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Celebrating the Class of 2017: Stephanie Suarez

image of student Major: Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geological Sciences

Activities and programs:  Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate Internship program (IE)

Next stop, graduate school… Growing up in a low-income household, Suarez was determined to become the first in her family to graduate from college. Soon she will head to graduate school at the University of Houston, where she will prepare for her future career at NASA or perhaps in the oil and gas industry. “My mom is very proud and tells me that I’m self-made. What amazes her even more is that I work and go to school. There’s a lot of sacrifice for time, but I know it will pay off.”

The power of mentoring… The future is yet to be determined, but she knows she’s on the right path thanks to her mentors in the IE program who guided her along the way.  During her time in the program, she worked with graduate students who helped her navigate the complicated process of getting into graduate school.

Going into the field…A recipient of the IE program’s Kuhn Scholarship, Suarez traveled to national conferences to present her research to experts in the field.  “It was great talking to geologists who all have very unique specializations. It was kind of nerve-wracking, but I got more comfortable the more I presented. I learned how to be very confident about my research and how to present my work to experts who could poke holes in my findings.”

Staying the course…Her best advice to girls who aspire to become scientists is to stay the course. “To young girls, I want them to know that anything’s possible. They just need to be resilient and get through their obstacles. Even if they’re just inching, they have to keep going.