As I do with most things I am passionate about, I am going to write about it.
A year and a half ago during fall 2015, I was at a housewarming party shifting my 9-month-old baby from knee to knee while trying to have adult conversations about non-baby topics. The hostess was close to getting a job in a field I had never heard of: histotechnology. She explained that histology was the study of tissues and that her program involved using microscopes. I looked up the earnings and learned in the Bay Area histotechnicians were making an average of $64,000 a year and up, and I thought when I return to work I could do this.
Fast forward, to January 2016, I reminded everyone in my life (aka my super duper support system) that the program was starting soon. I went to the open house two weeks before the program was to start, 11-month-old in tow. I met Dr. Gisele Giorgi and was sold on the program just based on how how included she made everyone feel. She kept referring to us as scientists, and that’s what I wanted. I made the decision that I was going to return to work when my daughter was 2 years old, and I wanted it to be in science. Histotechnology was as good a field as any. It’s a part of pathology. After reading The Hot Zone, I grew up wanting to be a pathologist. I love studying diseases.
I also wanted it to do it for my daughter. I wanted her to have a scientist mommy, so she would know science would absolutely be an option for her and she would grow up thinking science is just what mommies do. On January 26th, her first birthday, I started my first microscopy class at Merritt College.
I’ll get into that all later. The reason I started this blog is to offer my experience and perspective on diversity during my transition to a career in science. I’m not sparking anything new here. Diversity has been being studied in science for a long time now. What’s new is my perspective and approach.
Here’s a bit about me:
- I’m black.
- I’m a woman.
- In two months, I’ll be 39.
- I’m a mom of a two year old.
- I’m transitioning careers coming from a completely non-science background with a non-science bachelors.
I come from two fields where I was well-established and could be hired immediately: sales and social services for vulnerable populations (affordable housing property management, case management).
I’m experiencing so many different ups and downs that I’m going to share. Through this site and the research I will do, I’m sure I will stumble upon others like me who may be sharing their perspectives through writing, too.
These are my goals for this project:
- Visit as many labs as I can already fit into my insanely busy schedule and learn about the research being done in the labs
- Get advice from scientists
- Attend networking events and share info
- Become knowledgeable in diversity in science
- Bring science into the lives of more black children, boys and girls. They are the future of addressing the health-related issues of people of color.