From Chemistry to Sociology: Paulette Vincent-Ruz at Real Scientists

We’re delighted to welcome our next curator, PhD student Paulette Vincent-Ruz (@pinkyprincess),  at the University of Pittsburgh USA.  Here is Paulett’e story.

 

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I am Paulette Vincent-Ruz, I am Latinx, and identify as a person of color. I am an immigrant born and raised in Mexico, and English is my second language. I have a Mexican accent when I speak English. I am on a F1-Student visa. All of these pieces of my identity shape my way of understanding data and pursuing research. Quantitative methods are more than just a research tool; for me, they are a way to enact social justice. As an undergraduate, I was a chemical engineer who conducted research in organic chemistry. My experiences as a woman in STEM, in addition to my identities, motivated me to study the systemic inequities that drive the gender and race gap in STEM careers. My research is rooted in the desire to understand how people of different backgrounds experience science differently, often in ways that systemically disadvantage women and people of color. This concern with systematic disadvantages lends itself to quantitative research, which relies on statistical methods to create simplified representations of social systems and institutions to allow for clearer inferences. As a woman of color (a group that is also underrepresented in quantitative research), I aim to use my research to explain such inequities

 

I have always loved science! But I truly fell in love with Chemistry in middle school, I chose engineering as I saw it as a better career path. In college I fell in loved with research and organic chemistry and though I majored in Chemical Engineering did research on organic chemistry for 3 years. Well, I realized I didn’t want to go to an organic chemistry PhD, so I started teaching chemistry in middle school and became curious about how people learn. So, I came to the US to study science education and started a path towards understanding systemic inequities in science

 

My research is rooted in the desire to understand how people of different backgrounds experience science differently, often in ways that systematically disadvantage women and people of color. This concern with systematic disadvantages lends itself to quantitative research, which relies on statistical methods to create simplified representations of social systems and institutions to allow for clearer inferences. As a woman of color (a group that is also underrepresented in quantitative research), I aim to use my research to explain such inequities.

 

Traditionally we think of science learning in terms of cognitive aspects (IQ, learning strategies) and teaching aspects (conceptual change, teaching types) but understanding systemic inequities allows us to understand how people internalize messages and that affects their motivation, and way of learning. Better understanding how this small gaps add up over time is key to diversifying and improving science

I am a blog editor for the @wehumanities account. Outreach chair of the YCC Pittsburgh Run professional development for teachers in science. I lift weights and I am a fitness gal, I like reading. Ideal Day Off: Cuddling reading a book with my hubby on the porch while drinking wine and eating tacos. Also museum or musicals make me really happy.

 

Please welcome Paulette to Real Scientists!

 

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