UC Santa Cruz Chapter
By: Jessica Martin, SDSU Chapter Member
Meet Marie Gredell, the President of our UC Santa Cruz Chapter! She is a third year student majoring in Neuroscience and after she graduates she wants to pursue a career either studying or treating neurological conditions. Her path will either lead her to develop therapeutics or to pursue a medical degree.
Marie decided to join WSS during the Fall of her second year after she heard the former President speak to one of her classes. Our organization was appealing to her because it seemed like a great way to not only form a community with other women in STEM, but also because it could direct her towards opportunities for STEM students at UC Santa Cruz. Since joining WSS, Marie has found a family away from home. She decided to give back to her Chapter by serving as President, and it has been “such a fun and rewarding learning experience” for her. She loves working with her Executive Board watching their ideas come into life and creating valuable and memorable experiences for their Chapter’s members. As President, Marie has been able to grow by improving her time management and planning skills while also allowing her to become more comfortable with working in a team to reach a common goal.
To Marie, WSS is not only an organization where women in STEM can get support academically and professionally, it is also an organization where women in STEM can get support socially and mentally. As STEM students, we are constantly challenging ourselves, but WSS serves as a constant support system to help us further ourselves. Additionally, Marie has found that watching all of her fellow members succeed has boosted her own self-confidence. As her fellow science sisters continue to overcome boundaries and do amazing things, she believes that she can do the same herself.
Outside of WSS, Marie herself is easily a source of inspiration. She currently works in the Zuo Lab at UC Santa Cruz researching motor learning in the brain. She attributes her position in the lab to WSS, noting that the former Executive Board gave her great tips on how to get involved in research as well as encouraged her to go to the Postdoc Research Symposium at UC Santa Cruz where she was able to connect with the Zuo Lab. She is also volunteering with Volunteers Around the World, an organization that provides communities with improved access to medical treatment, medication, nutritional security, clean water and health education. She was scheduled to go to the Dominican Republic this summer on a medical outreach trip. Although the trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, she hopes to join an outreach trip in the future.
Marie’s biggest advice to other girls pursuing STEM careers is that you can do anything that you put your mind to! It doesn’t matter whether it comes easily or not, what matters is that it sparks your interest. Don’t be ashamed of asking questions, and don’t worry about changing your path - it is never too late. Although Marie never particularly pursued science in high school and went into college undeclared, neuroscience interested her and when she found out there was a major for it, she was all in.
Although Marie never intended to pursue a career in STEM, we are so glad that she did! Through WSS, she has grown both through opportunities that WSS guided her to and skills that it helped her develop. Additionally, being the President of her Chapter has allowed her to give back and help others creating a positive change in the STEM community.