This is a STEMinist Explore careers in stem

The International Museum of Art & Science is working with McAllen Public Utility, in conjunction with the IF/THEN Initiative, to address gender equity in STEM. "This is a STEMinist" is an exploration of STEM careers through profiles of women scientists, engineers and mathematicians who believe in closing the gender gap in STEM fields.

STEMinist (noun): a role model that encourages, inspires and advocates for fellow girls and women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math.

Jess Cramp is a shark researcher who specializes in conservation policy and engaging communities in the management of their ocean. She is the founder of Sharks Pacific, an organization that protects sharks and the people and places that depend on them.

"I'm hopeful that by being myself, by putting my heart out there...that I'm inspiring people to follow their dreams and help make the planet a better place."

Erika Gomez, E.I.T., is an Assistant Utility Engineer with McAllen Public Utility. She has a BS in Civil Engineering, a BA in Psychology, and a MS in Human Services Management. Erika lives in McAllen, Texas with her husband and two daughters, who are interested in science related careers.

"When I was little, I always loved problem solving...but there were not that many women in the engineering field, so it never occurred to me to be an engineer."

Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a large carnivore ecologist with an expertise in investigating how humans can influence the behavior and ecology of large carnivores. Dr. Wynn-Grant received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Columbia University. She is a public speaker, story teller, and science communicator.

"A lot of the time I am camping with these animals, so I am living outdoors with these wild animals in their ecosystems... I would be lying if I said it didn't get intimidating."

Samantha Porter is a digital archaeologist with a passion for using new technologies, such as 3D scanning and printing, high-resolution 2D imaging, to dig up knowledge about the past. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. She lives with her partner Andrew Fischer (a board game designer) and their cat Zoey in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"If you are curious and creative, then know you are capable of doing amazing things."

Nina Nahvi is the Director of Animal Care at Sea Turtle, Inc. at South Padre Island, Texas. She holds a Master of Art in Nonprofit Management, a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation, and has a Veterinary Technician License. After swimming with sea turtles in Hawai'i she was inspired to go after her dream job of rehabbing and releasing sea turtles.

"[I thought] wouldn't it be cool if I got a job where I could rehabilitate and release sea turtles?"

Dana Bolles is a spaceflight engineer and works in science communication for NASA. Dana volunteers for employee resource groups for women, people with disabilities, and LGBT communities. Dana has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and lives with her partner Shelly and their cats in San Francisco.

"I think the [biggest] misconception about STEM is that boys are better at it than girls."

Dr. Davina Durgana is an award-winning international human rights statistician who has developed leading global models to assess vulnerability to modern slavery.

"While I might be an international human rights statistician, I actually use math critically in my hobby as a CrossFit power lifter!"

Erika Anderson is a mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry and a self-proclaimed education enthusiast. Erika was recently relocated to ExxonMobil’s Houston headquarters to join their Research and Engineering group as a Reliability Engineer.

"Don't focus some much on your grade. Focus on what you learn...Did you learn the material? Do you understand the material? Can you apply the material? And if the answer is "yes," you should be happy."

Dr. Danielle Twum is a cancer immunologist. Danielle is from Ghana, West Africa. In graduate school, she developed a passion for scientific communication for lay audiences when she participated in a TEDxBuffalo event, giving a talk entitled ‘Guardians of Your Inner Galaxy’. Translating scientific jargon into every day, accessible language, her talk was an introduction to the fantastic inner workings of the immune system.

"...being part of the beginning of cures will help someone else to not loose an uncle, like I did."

Dr. Yamina Pressler is a soil scientist, writer, educator, speaker, and artist who is on a mission to make soil a household name. As an educator and scholar at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Yamina shares her enthusiasm for soil science and ecology with undergraduate students while studying the many ways that soil organisms control how soils form and function. Yamina holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University.

"I got to the end of my undergraduate career and said, 'I am so curious about soil. I want to learn more.' So, I just kept going."

Myria Perez is a paleontologist and the Fossil Preparator/Educator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History. Like most children, Myria was fascinated with dinosaurs when she was young.

"My journey started very young and I really started picking up paleontology when I became a volunteer at the age of 12 at the Houston Museum."

Christina Molano is the Assistant Water Laboratory Manager for the City of McAllen Water Lab. She holds an Associates in Science for Chemical/Environmental, a Surface Water B Operators License, and a Laboratory Analysts Section C License. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family in Santa Rosa, TX.

"...I knew that it was going to be a male-dominated field. I was not worried about that challenge."

Gracie Ermi is a software engineer and writes code to aid wildlife conservation. She wants to emphasize to people that coding is not magic; with practice, anyone can learn to do it. Gracie holds both a B.S. and a M.S. in computer science from Western Washington University.

"...one stereotype is that you have to be super focused on technology all the time to be a successful technologist but you definitely don't have to."

Helen Tran has spent over a decade curious about the role of design and architecture in chemistry. Helen is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Interacting with scientists and building friendships around the world is one of the most exciting part of her job. Helen holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Chemical Engineering minor from UC Berkeley.

"A big challenge of my job is that when you enter a room people have preconceived ideas of who you are...When I am about to give a talk, as I walked on stage, there is a feel to the room. The first time it was very scary but now I really believe in myself."
Created By
Claudia Martinez


IF/THEN Collection