

A couple of weeks ago I was on Twitter and I came across Dr. Monica F. Cox after participating in a #BLACKandSTEM Twitter chat. I like to keep my Mademoiselle Scientists network growing because it helps me build a strong support system. In an earlier post I talked about the importance of professional mentors and how I didn’t have many women STEM mentors growing up. Continue reading Mademoiselle Scientist/Spotlight on Science: Dr. Monica Cox

What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

A few months ago the 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 shared 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,  disrespectful, and unprofessional. I remember reading a few articles about this topic and the Women in Astronomy (Is Science in the Eye of the Beholder?) and it does not make sense how common these questions get asked.

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. The last time I checked there is nothing wrong with being feminine or taking pride in my appearance.

Have you ever heard, “you don’t look like a scientist”? Or how about, “You are too pretty to be a scientist”? If so, this has to spot. Let’s come together change the narrative and make a chances so our voices will be heard that we are scientists. Continue reading What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

Lessons to my Younger Self: STEM Edition

Happy New Year! After participating in the #BLACKandSTEM major Tweets roll call last week I was inspired to share my top lessons to my younger self.

Lesson to my Younger Self (STEM Edition): Continue reading Lessons to my Younger Self: STEM Edition

Being a #BLACKandSTEM Woman Twitter Chat Reflection

Every Thursday #BLACKandSTEM has Twitter chats on various topics. On Thursday, October 30, I participated in their discussion about being a Black Woman in STEM. In case you missed the Twitter chat click here to find out more information.

Let’s get started with my reflection: Continue reading Being a #BLACKandSTEM Woman Twitter Chat Reflection

Professional Role Models in STEM

One of the reasons I started Mademoiselle Scientist is to support the next generation of scientists. Before I started Mademoiselle Scientist The Thesis Whisperer was the first educational blog I came across. Dr. Inger Mewburn inspired me to start blogging. After that I found more women in STEM bloggers who have inspired me: Science Mentor#BLACKandSTEM, and Ellekement to name a few. As I move forward with Mademoiselle Scientist I want to this space to be resource, inspiring and a supportive community.   Continue reading Professional Role Models in STEM

Mademoiselle Scientist Turns 1 Year Old: My 1st Blogiversary

1st Blogiversary MSToday Mademoiselle Scientist turns 1 Year Old. It’s my blogiversary! I cannot believe that a year ago today I published my first post. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to support the next generation of scientists and to share my journey as a woman in STEM. Now, that I have had Mademoiselle Scientist for a year I have learned many things and am ready for what is next.

This month I am introducing a series called Spotlight on Science. It will highlight different science resources and information that is helpful to other scientists. If you want to check out my other series check out my Mademoiselle Scientist Birthdays or Recent Graduate Series. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Thank you for subscribing to Mademoiselle Scientist. I appreciate you and every comment I receive. I enjoy being a member of the science blogging community. I followed Ph.D. Comics for years and it made me laugh while I was in my Masters Program. A few years later I discovered The Thesis Whisperer and I emailed her about starting a science blog and she gave me great feedback. She was so helpful and I look forward to her posts. This platform is my place to share what I have learned through my STEM journey.

What type of posts are you looking forward to seeing? Comment below.

Thank you for your continued support!