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 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.

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

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about journaling for self-mentoring and have been promising to share my favorite mentoring tips on Mademoiselle Scientist. Today I decided that it is time for me to share my mentoring tips and start my May Mentoring Series. I hope you find this information helpful and if you are a recent graduate or know a recent graduate check out my recent graduate series.

Even though the spring semester is coming to an end now is a good time to start thinking about finding a mentor. This is a good time to network and meet people because there will be many social events going on campus and in the community. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do not find a mentor right away because it takes time. Throughout my journey as a woman in science I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship is a partnership and commitment.

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor:

1. Update myIDP tool:
As you may know I am a huge fan of the myIDP tool. I enjoy staying organized, reevaluating and updating my goals and the myIDP tools helps me do that. When you update the myIDP tool you will be able to see what things you need to talk to a mentor about and what things you can solve by self-mentoring.

2. Use your resources:
There are many resources available and many of them are free. Use the internet as a resource to find what you want in a mentor. Find articles (Levo League), blogs (The Thesis Whisperer, Science Mentor and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) that are doing what you would like to do. This is a great way to find out what career pathways you want to explore. If you want a more hands-on approach check out my recommended books on my useful book list and seasonal reading lists.

3. Remember your role:
When you self-mentor you are playing a double role. You are a mentor and you are a mentee. Think about the strong points you want in a mentor and focus on using these points as a way to self-mentor. This will help you be a better mentor to others and help you find the right mentor when the time is right. Continue reading Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Even though I’m a young and healthy woman I have to remember I cannot do it all. I’m all for being a superwoman, but this superwoman needs a break. I’ve been reading a few blog posts here and there; talking to other women about this issue and realized that a superwoman needs to know her limits. In addition, a superwoman has to start saying “no”. When you say “no” that does not mean that you are being “rude”. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about how you can be the best superwoman you can be in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

Besides this Lois P. Frankel’s book I recommend reading Dr. Amy Freeman’s book about work-life balance, Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life. I did a Mademoiselle Spotlight on her last year and talked about how she is an inspiration to me as an Black Woman in STEM. She is a wonderful mentor and in her book I learned so many things about how I can achieve work-life balance. Continue reading Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Dr. Amy Freeman:

In my last Spotlight on Science post I talked about Dr. Greg Martin. For this Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist post I will like to spotlight Dr. Amy Freeman.

Dr Amy Freeman

Photo Credit: AmyFreeman.net

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Dr. Amy Freeman:

Dr. Freeman is a writer, speaker, educator and Assistant Dean of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Washington State University, and both a Master of Science degree in Architectural Engineering and Ph.D. in Workforce Education from the Pennsylvania State University. In addition, she belongs to numerous organizations including the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) to name a few. She is a perfect example of a great role model for women in STEM.

The first time I met Dr. Freeman was at my first college fair. She told me about the opportunities at Penn State for students interested in STEM: Pre-First Year Science and Engineering Program and the Women in Engineering Program Orientation. A few years later I participated and both of those programs and they helped shaped me into who I am today. She is also one of the reasons I’m passionate about helping the next generations of scientists. When you meet Dr. Freeman you can see the passion in her heart when it comes to STEM diversity. She oversees many diversity programs such as the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) and Women in Engineering Program (WEP) among other things. Not to mention she is a dynamic speaker. If you want to sample a bit of her energy check out her YouTube Channel.  Do you feel her energy?

Continue reading Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Dr. Amy Freeman: