Tomorrow’s leaders making a difference today
Originally, a nursing major, Stephanie Pleasant worked in a Chemistry research lab one summer and was hooked. Thanks to a NIH funded Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, Pleasant was able to transfer from her junior college to Texas Tech University (TTU) where she gained extensive research experience as a TTU-Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar.
Currently in the first year of her Chemistry PhD, Pleasant’s goal is to study the relations between properties and crystal structures to create new and better materials. She works in Dr. Mas Subramanian’s functional materials group.
Pleasant is passionate about mentoring minority students to excel in STEM fields and is all set to take over the Student Peer Mentoring Program for student presentations at the SACNAS conference in DC this year.
“At my first ever SACNAS conference I won a poster presentation award,” said Pleasant.
“It made me realize I can do science and talk science to people.”
She has done research internships with the Department of Energy, the Genome Institute at Washington University, St. Louis, and was an American Chemical Society Scholar during her undergraduate years.
A first generation college graduate, Pleasant attributes her success to the mentors and teachers who helped her pursue a career in chemistry.
“The main piece of advice I give to students is: find a mentor. Find someone who believes in you. I don’t think I would have made it without a mentor,” said Pleasant.