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Jessica DeYoung

PhD candidate/ researcher, University of Iowa

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Speaking up doesn’t make you look weak or dumb.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I use different kinds of microscopes and elemental analysis to determine how the grime on windows/ buildings can affect the environment.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I always felt like I had questions about why the world works. In my undergraduate studies, I found chemistry was a way to pursue answers to such questions. It was during this time that I had two amazing professors/ research advisors. Being around them made me realize PhDs are just regular people who like chemistry.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Giving talks in front of scientists I really respect at national meetings. It is kind of silly but I was always shy as a kid.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I really like the problem solving. Whether it is building instruments or troubleshooting an experiment, I like critically thinking about how the parts work together. It is great to have a job that challenges you. It is also fun to work with lasers.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Speaking up doesn’t make you look weak or dumb. A lot of the time, people are thinking the same thing you are.

INSPO / FUN FACT

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” -Teddy Roosevelt