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Black in STEM


Olivia Springer.

Olivia Springer-Hunte


Major and Degree Pursued: Forensic Science, B.S., and Criminology, B.S. (Chemistry minor)

Prospective Graduation Year: 2024

Current Position: Course Assistant, FRNSC 100: Introduction to Forensic Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State

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

I chose to pursue the science field because of the lack of representation of people who look like me in STEM. Without a doubt, having that representation is beneficial for all, whether it be in science or medicine. Science came naturally to me and has always been a strength of mine, so the comfortability I have in this field also motivated me to stick with it. Forensic science, specifically, is a field where law and science intersect, so there is a high standard to uphold. I felt like by placing myself in such a space, I could maintain the integrity of the job while serving an underrepresented community. I plan on using my knowledge in the science field to build a career in criminal law. I will maintain the integrity of science through a legal standpoint while adding to the representation for Black people like myself.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

While for many this month is a time to acknowledge and reflect on the contributions Black people have made, for me this month is a time of motivation. Black History Month is a reminder of what those before me have been able to accomplish when the odds were not in their favor. Being reminded of Black people, my people, who have beat the odds and paved a way for those behind them inspires me to keep that path going and to keep paving for others.