HomeCollege of Arts and SciencesBreaking Down Barriers in STEMM

Breaking Down Barriers in STEMM

In the ever-evolving realm of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM), individuals like Jennifer Moses, ’23, M.S. ’24, are carving paths for a promising future. Moses’ narrative, marked by dedication, resilience, and a commitment to positive change, reflects the ethos of emerging scholars in STEMM fields.

Her story is closely tied to the invaluable support from initiatives such as the Werth Nanotechnology Industry Academic Fellowship Program and the SCSU Innovation Hub. However, the genesis of Moses’ journey as a noteworthy figure in STEMM predates these milestones, originating in her formative years at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, where she graduated in 2019. Even then, Moses demonstrated an unyielding curiosity and a keen interest in unraveling the complexities of science.

“I have been passionate about STEMM since my school days,” Moses shares, “and my curiosity in seeking answers is what motivated me to major in chemistry. I wanted to pursue a career where I could directly contribute through science. This made me interested in medicine.”

This intrinsic curiosity led her to pursue both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in chemistry at Southern, aligning with her aspiration for a career contributing to societal betterment through scientific innovation.

The evolution from an enthusiastic student to a dedicated researcher was not without its challenges. Faced with the opportunity to undertake thesis research as part of the accelerated Chemistry program, Moses hesitated due to her lack of prior experience in scientific research. Despite these reservations, she embraced the challenge, embarking on her thesis journey with determination. With the support of her professors at Southern, she not only overcame her initial apprehensions but also successfully completed her honors thesis — an illustration of her resilience and tenacity.

“Without the support and guidance of my research advisors, professors, advisors, other staff, and my parents, this wouldn’t have been possible,” Moses acknowledges. “I am grateful for the enriching research and leadership experiences that Southern offers to STEMM students like me to help advance towards career goals.”

Moses’ dedication to making a positive impact is evident in her academic pursuits. As a Werth Nanotechnology Industry Academic Research Fellow, her “Direct Air Capture (DAC)” project demonstrates her commitment to addressing global issues. Focused on characterizing the adsorptive properties of biochar — a sustainable material used in DAC technology — Moses’ research explores innovative methods to mitigate climate change. Her work, involving quantum chemical calculations of carbon dioxide adsorption on graphene model systems, showcases her commitment to advancing environmentally friendly solutions.

Beyond her research accolades, Moses’ achievements extend to being recognized as a finalist for a Connecticut Technology Council Women of Innovation Award in October 2023—an acknowledgment of her contributions to the STEM community. Grateful for the encouragement she received from her research advisors, professors, mentors, and parents, Moses emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities. She advises aspiring STEMM students to actively engage in research, mentorship, volunteering, and leadership experiences, underscoring the transformative impact these opportunities can have on one’s career.

Moses’ narrative highlights her individual triumphs and underscores the vast potential within the next generation of STEMM professionals. Her journey serves as an inspiration, urging others to pursue their passions, confront challenges with determination, and actively contribute to shaping a future where scientific innovation flourishes. As she continues to make strides in STEMM, Moses’ story serves as a poignant reminder of the boundless possibilities awaiting those propelled by curiosity, dedication, and the desire to create a positive impact on the world.


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