#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

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

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

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)

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…

#DearME STEM College Student Edition: What I Would Tell My Younger Self Part II

Recently, I came across this #DearME video. The #DearME Initiative is a global Initiative started by YouTube to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) to empower young girls everywhere. After watching a few #DearME videos I was inspired share my #DearME STEM College Student Edition. It is important to reflect on the past to truly understand your journey. If you are a recent graduate or looking to update your myIDP tool write down the advice you would give your younger self. Think back to when you were a freshman in college. Here are the things I would tell my younger self – STEM College Student Edition:

#DearME: My Advice to My Younger Self – STEM College Student Edition:

1. It’s okay if you change your major:

When you go to college you will have an idea about what major or career you want, but things can change. After taking a few courses it is okay to explore different majors. Talk to your academic advisor and upperclassmen to see what other majors are out there. Remember your major doesn’t define you. Whether you want to become an engineer, scientist or work in public health there are many pathways to your STEM career.

2. Don’t be afraid to be assertive:

Ask questions, reach out to potential mentors and network. As a freshman this can be a bit scary, but give it a try. When you come out of your shell and start putting yourself out there people will notice. Plus you never know what opportunities you will find. If you are looking for some tips and tricks the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois Frankel is a good resource.

3. Explore the opportunities that STEM can take you early on:

A STEM degree can take you anywhere. Sometimes thinking about different career paths can be a bit overwhelming as a STEM college student. Take time to talk to people and explore the opportunities at your university’s career center. Whether you want to study abroad, do research or get an internship seek opportunities. Even if you are a freshman you can start.

4. Remember your hard work will pay off eventually:

Being a STEM college student is a challenge, but all the obstacles you will face are worth it. Study-a-thons, hectic schedules and 4-hour chemistry labs may seem like a lot, but you will make it. Space out your course-load so that you can have a fun course in the mix of your STEM courses. The life of a STEM college student is about balance and you will learn it before you graduate. Remember success is great, but you don’t have to break yourself getting there. There will be ups and downs, but you will get through it.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help before it is too late:

If you are having a difficult time in one of your STEM courses ask for help. Find a group of peers in your major. Groups like NSBE, SWE, SHPE and SOT are great places to start. Plus if you join these groups you can make new friends in your major and have a strong support system to help you throughout your college career.

6. Enjoy your college experience:

Even though you may have a busy life as a STEM college student make sure you have fun. Go to social events, join groups or play sports. College is not only about getting your education, but it is also about having fun. When you graduate college you want to look back and say you were able to earn your degree and enjoy your college experience.

7. Don’t let negativity get you down:

Don’t let other people’s negativity get in your way of moving forward in your STEM career. Find a group of people who get you and can help you through your tough times.

To learn more check out part I of my advice to my younger STEM self.

What would you tell your younger self as a STEM College Student? #DearME

Share below.

Lessons to my Younger Self: STEM Edition

Happy New Year! After participating in the #BLACKandSTEM major Tweets roll call last week I was inspired to share my top lessons to my younger self.

Lesson to my Younger Self (STEM Edition): Continue reading Lessons to my Younger Self: STEM Edition

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: