Women in STEM: dr. Shenell

dr. Shenell

My 51st guest is dr. Shenell, a doctor of public health, author of “Noa The Little Scientist”, and a passionate scientist.

Hi Shenell! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?

Fun Fact: a pack of pens lasts me forever! I refuse to use a new pen until all of the ink has run out of the one I’m currently using.

When did you start your Instagram and Twitter accounts? How did you get the idea?

I started twitter as part of a science education course I was taking for my Master’s program. Then, it turned into a random fact/#SciComm page. I didn’t post a lot, mostly memes and science funnies. I later joined IG to promote my children’s STEM inspired book, “Noa The Little Scientist.” After graduating with my doctorate degree in public health, I converted my IG to focus more on public health.

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

Balancing work and private life has gotten a bit easier while we’re all stuck living in the #CoronaVerse. I’m taking more time for myself in the form of caring for things I’ve neglected due to being so busy (like odds and ends around the house; more long, relaxing baths; and cooking personal meals that take more time and require more ingredients so that I can savor the flavors and feel “fancy” LOL)

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

My personal studies wrapped up before the pandemic, but I’ve found that my students (I moonlight as adjunct faculty outside of my day job) are using this opportunity to pick-up more courses (like mine) to either 1) expand their current skillset, or 2) acquire new skills that will prepare them for a career change. Although the majority of my students are women, I don’t think the pandemic has changed the demographics of my classroom. It was very similar before. However, I am seeing diversity in the type of student in my courses. They’re from various backgrounds that don’t include the STEM/medical fields. That’s different, but I’m enjoying introducing new students to some STEM concepts.

dr. Shenell with her thesis

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

Yes. Unfortunately, yes.

How did you become passionate about science?

I’ve always had a penchant for STEM; a natural inquiry for how things work and why. As my grandparents would say, since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper.” I’ve been fortunate to be able to be in spaces that allowed me to foster that inquiry and remain in the STEM pipeline.

Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

I’m a cell and molecular scientist. I currently work in human health and toxicology; where I assess chemical compounds for their toxicity to human health and the environment.

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

Keep up the good work ladies! You are seen. You are heard.

Follow Shenell on Instagram and Twitter.

dr. Shenell during a scicomm event

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