In the STEM fields,good mentorship is vital to success. Withnout one, it can be difficult to navigate a space where you are rare and/or undervalued. These are people in the trenches who are more than happy to aid you in your journey. Do not hesitate to contact one of them! 




Born in Zimbabwe, she is now a mining engineer working at Vale. She recently published 'Underground! My Mining adventure' and is dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM.

Email: Theresa@diversitystem.ca



Po-Ju Chen

Graduate Student

Born in Taichung, Taiwan, she is currently a 4th year Ph.D. student in MCDB at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the stability of acetylcholine receptor and the associated scaffolding proteins at neuromuscular junctions.




Shyama Nandakumar

Graduate Student

Born in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India, she is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan trying to understand how and why some cells increase their DNA content.

Tweet her @shyama13 or email shyama@umich.edu




ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Wayne State University

Born in Albania, he not only navigated moving up in the world of science but also dealt with coming out at the same time. He openly discusses his thoughts on being gay in academia, imposter syndrome, and offers advice to students thinking about following in his footsteps during our interview with him.

Ph.D. (2005): University of Iowa
Post-Doctoral Training (2005-2007): University of Iowa
Post-Doctoral Training (2007-2010): University of Michigan

Email:  stodi@wayne.edu


Kevin Jones 2018_1.jpeg

Dr. Kevin Jones

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

From his injury that cut short his track career, to his time as a postdoc in Spain, to his decision to quit a teaching-heavy tenure-track position to return to a postdoc position to redirect his career to be more research focused; Dr. Jones’s career has taken many twists and turns and lends evidence to the idea that everyone’s path is different and that’s okay.

Email: kevjon@umich.edu



Dr. Carla Ramos

Postdoctoral Researcher

Raised in Los Angeles, her path to graduate school wasn't a straight one. However, with a strong sense of pride in who she is and where she comes from, she refused to let the difficulty she encountered define or dictate where she’ll go.  She recently graduated from the University of Michigan. Listen to this strong independent salvadoreña discuss her struggles and how she overcame them, here.

 Email: cjram@umich.edu

University of Michigan, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program (Ph.D.)



Nicholas Silva

Graduate Student

Born in California, he openly discusses being a gay Latino graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Michigan during our interview with him.

Email: njsilva@umich.edu

San Francisco State University (SFSU), B.S (Biology: Physiology) 
San Francisco State University (SFSU), M.S (Biology: Physiology)


Alena Mohd-Yusof


A fully certified neurophysiologist. She primarily focuses on complex orthopedic spine surgery cases as well as vascular (carotid endarterectomy) cases. She uses various modalities such as somatosensory evoked potentials, electroencephalography, and electromyography in order to ensure patient’s safety during surgery.

To hear her tell her story about deciding not to go to grad school, listen to our podcast episode featuring her discussing her journey in STEM.

Questions? Feel free to email her at alenayusof@hotmail.com


Irene Park

Graduate Student

Irene is currently a sixth-year human genetics Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan. While she enjoys benchwork, she enjoys telling people about science more. She was a news reporter at The Michigan Daily for almost three years (and was the only graduate student on the news staff). She also helped to establish Michigan Science Writers, a student organization that trains students and postdocs to write about science for the general public.

She sits down with us to discuss why she considered leaving her Ph.D. program and what made her decide to stay in this podcast episode

Want to contact her? Email her at sohae@umich.edu and check out her twitter!