Hey! So seeing as how it's Black History Month, we decided to spotlight a few phenomenal women in our fields just to show off some #BlackGirlMagic. I always preach how important representation is so hopefully me telling you about this particular set of women gives you a little motivation to pursue/continue to pursue an education and career in STEM. So here we go...
1. Dr. Sibrina Collins
Dr. Collins is a proud OSU alum, #GoBucks, that I had the pleasure to meet last week on campus. She is currently the Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Technological University and in her role here, she focuses on promoting STEM education, innovation, and diversity with students in Michigan public schools. She's worn many hats over the duration of her career, but they've all geared towards mentorship. She's worked as an Assistant Professor at Claflin University, a writer/editor for the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), and even served as Director of Graduate Diversity Recruiting at the University of Washington. By trade, she's an inorganic chemist whose research focuses on designing new anticancer agents, which she still works on a little bit at LTU. What I truly appreciated about Dr. Collins was how passionate she was about getting younger students interested in STEM. It's really important to mold student while they're young and the programs they have at the Marburger STEM Center are truly amazing.
2. Dr. Rena Robinson
So I know I talk about Dr. Robinson a lot, but it's only because she's had such an impact on my personal and professional life. Plus, I love her. Anyway, Dr. Robinson was my academic advisor at Pitt and now she's an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University. Her work at Vanderbilt is going to focus on how organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Robinson has received a lotttt of awards, so I'm not going to talk about them all, but I will mention she is the recipient of the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor's Faculty Fellowship at Vanderbilt. This award is named after the first African American woman to receive an undergraduate degree from the school to support faculty that are leaders in diversity in STEM. So basically, she's amazing.
3. Dr. Lisa Jones
Dr, Jones is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy. She's an up and coming name in the field of proteomics (the study of proteins). Her lab focus on studying proteins in their native environments to look at protein-protein interactions. Dr. Jones is a leading expert in 3D protein structural elucidation using a method called FPOP - Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins. I'm going to leave it at that because trying to explain what that means would open up a whole new can of worms, but regardless Dr. Jones is pretty cool.
4. Dr. Christine Grant
Dr. Grant serves as the Associate Dean of Faculty Advancement at NC State. She's actually a chemical engineer, which still counts. But Dr. Grant does with a lot of work students from middle school to college and has received awards from the YWCA, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Council for Chemical Research. Her goal is to create interactive programs to help students grow academically and professionally and more recently, she received the AAAS Mentor Award for these efforts. The research she does is mainly geared towards surface and environmental applications to understand mechanisms of decontamination of various surfaces.
5. Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry
Dr. Mayberry, aka The Tox Doc, is a Space, Environmental, Food & Nutritional Toxicologist who has worked for NASA. She's the first female space toxicologist which is pretty cool. She's been featured on tv and has a book called "Talking Toxicology", but the real reason I added her to this list is for the work she's doing related to the zika virus. In 2016, the first case of sexually transmitted zika virus was reported and she had been one of the only scientists to state that this type of transmission was possible before this report surfaced. Since this virus gets into the bloodstream and go through the whole body, contracting the disease through unprotected with someone infected is definitely possible. Like all of these other women mentioned, Dr. Mayberry has received a ton of awards for her work and she's even the lead author on a chapter of an international toxicology textbook.
These are just 5 out of the many women doing great things in science. I hope you all learned something.If you know anyone else doing something awesome in STEM, tweet me with their story!