I am passionate about using my academic background to educate the public about science issues and to encourage children to pursue careers in STEM. To this end, I have advocated for STEM education through my leadership in the Neuroscience Student Advisory Council and the Nu Rho Psi neuroscience honor society at Carnegie Mellon University. I founded the Carnegie Mellon chapter of Nu Rho Psi (ΝΡΨ) in 2016 in association with the Neuroscience Student Advisory Council and led the chapter as President for two years, coordinating over 30 annual hours of educational service to the public through outreach in local schools, at public STEM fairs, and through a self-designed workshop for elementary and middle school students. As the head coordinator and planner of the workshop, I developed a 3-hour lesson plan to teach young students about the brain using engaging crafts, demonstrations, and games. Students provided positive feedback in post-workshop evaluations and expressed excitement about what they had learned. In recognition of my leadership in the outreach activities of Nu Rho Psi, I was recognized as the 2018 National Outstanding Member of the Year by the national society.
Since graduating from CMU, I have become involved in several outreach efforts at or around Duke University. These activities include the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences Graduate Student Consortium, for which I serve as a board member and outreach coordinator; the Research Triangle chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) and Duke FEMMES, for which I have volunteered as a mentor for young girls interested in science; and the Duke Science Olympiad and North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair, for which I have proctored and judged competitions. Outside of Duke, in spring through summer 2019 I was a Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a science journal where middle school and high school students are mentored through the process of designing an experiment and publishing the results. As a reviewer, I provided young scientists with constructive feedback focused on the scientific rigor of their experiments and the quality of their writing.
I plan to continue to participate in outreach efforts to continue to increase STEM interest and awareness in schools and in the general public.