Dr. Yasmine Daniels (she/her) has always had a passion for reducing difficult concepts to make them more comprehensible to both science and non-science audiences. 

When she took Organic Chemistry in college, she fell in love with it because it made her realize that science was a beautiful language and the atoms and molecules weren’t so different from whole-body organisms. They had their own way of communicating with one another and once she understood that, well, it all made sense.

The idea that chemistry is a subject that is too difficult is a stereotype that Dr. Daniels herself struggled with and continues to work to dissolve.

Today, she works as an Adjunct Chemistry Professor and a Science Policy Scientist, sharing her knowledge of science with students, organizations, agencies, and the world. It brings her great joy and a sense of fulfillment to know that she is walking in her purpose, with hopes of changing world views on science and STEM-related disciplines. Dr. Daniels recently published her first STEM/STEAM motivational children’s fiction book called “Building my self-eSTEAM in Science,” and she can’t wait to share it with everyone!

What inspired your interest in chemistry?

I love science because it allows me to be creative and to think outside the box. I was also really good at math, and chemistry is a lot like math to me, so it made sense that I would take to chemistry.

Growing up, I never had any aspirations to be a scientist. I was always pushed into the medical field, so that was all I knew. Looking back on the decision that I made to choose the path that I’m on, I can honestly say that I have no regrets.

That’s amazing! Now let’s hear about your area of expertise. Can you tell us a few interesting facts the average person may not know?

1. In science policy, although it requires a lot of reading and writing, the best part of the job is actually doing something that will directly benefit people and contribute to the greater good. 

2. Being a scientist isn’t what most people would think. You get to be a geek sometimes, but most of the time you’re asking a million questions and finding creative ways to solve them. 

3. It’s completely possible to have more than one interest outside of STEM, even while being a scientist. I coach and play volleyball, and it’s something that I’m extremely passionate about. 

4. Learning chemistry is like learning a different language. Once you understand what the electrons, atoms, or molecules are “saying” then you’ve pretty much mastered most concepts.

5. As an environmental chemist (in my previous work), I learned that there are ways to take toxic metals from water and use them in a non-toxic way to build roads and infrastructure.  

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