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 science 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. Science 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

Being a #BLACKandSTEM Woman Twitter Chat Reflection

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.

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

Professional Role Models in STEM

If you look at my blog post about why I started Mademoiselle Scientist you will know that one of my goals for Mademoiselle Scientist is to be a resource for women in STEM. Before I started Mademoiselle Scientist The Thesis Whisperer was the first science blog I came across and she inspired me to get started science blogging. After that I found more women in STEM bloggers that have inspired me: Science Mentor#BLACKandSTEM, and Ellekement to name a few. If you have any women in STEM bloggers I should check out share in the comments section.

As I move forward with Mademoiselle Scientist I want to share more of my experiences and blog posts that will help women in STEM. A few months ago I talked about some ways that we can empower women in STEM. I believe the easiest way to do this is by mentoring the future generations of Mademoiselle Scientists. Before I talk about mentoring (I will share in a future post) I want to talk about the importance of professional role models. Continue reading Professional Role Models in STEM

Mademoiselle Scientist September Birthday Spotlight: Irène Joliot-Curie

September is my favorite month and this month I have many things to celebrate. In my last post I talked about how September 2nd marked my 1st Blogiversary for Mademoiselle Scientist. Next week I am starting a new series, Spotlight on Science. Since Irène Joliot-Curie and I share the same birthday (September 12) it makes sense to pick her as my Mademoiselle Scientist September Birthday Spotlight. If you want to check out my other Mademoiselle Scientist Spotlights check out my blog posts about: Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb and Dr. Mae Jemison. These are all amazing Mademoiselle Scientists.

joliot-curie

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Irène Joliot-Curie was born on September 12, 1897 in Paris, France. She was the daughter of Marie and Pierre, two physicists that shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with Antoine Henri Becquerel. Following her parents footsteps she also excelled at science and mathematics. She even worked with her mother, Marie Curie at the Radium Institute in Paris. Like her mother, she was committed to science, excellence, research, and discovery.

Irène continued to excel and studied at the Radium Institute in Paris where her doctoral thesis focused on alpha rays of polonium. In 1925 after years of research she received her Doctorate of Science. While she was working at the Radium Institute she met a physicist named, Frédéric Joliot and a year later they were married. A few years later she was appointed as lecturer in 1932, and in 1935 their research paid off. They won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements. After winning the Nobel Prize in 1937 Irène became a professor and later Director of the Radium Institute in 1946. To learn more about their Nobel Prize Award and others check out NobelPrize.org.

Their discovery led to further studies and tools to help with cancer treatment. After many years working with very hazardous materials Irène was diagnosed with leukemia due to exposure of polonium. Later her health began to decline and she died on March 17, 1956 of leukemia at the age of 58 after a lifetime of exposure to radiation.

Continue reading Mademoiselle Scientist September Birthday Spotlight: Irène Joliot-Curie

Empowering Women in STEM

If you go back early this year during black history month I shared a post about my reflections as Black Woman in STEM #AAWiSTEM. I know that there many women in STEM that read my blog and can relate to some of the things I spoke about in that post.

The other day I was talking to one of my colleagues about why I decided to become a scientist and I talked about empowering women. I like to support organizations that support minorities and women in STEM. When I started my blog I shared my 5 Tips for Women in Science and a month ago I wrote a science reflection post about the #LikeAGirl Campaign by Always. These posts make me think about this question further. How can we empower women in STEM? What do you think? Let’s start a discussion in the comment section.

Here is how we can get started:

Empowering Women in STEM: Continue reading Empowering Women in STEM

Like A Girl by Always Woman in STEM Reflection

The other day I was watching a YouTube video and I came across this video by Always called #LikeAGirl. If you haven’t seen it click here. I usually skip the random advertisements on YouTube after 5 seconds, but this particular video caught my attention.

 

 

Always #LikeAGirl Video Woman in STEM Reflection: Continue reading Like A Girl by Always Woman in STEM Reflection

Women’s History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

In honor of Women History Month I decided to write a post to celebrate Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi.

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Photo Credit: TheGuardian.com

Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is a virologist, professor, and Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit, Virology Department at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Dr. Barré-Sinoussi was born on July 30, 1947 in Paris, France. She was the only child and had a passion for science at an early age. When she entered undergraduate she decided to pursue a natural science degree because she wanted to make discoveries.

Shortly after she began to work in the laboratory with Jean-Claude Chermann at the Pasteur Institute studying retroviruses and cancer in mice and completed her Ph.D. there. In 1975 she was offered a fully funded research position supervised by Montagnier. Since I am interested vaccine and infectious disease research I wanted to showcase Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi’s cutting-edge contributions to science in the field of disease transmission, immunity, and virology.

In 2008 two of the greatest discoveries were honored. 2008 was the year the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared with three scientists. Harald zur Hausen has 1/2 of the Prize share “for his discovery of human papilloma virus causing cervical cancer”, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has 1/4 of the Prize share and Luc Montagnier has 1/4 of the Prize share “for their discovery of human immunodeficiency5 virus”. As stated on Nobelprize.org website,”It was identified in lymphocytes from patients with enlarged lymph nodes in early stages of acquired immunodeficiency, and in the blood from patients with late stage disease” To learn more about the discovery check out the nobelprize.org.

Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi represents one of the 44 total women that have been awarded the Nobel Prize (1901-2013) and one of the 16 total women that have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the Sciences. She believes that receiving the Nobel Prize is also a prize for everyone in the community. Continue reading Women’s History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi