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STEMinist Profile: Hannah Frerker, Student Researcher

Hannah Frerker

Student Researcher

Greenville University

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I have always had a passion for science, especially medicine, in high school I had a teacher who really pushed me and believed in me to pursue my double major in biology and chemistry. Since being in college, I have had professors who have pushed me and helped me get to where I am today.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I am currently a part of a Chemistry research project on water quality analysis. It is so amazing because not only are we doing some amazing chemistry, but we are helping so many people with our research! We are doing metal analysis, microbial analysis, nitrate analysis, and testing for pharmaceuticals in Southern Illinois well water.

Role models and heroes:
My research professor is my biggest role model as he works so hard and is always pushing me to my fullest potential. My other role model would probably be the first woman to ever graduate from medical school, Elizabeth Blackwell, as I cannot imagine how difficult medical school was as I am sure she constantly had people doubting her and trying to get her to drop out.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
It is my passion, I love every minute I spend working with any science. The things I can do with STEM, and the opportunities it provides are truly amazing. The doors it has opened up for me will give me such an edge in life.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Stay motivated and work hard, it is difficult for everyone but if this is what you love then it is so worth it.
Also do not underestimate the power of networking! My research project has really taken off simply because of the power of networking and the kindness of other people in the science community!

Favorite website or app:
I love Quizlet, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Twitter: @hanfrerker16


Shohini Ghose, Physics Feminista

Ghose argues that sexism hurts both women and science. Excluding half the potential workforce also excludes any insights they might have contributed. And without women to guide scientific inquiry and product development, their unique needs tend to be overlooked. Above all, women deserve the same access to high-paying STEM jobs and positive work environments as men.

[ via Ozy ]


MPs ponder why there are so few women in academic science

The Report highlights the undoubted problem of short-term contracts which are the lot of most early-career researchers (and not just in the STEM subjects). Such contracts are particularly unattractive for those who may be considering starting a family or have a partner whose job is not portable. These factors tend to hit women harder than men.

[ via The Guardian ]


The Elsevier Foundation honors Early Career Women Scientists from Developing Countries for Research

On February 15th, 2014, five women chemists will be honored with the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, for their research that looks to nature for ways to address cancer, malaria and other medical problems. The winning researchers, representing five regions of the developing world, are from Indonesia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

[ via Elsevier ]


Women in white coats: the scientists are doing it for themselves

The current societal expectation is that women will be the primary caregiver to their children, even if they decide to continue working once they become a mother. Women are dissuaded from returning to the high pressure environment of academia, as they are told that anything that takes them away from the bench, particularly maternity leave, will reduce their success. As a result, a subtle message is being sent to the future generation of female scientists: academia is incompatible with motherhood.

[ via The Oxford Student ]


Diversity Correlates With Success: Gender and Synthetic Biology

We knew when we started working on this subject, that many fields in science suffer from gender bias, but because synthetic biology is a new field we expected that historical biases would not apply and that we would not observe an important gender bias. However what we found out is that the bias we observe in synthetic biology is very representative of the bias in other fields of science.

[ via Scientific American ]