My mentor Dr. Andrea Motto is the director of the EVOLUTIONS program at the Yale Peabody Museum and Manager of Public and Youth Engagement. I have been participating in the EVOLUTIONS program since my freshman year. I’ve also been in EVOLUTIONS work program Sci.CORPS, working as a museum interpreter and teaching science to museum visitors. I was able to get first hand experiences in STEM through these programs while building close relationships with museum staff and most importantly, the people through these programs. Andrea helped me contact different scientists in the museum, as well as different scientists from other predominantly white institutions across the country. We frequently met to discuss the interviews that I was able to conduct with the scientists and students in STEM. Andrea also helped me conduct the discussion panel for the EVOLUTIONS program where I facilitated the conversation of women of color in STEM.
For my research, I gathered information by interviewing people, including students, researchers, and museum collections managers from Yale University and the Peabody Museum. My mentor, Dr. Andrea Motto, worked closely every week with me to achieve this. I interviewed people of color and women about their experiences in STEM and what they did to accomplish their goals. I also collected information from white male scientists because it is important to ask questions from the people who mostly dominate this area. I interviewed students who plan on pursuing a STEM career to see why they are interested in science and what their next steps are to get there. After gathering research, I worked with Andrea and Alana Ladson, the coordinator of the EVOLUTIONS program, to set up a webinar discussion panel. This webinar was facilitated by me and I picked three women of color to be on the panel. We discussed their experiences in STEM, especially as women of color and how they were able to succeed and persevere working and studying in predominantly white institutions. The audience was the students in the EVOLUTIONS program, as well as other students around New Haven that were interested or passionate about pursuing STEM.