In celebration of International Women in Science Day, Momentum Labs is highlighting inspiring women in the field of STEM who have had a positive impact on the Alachua-Gainesville region.
To continue our celebration of International Women in Science Day we spoke with Destiny Reyes from Resilience Inc.. Destiny serves as a Research Associate and spoke with Momentum Labs about her career in STEM.
I was first fascinated by biotechnology in my senior year of high school; the manner by which scientists could utilize our natural world to create gene therapies, plant cultivars to sustain crops, and cancer treatment using cells specifically tailored to the patient drew me into the field.
Who has been a mentor to you in this industry or Who is a female role model in this industry?
I was supremely inspired and motivated by Susan Ingersoll, the program director for Valencia State College’s Biotechnology program. She took her years of cancer research to a student population to best provide the industry with knowledgeable and confident technicians eager to contribute to laboratories early in their careers. Her teaching style was accessible and closely resembled the communal effort necessary for the success of a research project.
What project or initiative have you been a part of that you feel made a positive impact?
I hold a committee chair at my college program to instill industry knowledge to empower students and the faculty with leading innovations they can implement in their curriculum. I participated in events such as ‘speed interviews’ to give students a chance to practice their interview skills and feedback on their STEM career trajectory. I also am part of my company’s institutional biosafety committee, ensuring that the projects we take on are carefully assessed for risk factors and proper safety measurements are employed for the team.
How have you been encouraged to overcome challenges in this industry?
Investing in creating strong relationships with members of my lab and especially outside of my own work scope: fostering these connections strengthens personal commitment to the project and opens avenues for innovation and collaborative effort. Ask for mentorship, drive to inspire and share your challenges!
What is your best piece of advice for young women pursuing a career in STEM?
Do not sell yourself short. You are a valuable asset and can approach problem solving, critical thought, and deep research at ANY level. Employing these ‘soft’ skills to every job I’ve accepted set me apart and created more fulfilling roles where there was none.
For more information about lab space at Momentum Labs, contact us today!