Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

I want to be part of a movement that encourages more students of color and women into science.

Natasha Gutierrez completed her Ph.D. in biology from the Graduate School in October 2014. She currently resides in New Haven, CT.

Aspirations:
I want to change the way science is taught in high schools, particularly in high schools that are in disadvantage communities.  I want to be part of a movement that reforms science education and encourages more students of color and women into science.

Activities & interests:
Other than science, I have interests in politics and social justice issues that are centered around disadvantage communities.  I love using social media bring awareness to people about various issues such as people of color in STEM, women in STEM, police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Favorite class or professor at RU-N: 
My favorite professor at Rutgers was Dr. Susan Siepel. She was very patient with me when I was still learning how to adjust to graduate school.  She always made learning fun, especially when learning the amino acid structures!

Biggest challenge at RU-N:
Staying focused was a challenge for me because I want to do everything and Rutgers offers so many opportunities.

Reflections on RU-N experience:
Rutgers University was exactly the perfect fit for me in graduate school.  It was a comfortable setting to mature and grow into the scientist that I am now.  The support systems that are present on campus are something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

“Tweetable” advice to incoming freshmen:
Education is a privilege.  Make the most of your education and never forget to give back to the community.

Expressions of gratitude:
Thank you to all the mentors, family, and friends, and the ladies who made my soy chai lattes at Starbucks; you made my Ph.D. worth the interesting journey that it was.