We recently talked to SciCommer Monique Faith Boodram. An aspiring surgeon and “medical detective,” Monique is the founder of STEM First! Gen, where she promotes the achievements of first-generation STEM students and the collaboration between the sciences and the arts for effective public science communication. Monique will be attending Sam Houston State University in the fall, where she will study Biomedical Sciences. Keep reading for our interview with Monique!
Fancy Comma: Where are you based? What do you do as a SciCommer? What are your goals for your SciComm? What are your roles as a SciCommer?
Monique: I’m in Texas, but my SciComm projects are done via the internet and social media networks. When I practice SciComm, I make videos for my YouTube channel. My goals are to explain complex topics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and medicine in a nutshell.
Also, while I try breaking down concepts like cerebral lateralization, I enjoy putting creative filmmaking twists on my videos. I really believe in combining STEM and the arts, and I enjoy sharing my passions for doing so with everyone!
When I’m not practicing SciComm, I take pleasure in uplifting my colleagues through my own SciComm community, STEM First! Gen. It’s all about making connections with STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics] enthusiasts across Medium, Goodreads, Twitter, and more accessible social networks. SciComm for all!
Fancy Comma: How did you get into SciComm?
Monique: My SciComm life unknowingly started when I participated in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. It was the first time I discovered that I could fuse my first love, filmography, with my continuing journey into the sciences and medicine. When I joined the Academic Twitter community, I learned that this was actually a field!
Now, I’m a practicing SciComm filmmaker, complete with new animating skills. To contribute to my STEM First! Gen. initiative, I love reaching out to other SciCommers and featuring their amazing work on our community feeds. I also hope to use creative writing to communicate messages in STEM to the public.
Fancy Comma: What advice would you give to the aspiring SciCommers?
Monique: Giving advice to aspiring SciCommers is like going back two years ago to tell myself that I am going to play a part in the Science Communication field. I’m pretty sure “past” me would say I’m nuts: my communication skills were terrible, let alone my attempts at explaining STEM to make it understandable. Fortunately, my skills did improve over the past years because I stayed curious.
#SciComm is an adventure with many possibilities and opportunities. Experiment with different styles!Tweet
In my opinion, you are going into an adventure. Keep in mind the many possibilities and opportunities that you will encounter. Make friends and live up to the second word in Science Communication: “communicate”! You may be challenged by creating engaging content or trying to clearly and concisely share information. Experiment with different styles and find SciComm opportunities that speak to you!
About Monique Faith Boodram
Monique Faith Boodram is an aspiring surgeon, SciComm and art aficionado, and Sherlock Holmes fan. Monique founded STEM First! Gen. to create visibility and opportunities for first generation STEM and science communication experts and enthusiasts. Follow her on Twitter at @TriflesAndEggs.