Why am I a scientist?

Jamie DeWitt: When I was a kid I pictured my adult self wearing a lab coat and carrying a clipboard. I get to live my kid dream of my adult self and I get to work with smart and amazing people from all over the world to try to improve environmental health with the power of science! I also get to carry some cool clipboards!

Qing Hu: I love biology and I love nature!

Dr. Tracey Woodlief: Originally, I dreamed of being a scientist working to investigate childhood disorders, such as cleft palate. I pictured myself traveling the world with Operation Smile and providing key medical care and research to under-served populations. In college, I was fortunate to land an undergraduate research position that not only deepened my love of science and desire for the how and why of biology, but also provided exciting hands-on opportunities to put my brain to work. Today, I am excited and driven as a female scientist and super proud to share what I do with my daughter.

Krystal Taylor: As a child, I was curious about how products were made, and I was often found outside mixing household items to make potions. I knew I loved science, and I wanted to impact lives daily. People around me advised me to become a clinician because that was the only career, they knew would foster my love of science and community health. I soon found out that the route of being a clinician would not have the influence that I desired. The next thing on my list was to further my education in science. Since joining the DeWitt lab, I have discovered how meaningful our research is to many impacted communities. Women and people of color belong in science, and we can and will continue improving our overlooked communities’ overall health. The opportunities as a scientist are limitless, and I am excited to use my voice, knowledge, and skills to exemplify what a scientist does and “what a scientist looks like”. I am a proud scientist!

Aya Ahmed: “Once upon a time, there was an atom with a large nucleus and happy electrons rotating around it” As a kid, this was my bedtime story as my mother is a science teacher. She encouraged me to observe and think. She always had the answers to my questions, and till now, we still exchange scientific knowledge. Being a scientist is one of my childhood dreams, as I believe that I can change the world with science and love.

Megan Harmon: As a kid, Dr. Temperance Brennan from Bones was my hero. I decided she had the coolest job in the world, and I wanted to wear a lab coat too. My family encouraged me to be curious, while my teachers helped me find opportunities that allowed me to get hands on experience. My love of science continues to grow as I learn more in my classes and at work. Now, the lab is my happy place!

Nia Moore: I’m a scientist because I enjoy the challenge of discovering something new. I have always wanted to work in healthcare, and as I pursue a career in medicine, my passion for science grows. In undergrad, I have been introduced to many aspects of science, and it excites me to see the potential for how I can help others through my love for science.

Matthew Wittenborn: I love working in science because it allows me to learn about the world through experimentation and data analysis. It also gives me the opportunity to learn from intelligent people in a laboratory setting!

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