When did you know that you wanted to major in a STEM discipline?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to study aviation and space. I am enthralled with having the ability to leave the ground and see the earth from another perspective. I love the roar of the airplanes engine and the sights that can be seen from the above the clouds are phenomenal. My eyes always turn to the sky. My love of aviation and science was encouraged by both of my parents from a very young age. They always told me if I studied hard enough and kept my eye on my goals I could I achieve them. I have a learning disability where I transpose numbers so math and science was more difficult for me but I never gave up. I worked with my teachers and they helped me to work through my learning disability so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
What is the most rewarding thing that you do in your job as a STEM professional?
I think one of the most rewarding activities in my current position is being the aviation/aerospace education outreach coordinator for my office. Through education and outreach many lives are touched by aviation and STEM. I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that not only values education but is making strides in educating all of our workforce and actively promotes STEM programs through staff participation and community financial support across the state.
What would you tell a middle or high school girl about careers in STEM?
Try many different things, attend lots of career day activities such as the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) event held every year, decide what you are interested in and never look back. Work toward your goals by staying focused and studying hard.
What should middle and high school girls be doing to prepare themselves for college
and a STEM careers?
Take as many science, technology and math courses as you can while you are in school. Even if you are great at them right away you will be exposed to the concepts and can work on becoming better at them. Be confident in your abilities and strive for progress not perfection.
What advice do you have for teachers and counselors who are assisting students prepare
for a STEM major and career?
Things have really changed since I was in school. I feel that teachers and counselors now recognize how valuable teaching all students STEM concepts but I would encourage them to go the extra mile for those students that seem to struggle with the concepts and help them realize that they are capable of participating and exceling in STEM courses. Alternative teaching and learning methods may be needed but will help those students interested in STEM.
What career advice would you give to girls if you only had 2 minutes?
Shoot for the moon and you might just land on a star was the best advice anyone has ever given me. Always challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith in your abilities. Be confident. Question everything until you have the answers you seek. Be an active listener but speak up to share when you have something to contribute. Remember that your voice is valuable.
21st MTSU EYH Conference 2017
Registration is now open!
The conference has been rescheduled for February 10, 2018.
Rachel Marlin represents MTSU at the SENCER Summer Institute.
Temi Thomas and Rachel Marlin will present EYH research at the ACS Fall 2017 National Meeting.