STEMinist Profile: Jesi Hoolihan, Student, Astrophysics

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Jesi Hoolihan

Student

St Thomas University



What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I always had an interest in math and science during my high school career and after a six year career in retail management, found myself inspired while watching Particle Fever. I haven’t looked back since!

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I founded my own nonprofit organization when I was 17. Founding a company on my own really showed me that I will accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Role models and heroes:
Elon Musk. I could care less if my hero is male or female, I love seeing people bettering our species as opposed to their pocket books.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
Well, I’m not officially there yet, but I am excited to be studying astrophysics.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Anything is possible. Don’t fall into the expectations of others.

Favorite website or app:
www.spacex.com

STEMinist Profile: Abbie Bellis Stringer, PhD Graduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Abbie Bellis Stringer

Recent PhD Graduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Northwestern University



What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
In the 4th grade my class took a field trip to the FBI headquarters in Washington DC and as a part of the tour walked through the forensic chemistry/science lab. In a time before shows like Bones, NCIS and CSI, this was my first time realizing that science was more than bubbling colored liquids. Science could be used to solve problems (and catch the bad guys). Although I didn’t pursue the forensic sciences, since that day I’ve worked to find ways to apply science and math to solve complex problems.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
The thesis work for my PhD involved the designing of an assay that could be used to better understand what is going on inside the communication network in live cells to try to better understand what make diseased cells different from healthy ones. We introduced cells with the luciferase reporter genes (luciferase is what makes fireflies butts glow) in order to monitor events within cells in culture by quantifying the light the cells are emitting.

Role models/heroes:
I’ve always looked up to Hilary Clinton. She is strong-willed, smart and holds her own in a world dominated by men.

Why do you love working in STEM?
I love solving problems, I love being creative, and I love trying to understand the world around me.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Try to surround yourself and work with as diverse people as possible. Learn from your differences and find strength in them.

Favorite website/app:
I’m a big fan of FlipBoard on the iPad, it turns your Google Reader, Twitter and news into a picture-based, personalized magazine. I also love Pinterest for craft and cooking inspiration.

Website: About.me/abbiedbs
Twitter: @Abbiedbs

STEMinist Profile: Flor Hernandez, Civil Engineering Student

Flor Hernandez

Civil Engineering Student

California State University, Los Angeles



What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I grew up with a father who was in the construction field and I was always intrigued by the things that he would share regarding the construction and remodeling of buildings. I also knew it was one of the more challenging careers and I am the type of person who likes challenges.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
One of the coolest projects I have worked on has been the Concrete Canoe we build every year for the ASCE Conference. It has been one of the coolest because the project itself is definitely a challenge, being able to see the whole process and the outcome is something amazing. While you are working so hard on the project you also get to build great relationships with your team. In my previous lab I worked on a high-throughput screen of FDA-approved drugs to look for activity that would be beneficial to DMD. I got to learn about the technology used for high-throughput screening and the project had very direct clinical relevance.

Role models/heroes:
I look up to any female in STEM but in particular one of my role models is Jane Chmielinski who has climbed her way up to be the Chief Operating Officer for AECOM Technology Corporation.

Why do you love working in STEM?
Working with STEM is different than other careers. There is always something new to learn and in the end all we want is to make everyone’s lives better.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Don’t give up. Nobody said it would be easy but it definitely is worth it!

Twitter: @F10r_H

STEMinist Profile: Chelsea Partridge, Engineering Student

Chelsea Partridge

Engineering student, former intern at NASA and at GE Transportation

University of North Florida



What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I fell in love with the mysteries of the universe when I was young, and was very much a space geek. When I was in high school, I had a couple of really amazing teachers who inspired me in physics and chemistry, and I decided to pursue physics. Then I got the chance to intern at Kennedy Space Center in their Prototype Development Lab while in high school, and I fell in love with engineering. It was incredible! It sealed in my fate in STEM. I did a second internship in the same lab the following summer, then started engineering school.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
What a hard question to answer! A lot of the projects I worked on at the Prototype Development Lab were really cool. The coolest is a tie between modeling a pressure vessel, doing calculations, and writing an analysis report for a hypergol flange sealed that leaked and scrubbed the STS-133 Discovery space shuttle flight, and designing railgun projectiles for launching UAVs for Kennedy Space Center’s Applied Physics Lab.

Role models/heroes:
This is a bit of a list! My top five: Richard Feynman, Michio Kaku, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Suni Williams, and Coach A, my high school chemistry teacher.

Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because it is so rewarding. I love feeling that I’m making a difference, and I love that I’m always learning. There is never a dull moment.

Advice for future STEMinists?
As many people before me have said, follow your dreams and don’t let anyone, including yourself, get in your way. Even if you aren’t a natural in your math or science classes, keep working hard and don’t lose focus. Perseverance is noticed and will take you a long way. Seek out and mentor and join clubs/societies. Mentors can be a fellow student, a teacher, professor, or a professional, but they are extremely beneficial. Societies such as SWE (Society of Women Engineers) are also great for networking and finding potential mentors.

Favorite website/app:
My favorite website is Netflix! I can access Doctor Who wherever I go.

Website: thequantumview.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Queen_Of_Quarks