Seonghee Joy Park
Laboratory Assistant at Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai
Junior Member since 2016
“What matters most is creating a community of women in STEM fields who support each other.”
Why did you decide to start an AWIS affiliate group?
I had first heard about AWIS when a postdoc fellow at my lab told me about her experience in AWIS during her graduate school years. Not only having networking opportunities, but also having an organization of women with shared passion was something I wanted to bring to my fellow classmates. Although Hunter College has numerous students in the pre-health and STEM fields, as well as clubs supporting those fields, it does not have an organized group specifically advocating for women in STEM. Thus, I believed that creating this type of community on our campus would be a great idea!
What do you hope to achieve through this work?
I hope to be able to inspire students and lead them to a path where they will be able to receive mentorship from professionals in the field as well as from upper classmates. I also would like our affiliate group to someday grow into a chapter that raises money to contribute to education for young children in areas where they lack funding or to scholarships for female undergraduate students in the STEM fields. Creating an AWIS-hosted city or statewide symposium for female students to present their research would be an absolutely amazing event that I would like to see in the future as well. But in the end, what matters the most is creating a community of women in STEM fields who support each other.
Describe the ally who helped you the most in your professional development.
My mother is the strongest woman I know, and her resilience through various challenges inspired me greatly. My father passed away early, due to leukemia, and so my sister and I have been raised by our mother alone. Growing up witnessing my mother’s battles in life, I learned to not be discouraged by my given circumstances but to strive for my passion and stand up for my beliefs.