Black History Month Highlights

Last month, in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, I highlighted notable Black STEMists on Twitter every week day for the month of February in collaboration with the @HaynesChemLab. Here's the thread I created to showcase some incredible Black STEMists. Dr. Kristala L. Jones Prather Dr. Prather worked at @Merck for several years before starting her academic research …

Celebrating Native American/ Indigenous History Heritage Month with notable STEMists

As I write this, I first want to acknowledge the land the University of Minnesota is on. These are the original homelands of the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations. It is important for us to note and respect the Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed from this land and those who are still connected to this land. But …

Notable Black STEMists: Celebrating Black History Month on Twitter

Annie Easley

Representation in STEM is something that is incredibly important to me. Higher education isn’t filled with people like me – people of color. The more I advance in my career, the more important I find it to use my platform to highlight people of color who have broken insurmountable boundaries to be successful in their …

Podcast Ep. 19 Scientists and Impostor Syndrome: Can We Do Anything About It?

You may have heard of "impostor syndrome" or "imposter phenomenon," when perfectly competent people have the feeling that they don't belong or are faking it in their professional lives. It can lead sufferers to hold back their ideas and self-reject from opportunities, and it is surprisingly common among high-achieving people. In this episode, we talk …

The Educational Impact of Meeting Real Scientists

The most exciting moments of my pre-college education were from a field trip to the geology department of Augustana College where I was shown around the facilities by Dr. Michael Wolf. He showed me tools that scientists use to experiment with rocks under intense heat and pressure. This visit where I met Dr. Wolf, with …

Swiss Army Knife of Science – Collaborations & Research Instrumentation

This blog post comes at a time when our center is probing the nano-bio interface (see prior blog entries below) with one of the largest collection of scientific research instrumentation to which I have ever had access. The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology has researchers at 5 universities across the Midwest as well as the Pacific …

How I Study Nanoparticles’ Interactions with Biological Soup

Designing non-toxic nanomaterials requires that we understand how those nanomaterials interact with biological systems. Systems such as you me, and all other organisms, contain a “biological soup” of chemical compounds, known as biomolecules. So the question becomes…how do nanomaterials transform once they come into contact with these biomolecules? This question has become increasingly important, especially …

Girls-in-STEM Programs & My Single-Sex Education Experience

Attending Spelman College helped me to realize my potential as a scientist and as a scholar. Sitting in a room full of women, the pressure of impressing members of the opposite sex removed, I was able to come into myself, build confidence and explore my role in scientific discourse. I did not realize how comfortable …