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 about the Mademoiselle Scientist behind the blog. My name is Martina and I am a toxicologist, science writer, and STEM education advocate. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to share my journey as a woman in STEM and help the next generation of scientists. I am passionate about all things science: 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 that 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 increase 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 blog 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. In 2013 when I started my blog 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 blog 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

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about journaling for self-mentoring and have been promising to share my favorite mentoring tips on Mademoiselle Scientist. Today I decided that it is time for me to share my mentoring tips and start my May Mentoring Series. I hope you find this information helpful and if you are a recent graduate or know a recent graduate check out my recent graduate series.

Even though the spring semester is coming to an end now is a good time to start thinking about finding a mentor. This is a good time to network and meet people because there will be many social events going on campus and in the community. 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 science I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship is a partnership and commitment.

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

1. Update myIDP tool:
As you may know I am a huge fan of the myIDP tool. I enjoy staying organized, reevaluating and updating my goals and the myIDP tools helps me do that. 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 can solve by self-mentoring.

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 (Levo League), blogs (The Thesis Whisperer, Science Mentor and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) that 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 want a more hands-on approach 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 when the time is right. Continue reading Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

My 2nd Blogiversary: My STEM Journey – To be Continued…

Since today is my 2nd Blogiversary I decided it was a perfect time to reflect on my journey as a woman in science and two years as a science blogger.

I always knew I wanted to become a scientist. I always knew I wanted to become a researcher. 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.

There are many girls and young women that have this same question but some will never become scientists. Why? Because we didn’t give them the resources they needed to pursue their STEM degree and mentor them. If we don’t mentor them who will?

Mentoring is important at all levels. Mentors are people who went through the ups and downs of a STEM career and made it. It’s not impossible without mentors but mentors can make a huge difference. There is a lot I can say about mentors and I will talk about that in a future post and I’m looking forward to sharing my mentoring series with you soon.

My mentors from an early age and the drive I had inside pushed me to become a scientist, researcher, STEM advocate and science writer/blogger. Through all the ups and downs I still wanted to pursue a STEM career. Why? Because I cannot imagine myself in another career.

Further into my STEM journey I discovered my passion for STEM goes beyond research and writing. My passion extends to being an advocate for underrepresented groups, especially minorities and women in STEM. I want to share resources to help the next generations of scientists. As a science communicator I have a platform that will grow and I’m excited to see what’s next for Mademoiselle Scientist! What do you want to see?

Moving forward I want to continue to share resources that will help fellow Mademoiselle Scientists and the next generations of scientists. I will share my journey and help you with your journey.

Continue reading My 2nd Blogiversary: My STEM Journey – To be Continued…

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

Exploring Academic and Career Options

Happy Fall Semester Students!

With the beginning of the school year and career fairs around the corner fall is a busy time of year. It is a great time to explore academic opportunities for the spring and summer. Plan accordingly to make the most out of this season.

Exploring Academic and Career Options:

Graduate School Applications

If you are a junior/senior undergraduate now is the time to prepare for graduate school applications. I am strong believer that if you are going to graduate school, especially in a STEM field you should go to school for free. Yes, Free! I learned that from The National GEM Consortium GRAD Lab. There are many opportunities out there for aspiring scientists. And there are even more opportunities out there for minorities and women in science. Visit your diversity office or departmental office to find out more information.

Continue reading Exploring Academic and Career Options