NSPN recently welcomed aboard our first full-time employee, Briana Brown, to serve as our Programs & Operations Coordinator. She supports the Directors and the rest of the leadership team, ensuring that NSPN runs smoothly. As Briana gets started with us, we caught up with her to learn more about her background and her aspirations for her time with NSPN.
What is your educational background?
I have a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Science/Math Education from Florida State University, and a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology with a focus in Research & Creativity from Texas A&M University.
What are some science policy topics that interest you?
I’m interested in education, diversity, and public health. I come from a long line of educators (my parents were teachers), so education was important to me at a young age. In addition, immediately after graduating from undergrad, I taught middle school Health Science (Neuroscience and Biotechnology) for four years. I’ve always loved STEM and thought it was important in society, moving me to communicate that same excitement and importance to my students. I left the classroom because I wanted to extend my reach and audience. The kids are the future, but I want to make sure everyone across the globe knows why STEM is important in society.
Diversity is important because I am a minority. I am an African American woman, so of course I will advocate for my community, but there are also benefits to interacting and understanding differences amongst people. I think that we can all work together and that everyone has value, and it’s better to highlight each other’s strengths than to scrutinize our weaknesses or differences.
Finally, I’m interested in public health because health and science integrate seamlessly. In addition, through some graduate research opportunities, I worked in the health disparities department and believe there is a lot of room for growth and development in the field. I would love to be on the right side of history when changing in the future!
What made you interested in working with NSPN? What are you excited to contribute to?
I really support the mission and values of NSPN. I think the organization is the missing piece of the “why” behind why STEM is important in your everyday life. Many people know what science, technology, engineering, and math are, but not necessarily why they are important or the application of those subjects in real life. The organization bridges gaps and creates opportunities, is purpose-filled, and creates clear pathways with tangible steps that will propel STEM in a positive direction. I wish this organization existed when I was in undergrad. What the organization offers is a “must have” in career development. I think the organization is a great resource for young professionals; it is so dynamic that you can only grow while being involved!
As part of NSPN, I hope to offer a unique perspective. I want to bring new ideas for programs and activities that we offer, increase engagement (especially at HBCUs), and revolutionize STEM in society. I’m excited to work with so many diverse groups of people, with stellar resumes and even better personalities. I look forward to growing with the organization and falling in love with science policy each and every day!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel (pre-COVID19 of course), watch Law & Order SVU, try new Pinterest recipes, and play with my sidekick, my daughter Robyn!
Anything else you’d like to share?
One of my favorite quotes is “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela because it inspires me to try new things and step outside of my comfort zone!
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To learn more about Briana, connect with her on LinkedIn.