Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Cuentos-Contos Week 3

For the final week of Cuentos/Contos, I present Dr. Bryan Juarez, Dr. Stepfanie Aguillon, Dr. Raul Diaz, Kiersten Formoso and a special interview with Dr. Melissa Guzman. 

Southeast LA and San Bernadino born and raised, Bryan, describes how his low-income background drove him to design novel mathematical approximations to tackle complex science problems (jumping in frogs), as an alternative to using expensive equipment that may have been financially inaccessible. He also explains how his Latinx background prepared him to spot genuine mentors and allies, which have now blossomed into solid friendship. Finally, Bryan touches on experiencing culture shock as a Latino in academia and how EEB departments can support their fellow Latinx academics. 

Stepfanie, a Texas-born, but Arizona-raised evolutionary biologist, tells us about how her immigrant roots influenced her work and school ethic. The importance of building community is discussed, especially with allies that understand DEI issues and the type of mentor she strives to be. Lastly, Stepfanie offers three important recommendations for making academic cultures more inclusive for Latinx students. 

Fervent herpetologist, Raul, remembers reading books on amphibians and reptiles at the local public library and knowing from childhood that her has going to pursue a career in herpetology. He also explains how his parents paved the way for success and supported him, despite not understanding his research interests. Lastly, Rauul argues that a diverse faculty team is th best way to attract Latinx students. 

Kiersten, a New York born but Jersey-raised vertebrate paleontologist passionately describes her reserach exploring land to sea [not sea to land!] evolutionary transformations. She tells us how she shakes off heightened self-awareness (as one of the few Latinx in academic spaces) and addresses barriers that keep Latinx from pursuing science careers. Despites these setbacks, Kiersten has also had many positive expereinces and ramains inspires to pursue a career as a tenure-track professor. 

Check out this special interview with Dr. Melissa Guzman!

To learn more about the featured scientists reach out via their emails or websites,

To check out the full versions of all the Cuentos-Contos, follow this link

I hope you all can take away something from reading the cuentos/contos of so many brilliant scholars and people. Although I only shared the cuentos/contos of 13 Latino/a/x scholars, remember to share your own and tell your cuento/conto. You never know who is reading, and who will be the next, Ecologist, Developmental Biologist, Evolutionary Biologist, Astrobiologist, Microbiologist, Marine Biologist, Paleontologist, etc inspired by your cuento/conto

No comments:

Post a Comment

A 25-year quest for the Holy Grail of evolutionary biology

When I started my postdoc in 1998, I think it is safe to say that the Holy Grail (or maybe Rosetta Stone) for many evolutionary biologists w...