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

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

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

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…

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:

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

Like A Girl by Always Woman in STEM Reflection

Recently I came across the Always #LikeAGirl campaign and it made me reflect on being a woman in STEM.

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

Careers: Science Policy Reflection – AWIS & NSBE Mashup

For the past few months I have been hearing a lot about alternative science research careers, specifically science policy, patent law, science communication and science journalism. Recently, I attended the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Career Panel on Science Policy and Education hosted by the AWIS-Baltimore.

awis baltimore.png

Science policy is the branch of public policy that is the bridge between science and the public. It involves scientific issues, education, advocacy and everything else that goes into science policy. A balance of writing, communication, and oral skills are key skills to have in a science policy position.

Now there are many recent graduate Ph.D. scientists that are exploring alternative science research careers, such as science policy. The good thing about the science policy field is that you get the opportunity to apply your extensive scientific knowledge that can make an impact on the public. For this career corner post I am going to share my reflection after attending an AWIS career panel on science policy and participating in a NSBE twitter chat on science policy. Continue reading Careers: Science Policy Reflection – AWIS & NSBE Mashup

Black History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist: My Reflections as Black Woman in STEM

As Black History Month comes to an end and Women’s History Month begins I have spent some time reflecting. In my previous post, I did a spotlight about Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb who is an African-American research scientist (Cell Biologist/Cell Physiologist) who made great contributions to cancer research. When Cobb entered graduate school there were few Black women in STEM. Now years later, we are still battling this problem. I’m often the only one in many spaces. How can we increase the number of minority women in STEM? What do we need to change?

One way is by having open conversations with each other, participating in forums, having sessions at conferences, developing curriculum for classrooms, hosting seminars at work or joining others online through Twitter Chats. Last month, The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) #AAWiSTEM hosted a Twitter chat about empowering African-American Women in STEM. This led to a dialogue of Black women scientists sharing challenges and lessons learned while navigating their STEM careers. 

After the chat I reread the American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Why so Few?”. This report addresses the reason behind this and provided solutions to increase more women and girls in STEM.  

In regards to the question, “Why so Few?”, how do we move forward? Here are my thoughts:

  • Making STEM accessible to all, especially underrepresented groups
  • Exposure to STEM at an early age both formal and informal
  • More research on the leaky pipeline problem
  • Encourage girls and women to pursue STEM fields
  • More mentoring and sponsorship opportunities
  • Have open conversations about challenges faced in STEM and develop solutions that are sustainable 

Continue reading Black History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist: My Reflections as Black Woman in STEM