#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

My Spring/Summer III Reading List:

Now that the weather is warming up, check out a few of these books.

My Spring/Summer Reading List: Continue reading My Spring/Summer III Reading List:

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: Beyond the (Micro)Scope Podcast:

 Beyond the (Micro)scope is a podcast focusing on science, technology, and business topics of women in science. I’m a huge advocate for women in STEM so this podcast was perfect.

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: Beyond the (Micro)Scope:

Beyond the (Micro)Scope was founded by Lindsay Claiborn and Dr. Mumu Xu. Claiborn is a multimedia journalist with a background in television reporting and digital producer at FOX Soccer. She is a Claremont McKenna College alum and has a master’s in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University. Xu is an assistant professor in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and her research focuses on designing and controlling unmanned systems. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her B.S. from Harvard University.

What is Beyond the (Micro)Scope?:

beyondthemicroscope

Photo Credit: Beyond the Microscope

Continue reading Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: Beyond the (Micro)Scope Podcast:

Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

As many women agree, society can put pressure to do it all – to be a superwoman. Sometimes we might want to do it all, but then there are times we cannot. That is okay because we are human and we all need balance. Whether it is a “yes” or a “no”, establishing boundaries, knowing your limits and expressing yourself is key. “No” is a complete sentence that needs no explanation and it is not being rude. Do not fall trap of being voluntold. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about being more assertive in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

Besides this Lois P. Frankel’s book I recommend reading Dr. Amy Freeman’s book about work-life balance, Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life. I did a Mademoiselle Spotlight on her last year and talked about how she is an inspiration to me as an Black Woman in STEM. She is a wonderful mentor and in her book I learned so many things about how I can achieve work-life balance. Continue reading Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

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…

Mademoiselle Scientist/Spotlight on Science: Dr. Monica Cox

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8) I want to do a double feature to spotlight Dr. Monica Cox as this month’s Mademoiselle Scientist and Spotlight on Science. If you want to check out my last double feature check out my feature about MySciCareer and Dr. Amy Freeman to learn more about women that are doing great things in science!

A couple of weeks ago I was on Twitter and I came across Dr. Monica F. Cox after participating in a #BLACKandSTEM Twitter chat. I like to keep my Mademoiselle Scientists network growing because it helps me build a strong support system. In an earlier post I talked about the importance of professional mentors and how I didn’t have many women STEM mentors growing up. Continue reading Mademoiselle Scientist/Spotlight on Science: Dr. Monica Cox

What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

A few months ago the Science Mentor told me about a new science blogger, La Cientifica. So I went on over to her blog and came across her post, Please Refrain. In this post she shared some of the crazy comments she gets as a woman in science. Here are some of the comments that stood out to me the most:

  • Come on angels.
  • Women live longer than men because they don’t work as hard.
  • The only intelligent woman I know is my wife.
  • You don’t dress like a scientist.
  • Do you plan on having a baby anytime soon?

I can say that I have heard these before. Have you? These comments are inappropriate,  disrespectful, and unprofessional. I remember reading a few articles about this topic and the Women in Astronomy (Is Science in the Eye of the Beholder?) and it does not make sense how common these questions get asked.

When did society make it okay for people to make rude comments to women in STEM? This is unacceptable and has to stop. As a Mademoiselle Scientist I should only be judged by the work that I do, not what I look like. Since I look young and dress stylishly I often get the comments like: “you look so young”, or “real scientists don’t care about how they look, this is not a fashion show” and sometimes I don’t get taken seriously. The last time I checked there is nothing wrong with being feminine or taking pride in my appearance.

Have you ever heard, “you don’t look like a scientist”? Or how about, “You are too pretty to be a scientist”? If so, this has to spot. Let’s come together change the narrative and make a chances so our voices will be heard that we are scientists. Continue reading What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: MySciCareer

Last week I was reading Biochem Belle’s blog post, Changing Course, Part 3: Open exploration. This post was a continuation post and she shared how the myIDP tool helped her figure what she wanted to do next in her career. After spending time on the myIDP tool she discovered, MySciCareer.com. Since I never heard MySciCareer I had to explore and decided this would be a be a great double Feature Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist post.

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: MySciCareer:

MySciCareer was founded by two Mademoiselle Scientists that are biochemists, Eva Amsen and Lou Woodley. Eva is the Outreach Director at F1000 Research and Lou is currently a community engagement specialist. Another cool thing about these Mademoiselle Scientists is that they are both bloggers and are big on science outreach. They both have lots of writing and blogging up their sleeve. Eva launched and ran the developmental biology blog, the Node, shares her musician side on her blog, MusiSci, and blogs on easternblog.net and The Finch and Pea. Lou founded and served as Managing Editor of BlueSci Magazine, If you want to see more of her, check out her blog, Social in Silico, where she integrates people, science and technology.

It’s great to see fellow Mademoiselle Scientists that are bloggers and collaborating. When I started Mademoiselle Scientist I only knew about a handful of women in STEM bloggers, now every day my list is growing. I’m glad these Mademoiselle Scientists decided to come together to create MySciCareer Continue reading Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: MySciCareer