My Autumn Reading List

If you are looking for books that are career focused this is the reading list for you. 

My Autumn Reading List:

Continue reading My Autumn Reading List

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

Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips

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.

Finding Mentors: Continue reading Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips

Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

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.

Different Types of Mentors: Continue reading Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

Resources for Scientists using MOOCs: Coursera vs Edx.org

If you have been following Mademoiselle Scientist you know that I enjoy learning. Whenever I find a resource I have to share it. My two favorite resources for online learning are Coursera.org and Edx.org. These two Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) sites are perfect if you want to learn something new now.

courseraedx

After a few years of using both of these MOOC sites: Coursera.org and Edx.org I have a good feel for what they have to offer. Both sites offer tons of courses in various subjects taught by professors from universities around the world. Whether you want to earn a certificate, learn a new subject area, enhance your knowledge for your career or enroll in a multiple-course specialization unit Coursera.org and Edx.org are perfect for you.

Both MOOC sites have apps available for smartphones and tablets which make learning on-the-go easy. I prefer to use my computer to take my courses and I like to use Microsoft OneNote to take notes. It helps me keep the information organized with a digital notebook feel. 

After using both MOOCs I can honestly say you can’t go wrong with Coursera.org or Edx.org. Both will give you a great digital learning experience to help you in your career. Whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, professional or thinking about learning something new I’m sure you will find a course that fits your needs. I recommend creating an account for both to keep track of what courses are available. There are so many courses and you don’t want to miss out. Continue reading Resources for Scientists using MOOCs: Coursera vs Edx.org

Resources for Scientists: Online Learning Using Edx.org

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are online courses that make learning about different subjects accessible to all. With the internet at your fingertips you can learn a new topic/skill that will help elevate your STEM career. After taking several Coursera.org courses I decided to explore other MOOC sites and I came across Edx.org.

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Image Credit: Edx.org

Edx.org has a different look than Coursera.org and from my first glance at the site I can tell that Edx.org wants the online learning experience to be user-friendly. Before you take a course on Edx.org there is a free self-paced DemoX course that will help you get familiar with how Edx.org works. Continue reading Resources for Scientists: Online Learning Using Edx.org

Mademoiselle Spotlight Feature: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn

As a graduate student, I unofficially started generating ideas and topics for Mademoiselle Scientist and discovered my first higher education blog, The Thesis Whisperer.

Dr Inger Mewburn The Thesis Whisperer

Photo Credit: TheThesisWhisperer 

Mademoiselle Spotlight: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn:

Before officially starting Mademoiselle Scientist I reached out to The Thesis Whisperer. She gave me some great feedback and tips to get started. The advice I remember the most is to just start. There are not many blogs and platforms in the early academic, science, women in STEM, student and early research career category so there is a huge need. Currently, I’m two years in. I have a lot to learn and many things to share on my STEM journey.

Looking back I’m glad I took The Thesis Whisperer’s advice and recommend it to everyone. It is a gem of resources for graduate students and professionals. I can’t believe I didn’t know about The Thesis Whisperer earlier in my academic career. It would have been handy. On the bright side, I’m glad I found it.

What is The Thesis Whisperer? Continue reading Mademoiselle Spotlight Feature: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn

Back to School Tips for College & Graduate Students (STEM Edition)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Back to School Time! Good luck to everyone going back to school or starting a new school this year. I wish you the best. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student this post is for you.

My Back to School Tips: Continue reading Back to School Tips for College & Graduate Students (STEM Edition)

The Real Talk about the PhD #PioneerChat Reflection:

After participating in The Real Talk about the Ph.D. #PioneerChat hosted by Dr. Monica F. Cox with guest host, Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro I have some reflections. Since I am prospective Ph.D. student I was looking forward to this discussion because I enjoy hearing people talk about their Ph.D. journeys.

To find out more about #PioneerChat, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro click here. Continue reading The Real Talk about the PhD #PioneerChat Reflection: