#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

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

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

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

Welcome to my preview of my mentoring series. Now that the season is warming up it is a good time to attend social events on campus to network and be a part of the community to scope out potential mentors. 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 STEM I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship – it is a partnership and commitment.

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

1. Update myIDP tool:
The myIDP tool helps you stay organized, reevaluate and update your goals. 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 need to reflect on before making the next move.

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, blogs, like The Thesis Whisperer and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) who 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 are looking for a good book 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. Continue reading Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh

In my last Mademoiselle Spotlight, I wrote about The Thesis Whisperer, and for this post, I am featuring Donna Kridelbaugh as this month’s Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist. Donna has amazing content for early career researchers and professionalskridelbaugh

Photo Credit: Donna Kridelbaugh

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh:

When I started Mademoiselle Scientist I only had a handful of followers and I did not know about the online science community. I just knew I wanted to share. Donna was one of my first followers who left a comment and were able to set up a time to chat. She shared her STEM journey and her work with her Science Mentor. I talked about my STEM journey and what I’m doing with Mademoiselle Scientist. We have some overlapping interests and it was nice talking to someone who understands the STEM journey. She gave me some great advice and I know it will help my readers out too. Even though I’m new to this platform, I’m excited about what is next. Thank you Donna for helping and inspiring me to continue to write on this platform.

What is Science Mentor?: Continue reading Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh

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…

My Informational Interview Tips

Informational interviewing is a new concept to me. After learning about them here are my tips. Udate your myIDpP tool. The myIDP tool is a great resource for scientists to organize their SMART career goals. After updating it you will have a better idea on what to focus on for your informational interviews. Continue reading My Informational Interview Tips

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:

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