As a woman of color, one of my main objectives is to inspire and train students of diverse backgrounds in the sciences. The underrepresentation of minorities is a persistent problem in academia, with the greatest disparity in engineering and the sciences. There are multiple reasons for this underrepresentation, but the most effective suggestion to solve this problem is elegant and simple: strong mentoring is the key to increasing diversity in STEM.
Effective mentoring involves both intellectual input from a mentor with similar background and experiences and exposure to cutting-edge science that will makes students competitive in the future. The young scientists in my lab, including undergraduate researchers, are involved in every step of the scientific process. Thus, my long-term goal is to mentor students of diverse backgrounds so they can achieve successful careers in Science.