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Black in STEM


Christina Beaubrun.

Christina Beaubrun


Major and Degree Pursued: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, B.S.

Prospective Graduation Year: 2024

Current Position: Undergraduate Researcher, Miyashiro lab; Perrault Fellow

Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Email


What motivates you to do/pursue science and/or medicine?

The natural world around us begs to be investigated. It is not just pure curiosity that draws me to the field but also an obligation. The pursuit of science is powerful because it can provide healing, advance our current understanding, and solve complex problems, allowing us to see a better future. This summer, I was in South Africa and had the opportunity to shadow surgeons in the cardiothoracics department of the hospital famous for the first successful heart transplant. The deep understanding a surgeon must have of the patient's unique anatomy (skeletal, muscular, and arterial), medical history, and risk factors, and to apply all of this within hours, is beyond impressive. There is a wide range of procedures that can be done to solve the same problem, but surgeons also must weed out the best option, and the answer isn't always all that clear. They collaborate at great lengths with colleagues and sometimes in the middle of surgery have to develop an entirely different plan due to complications. It is a very stressful but intellectually fulfilling career, and because I was so inspired, I have become passionate about making it my own someday. For two months, I was surrounded by people who look like me, doing what I hope to do. There is such power in this dynamic. It reminds you that you will not be an anomaly in this world and your dreams are very possible. In fact, there are successful "yous" everywhere, and I hold onto this every day.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

There is a funny saying online that circulates yearly and it is "I am Black Every Month." And though it is meant to make you laugh, it rings very true. Black History Month is a reminder that we should always be learning and sharing stories of scientific, social, and political contributions made by Black people (and adding to the list as the future unfolds). If we know our past, we can build our future.


Anything else you would like to share.

I would like to thank Penn State and all my advisers for helping me along my time here. It has been quite the journey, and after graduation I hope to contribute to the lives of upcoming students in a similar way.