“Am I going to be a ‘good’ scientist, and present myself in a palatable way, or am I going to be the person who says Black lives matter now, and we have no time to waste?”
Ashley Paynter, a PhD student in Biology, has combined her interests in science and advocacy to create an organization and podcast that works to shed light on environmental racism, health disparities, and discrimination in the medical and research fields. Paynter’s goal with the podcast is also to provide an information source with an inclusive perspective to underprivileged communities and to dispel the feeling that science is only for a specific group of people.
Paynter applied for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) prior to beginning graduate study in Biology. At that point she had already experienced diverse research contexts in both university and non-university settings. She credits the success of her application to those diverse research experiences, to her interest in interdisciplinary research, and to her dedication to equity. A few months ago, Paynter received a National Institutes of Health Diversity Supplement.