My Story List

Join in the discovery of WiSEM by exploring the My Story databases. Celebrate the contributions of Rutgers’ outstanding female scientists. Explore careers in science, engineering, mathematics, and the health professions by taking a peek into the academic and life adventures of women faculty at Rutgers University.

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Areas of Interest: Wetland ecology and ecosystems ecology, with a focus on plant-soil interactions.
My Story: I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in science or nature. My mother deserves the credit. Although she was a violinist and music teacher, and not herself a scientist, she talked endlessly about science and scientists with the greatest admiration. She valued, above everything, the creative use of the mind to explore, learn, and find new ways of looking at old subjects. Science epitomized those values completely. So I suppose it was not surprising that as a child, I took books out of the library about science and scientists; Paul de Kruif's "Microbe Hunters" was one of my early...
Areas of Interest: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Network Science, Cyber Security, Information Retrieval and Extraction, Computational Social Science, Computational Humanities
My Story: At heart, I am a problem solver. I have always been interested in solving problems, particularly in mathematics, statistics, and engineering. As a child, I would browse through IEEE Computer Magazines – to which my father (an electrical engineer) subscribed – and marvel at the problems. I also learned early on from my mom that solving a problem was not enough. One must also present it correctly – in terms of understandability and aesthetics. In high school, I took a computer-programming course and was hooked! Solving problems using a computer was the right mix of mathematics and engineering...
Areas of Interest: Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Analysis of Birth Defects.
My Story: When I think back, I can’t remember the first time I became interested in science. Even as a little girl, I was drawn to science and medicine. My friends, family, and I just assumed that I would become a medical doctor. We didn’t know of anything else. A friend of mine and I decided to volunteer at a local hospital in Philadelphia as candy stripers. We did not have the carfare to take public transportation, so we walked the several miles to and from the hospital. My friend was interested in becoming a nurse and I, of course, was interested in becoming a doctor. This was my first experience...
My Story: I was a year away from graduating from high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. My sister Anna wanted passionately to be a math teacher, but she was born with a defective heart. Anna died the year she was graduating from college and already having a job as a math teacher. She was 21 and I was 15. I never wanted to teach. Although my mom was a math teacher and my dad was a physics professor and they both wanted me to do what they did, I was not interested. I wanted to be a ballerina. But I loved my sister. The day she died I promised to replace her and become a teacher. However, one...