What do you do when you’ve worked hard to ascend the academic ladder, put in the time, sparked great research and debate, and you’re denied tenure? You ask yourself some hard questions, turn to your personal board of directors for guidance, and redirect your career into the direction it was really meant to go.
That pivotal pause was groundbreaking for Dr. Sibrina Collins, this week’s guest on the Make Meaning Podcast, a story she humbly shares in this interview.
As Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Tech University, renowned in her beloved field of chemistry for far-reaching papers inspired by contemporary culture and modern living, Sibrina started in community college and rose to become a thought leader and a role model, inspiring girls, women and people of color to choose STEM careers.
In this episode, she speaks with host Lynne Golodner about discovering her love of STEM in a basic-level science class, starting at community college because it was free, and using her personal meaning to drive her professional successes. She also talks about how STEM impacts daily life and why we need better messaging about STEM disciplines to attract enterprising students into these fields.
Sibrina’s Permission Slips: “Your happiness is your responsibility. Pursue your good ideas – take a risk.”
In this episode, Sibrina and Lynne discuss:
- What STEM is and why it’s so important
- How STEM drives the American (and global) economy
- STEM impacts on daily life
- Looking at cosmetics, Frankenstein and the Black Panther through a STEM lens
- The need for STEM role models among women and people of color
- How to pause and pivot when your career gets derailed – due to COVID-19 or other circumstances
- Building a personal Board of Directors
Links and Resources:
- Marburger STEM Center
- Lawrence Tech University
- The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
- Claflin University
- Wayne State University
- The College of Wooster
- Her interview in WIRED
If you liked this conversation with Dr. Sibrina Collins, you might also like these episodes of the Make Meaning podcast:
- Episode 69 – The Mission of Higher Learning with Philomena Mantella
- Episode 59 – Higher Learning with Molly Worthen
- Episode 11 – Building Up Women with LaTonia Walker
Coming up next on the Make Meaning Podcast:
Lynne interviews Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author of the novel Willa’s Grove and the memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is.