Research Scientist

Favorite Music:
I LOVE music- I'm almost always have something on. As a result, I have the most random playlist- everything from show tunes to 90s rap.
Tell us something unusual about yourself - something that makes you special, unique and not a "typical" STEMinista:
One thing that makes me unique is that I married my first boyfriend- we were high school sweethearts. We have a beautiful marriage because we are each other's biggest supporters (unless we are playing board games, then it's everyone person for their self). I also don’t drink coffee, unless it’s a Frappuccino. But a Frappuccino is basically a milkshake, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Where are you from? Where were you born and/or raised?
I was born and raised in Macomb, MI, but when I became a scientist I never thought I would live in Michigan again. I am very happy to be back.
What are you doing/plan to do with your STEM degree?
I am research scientist and lead a team of other scientists in helping come up with new treatments, better understanding of diseases, and better ways of determining if someone has a certain disease. I love to think that my inventions or discoveries can one day help someone I may never meet. I am also a mentor for people wanting to go into science or are starting their career. Sometimes being in a STEM field can be hard, especially for women, so I try to be their cheerleader when times get harder and encourage and support them. Lastly, I am passionate about letting the public know how science works and how it impacts their lives. Science should be understood by everyone.
Tell us about one person in your childhood who had a great effect on your life?
The reason I am a scientist is because of my mother. She died of cancer when I was 13 years old, and this inspired me to become a scientist so I could help sick people get better. I am also thankful for the loving support of my father, sister, and husband, who have helped me become the person I am today.
Favorite Dessert:
My favorite dessert is sea salt chocolate anything. SO GOOD!
Tell us a favorite quote that gets you going, gives you confidence, or guides your life that you would like to share with future STEMinistas.
"You can't have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic." -- Stephen C. Hogan
Would you be interested in more information about?
  • Speaking to a class of students in their school or to a group at the science center
  • The opportunity for more in-depth mentoring of future STEMinistas
Who was the best teacher you ever had and why?
The best teacher I ever had was Mrs. VanderCard, my music school teacher in elementary school. She loved all her students and inspired us all to do our best. In addition to learning how to sing and play a recorder, she also taught us how to act and dance, or allowed us to draw when we listened to music. You never knew what we were going to do that day, except that it would be a surprise and fun!


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