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Kunal Nayyar discusses diversity in STEM with Dr. Korie Grayson, a biomedical engineer, chemical engineering researcher, and a diversity advocate in STEM. Korie is a first-generation student and proud alumna of the HBCU Norfolk State University, where she earned her BS in Chemistry (2012). She obtained her MS (2017) and PhD (2020) in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University where she studied cancer drug resistance in 2D and 3D prostate cancer cell culture environments. Currently, Korie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on the evaluation of novel nano- and microparticles for therapy in neutrophilic, acute inflammatory disease and cancer. Korie has received the honor of making the “2020 List of Influential African American Women to Follow on LinkedIn” and the Cell Mentor “1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” list.

Korie is passionate about increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM by illustrating that representation matters. She currently works in many roles, promoting advocacy via community service, workshops, and speaking engagements while (Re)Defining the Image of STEM!

  • Diversity Chair for @womendoingscience, a popular Instagram account that showcases women in STEM from all over the world.
  • On the planning council for STEMNoire, a holistic wellness and research retreat for Black women in STEM.
  • Board member for BlackInCancer, an organization that aims to strengthen networks and highlight Black excellence in cancer research and medicine.
  • Part of the STEM Avengers that successfully planned the STEM Success Summit, a virtual conference designed to equip and empower young adults (ages 18-35), who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM, to launch and build a successful STEM career with purpose.

 

Series overview

Join Thermo Fisher Scientific and actor Kunal Nayyar as we explore Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the scientific community. In the “This is How I Science” video series, Kunal will be interviewing some of the most brilliant young scientific and diverse minds to learn how they "science", the challenges and the obstacles that they face, and what it feels like to be underrepresented in the scientific community.


#ThisIsHowIScience

How do you "Science"? We want you to hear about your research, work or career, and your experiences in the science community. Post your ideas, photos, and videos using the hashtag #ThisIsHowIScience, and together we can promote diversity, inclusion, and awareness in the STEM and scientific communities.

 

Inspiring scientific innovation and diversity in STEM

Through our D&I initiatives, we are creating an environment where differences are truly valued, authenticity is a state of being, and everyone feels like they belong. Fostering this type of environment is critical not only for empowering our colleagues to do their best work, but to also ensure our workforce represents the world around us.

Some of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s many D&I initiatives include:
  • The Just Project—a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help ensure that students, faculty, and staff can access testing so they can continue their important work during this pandemic.
  • D&I Recruiting Council—relationships with selected external diversity-focused organizations to recruit top talent from underrepresented ethnic groups (in the United States), such as African-Americans and Hispanic-Latinos.
  • Longer-term initiatives—5-year D&I strategy focused on fostering organizational culture, reinforcing and enhancing our systems and processes to support D&I; creating personal accountability for D&I

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Supporting STEM education

Our signature STEM education programs connect students and colleagues through hands-on and team-based activities that highlight our technologies, make connections to careers in STEM, and inspire the next generation of great scientists, engineers, thinkers and leaders.

  • Innovation Nation—provides Thermo Fisher colleagues with presentations, lab materials and instructions to guide students through a variety of hands-on and digital activities which inspire the future generation, teach about our company, our technologies and how our company impacts the world.
  • STEM Design Challenge—a project-based learning program that creates a framework to allow Thermo Fisher colleagues to host local engineering design competitions. It offers students an opportunity to work in teams and prototype a solution to a specific challenge while incorporating Twenty-first Century Learning Skills.
  • STEM-Credible Kit Program—offers Thermo Fisher colleagues an opportunity to learn about our Practical Process Improvement (PPI) business systems while packing kits containing personal protective equipment. These kits are then donated to local schools or non-profits in need to be used by students in STEM activities.
  • Career Connections—an adaptive series of youth activities which align classroom-based STEM learning with Thermo Fisher careers and leverages our diverse, global colleagues to promote real-world skills.

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