Ahh.. So I'm leaving academia...
After 4 years of an undergraduate degree, 1.5 years of a masters degree, 6 years for a doctorate and 1.5 years of a postdoc... (yes add it up, its been 13 years!!!!!)
I am hanging up the lab coat.. (for now!) and going into Science POLICY!
Specifically, I will be working with the Department of Defense, on a program initiative to strengthen the STEM departments and curriculums of HBCUs and MSI nationwide!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me back up a bit! How did I even get here?!?
Well, honestly with everything I've ever done, it started with a conversation (which is why my advice to EVERYONE IS TO NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK)...
That's for another convo tho lol
Back to this change!
After 6 months of a long MULTI-STEP application and interview process...
I've been awarded the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship which will allow me to enter and explore the world where science and policy intersects!!!
To say I am HYPE, would be an understatement.. so many aspects of this opportunity excites me.
For one: it's no secret that my journey to my doctorate was a difficult one. One where I dealt with micro AND macro- aggressions, feelings of not being good enough and battling imposter syndrome.
secondly, I was exhausted by the fact that when I look to my left or my right, I never saw anyone who looked like me.
Crazy Fact-- I've never had a single science, math or engineering professor that's BLACK since middle school!
You hear me? I haven't been taught the very subjects that I love by someone who looks like me since I was in 7th grade!!
So after a conversation with my colleague turned friend (Hayyy Britt!), I realized that I wanted to take STEM advocacy to a level. I wanted to be able to put my energy towards diminishing the existing achievement gaps on a NATIONWIDE level. I wanted to be in a space in which I can tackle, discuss, create, and aid in implementing influential policies that will positively impact boys and girls to flourish in the STEM field, achieving goals that they did not think was even possible.
So I applied, and I went through several rounds of interviews (did I mention this was a SIX MONTHS process lol )! and in early May, I was informed that not only did I receive this fellowship but I will be working with the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE! WHEW!
but wait there's more! I'll be working on key initiatives and programs that impacts HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and MSI (Minority Serving Institutes) STEM departments directly!!!!
Many argue that attending school and obtaining a degree will offer one with professional opportunities necessary to overcome poverty and systematic oppression/inequality, as “education is a great equalizer.” I believe that statement to be true only if the educational system is equal and accessible to all!(Which is not the case in today's America).
And I plan to always do my part to push the needle towards making this possible!
Until next time!
Love && Light!