This week’s #WCWinSTEM is Dr. Mónica Feliú-Mójer, a scientist-turned-communicator.
As compiled by Chrystelle Vilfranc
Today’s #WCWinSTEM is no stranger to the #VanguardSTEM community. She is indeed one of our biggest supporters. Dr. Mónica Feliú-Mójer grew up in rural Puerto Rico, surrounded by nature and with a cow in her backyard, which sparked her interest in all things biology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón. Feliú-Mójer received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University.
Dr. Feliú-Mójer is a scientist-turned-communicator. She leverages online technologies to make science and scientists accessible to all. Much of her work focuses on empowering individuals from underrepresented communities through science outreach, education and mentoring efforts. She believes that knowledge is indeed power. Making science accessible to people of color in ways that are relatable to their culture and their daily lives makes a big difference. She encourages us to take ownership of the knowledge and lift our communities as we climb.
Feliú-Mójer currently serves as the vice-director and news editor-in-chief of Ciencia Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization using social networks to improve public understanding of science and K-12 science education. This group aims to support the career development of young scientists. Feliú-Mójer is also the Community Engagement and Outreach Manager for iBiology, a non-profit organization that produces and distributes free online videos about research, the process of science and professional development featuring the world’s leading biologists.
Feliú-Mójer has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the COPUS Paul Shin Memorial Award for her efforts to increase public understanding of science among Hispanic audiences. Her work has been featured on international media outlets, such as Univisión and Scientific American among others.
Feliú-Mójer believes that highlighting women of color in STEM (#WOCinSTEM) is incredibly important because it gives us visibility. She recalls that as a child she was not aware that she could be a scientist. Highlighting #WOCinSTEM says we are here (we always have been), loud and clear. It changes perceptions and stereotypes that individuals often have concerning #WOC. It inspires others. It creates communities of support. It counters the isolation many of us can feel. It opens doors to professional opportunities. It is empowering. Feliú-Mójer wants to pay it forward to future generations, while honoring the trailblazers on whose shoulders we all stand.
Thank you Dr. Feliú-Mójer for all that you do for the world of#STEM!
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