MIAMI, Oct. 1, 2019 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Dr. M. Nia Madison, Director of HIV Research and Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Homestead Campus has been selected as one of 125 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) IF/THEN® Ambassadors. IF/THEN®, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, seeks to advance women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of MDC pioneers.
“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Madison’s appointment as an AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador. This is a wonderful recognition of her successful trajectory as a scientist and educator and her dedicated community work as Director of HIV Research at MDC,” said Dr. Jeanne F. Jacobs, Homestead Campus President. “As an AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador her contribution will impact and continue to inspire other women aspiring to grow and excel within the STEM field.”
Dr. Madison is a STEM educator, consultant and advocate as well as a biomedical scientist. She has nearly two decades of research experience in retrovirology, parasitology and host innate immune responses. She enjoys conducting biomedical research, teaching, engaging in student recruitment, retention and career development and inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals. Since November 2017, she has worked as Director of HIV Research and Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology and General Biology at MDC Homestead Campus. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.
“We firmly believe that IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world,” added Lyda Hill, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “The goal of IF/THEN® is to shift the way our country—and the world—think about women in STEM and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”
To achieve this goal, AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors connect with students in person and through various media platforms, including popular YouTube channels and network television shows. The Ambassadors are contemporary role models who represent a diversity of STEM-related professions in the United States, from entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia.
“AAAS is deeply committed to advancing education and opportunities for girls and women in STEM,” said Margaret Hamburg, chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. “This partnership enables us to reach more deeply into STEM education and help advance STEM careers for women and girls. It will help us to elevate the voices of women working in STEM fields and to inspire the next generation of girls and women in science.”
In October, AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors will participate in the IF/THEN® Summit in Dallas to take their outreach to the next level by learning from each other and receiving resources and coaching in science communication and effective STEM storytelling. The IF/THEN® Collection, a digital asset library of photos and custom content, will be created as a tool to increase the number of accurate and powerful images of real women and girls in STEM. The robust collection can be accessed by media, educators and non-profit organizations as they develop and share inspiring content and curriculum.
AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors are selected through a rigorous selection process. Candidates were evaluated for overall excellence with a focus on the following:
- contributions to their STEM-related field, commensurate with their career stage;
- demonstrated experience and abilities in STEM communication and public engagement via media, classroom, and public programs; and
- commitment to inspiring middle-school girls to be the next generation of STEM pioneers.
The IF/THEN Girls Advisory Council, comprised of more than 150 10-18-year-old young women from around the country, also participated in the Ambassador selection process. For a complete list of Ambassadors, please visit www.ifthenshecan.org/ambassadors