Women in STEM: Sydni

Sydni at her graduation with her family

My 27th guest is Sydni, a woman, a mother, a microbiology student and an artist.

Hi @PixelatedScienceCo First of all would you like to tell us something about you?

I’m Syd. I’m 27 years old, I’m married, and I’m the mama to one human, two dogs, and a bearded dragon. I grew up as a military brat, so I’ve had lots of homes in my life, but my one true home is wherever my family is. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Biomedical Science and Chemistry in 2018, and I’m currently working on my Master’s in Genetics and Microbiology. I also make science-themed stipple art on the side.

When did you start your Twitter account? How did you get the idea?

I started using Twitter in the Fall of 2019 as a way of promoting my artwork. From there, I got into science communication.

Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life? 

I’m a full-time graduate student, artist, and mom to a 4-year-old. It’s not always easy, but I’m sure to make time for things high on my priority list at any given time. Avoiding procrastination is my secret weapon, but it can also be my weakness.

During your academic studies how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?

Over half of my peers were women. Women have always been motivated and intelligent, we just haven’t had the chance to prove that, historically. I think it will continue to be this way from now on: more women than men attending college.

Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar/artist because you are a woman?

Yes – some old school professors tend to have sexist tendencies. They call on males more in class, give them more of a platform to speak, and develop relationships with males more frequently, giving males a leg-up when it comes to grades. As far as art goes, I think I have an advantage being a female artist.

How did you become passionate about science? 

I’ve always though science was cool. I remember sneaking out of my house as a kid just so I could lie in the grass and look at the stars; or how I always wanted a microscope for Christmas. Growing up, though, I didn’t see myself as “smart enough” to actually pursue science. I finally came around after dropping out of business college and realizing that I wanted to at least try my hand in science.

Sydni, happy, at dinner

Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

I work as a TA during the school year. I mostly teach anatomy and physiology to the sophomore level. TA’ing has made me consider going into teaching after I graduate! I also own my own business – it’s a one woman show. I make the art, market myself, order supplies, ship out orders, etc.

Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in STEM?

You ARE good enough to pursue an education and career in science. It’s not just for men and it’s not JUST lab coats and microscopes. There are so many fields in STEM that may interest you. I’d recommend looking into the different fields and seeing what sparks your interest, and then take an elective revolving around that field to see if it’s something that you’d want to pursue. Mostly, just know that your biggest critic will always be yourself. Once you start believing in yourself, you can create any future that you’d like.

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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