What do you do?
Currently, I develop and implements strategies and relationships to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for future generations. It’s my mission to inspire others to serve as role models and empower women in STEM. However, my entry into STEM was in the field of entomology, the study of insects. I have worked with a variety of insects important to agriculture.
Why did you choose this field?
I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian, but between my junior and senior year in high school I was selected as an intern and was assigned to an entomology research lab at the University of California Kearney Ag Center. I was not looking forward to the experience since I was terrified of insects. Luckily, my project was working with ants, and I soon found them to be amazing creatures. I had no idea that this short internship would change my career path completely.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
You can be an entrepreneur and inventor in many areas. Entrepreneurship to me is creating something new. Much like science, it requires innovation. I like to think of myself as a STEM outreach entrepreneur. I’ve helped to start three successful outreach programs including two while in graduate school and one in industry.
Why do you love working in STEM?
The agriculture industry feeds the world! It doesn’t get more rewarding than knowing that you have an impact on the health and lives of people around the world. Locally, it’s amazing for me to see the passion that my colleagues have for their communities and the work they do to help.
Best advice for next generation?
Follow your passions. If you don't currently see the opportunities you want then create them yourself. Be a trailblazer!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.