During BET’s Black Girls Rock! Awards 2018, Dr. Mareena Robinson Snowden received the Girls Rock! Tech award. This honor comes after Snowden became the first black woman to receive a PhD in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2018.
Despite it still being early in her career as a scientist, Robinson Snowden has worked on several projects and won various accolades. She’s served as a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Graduate Fellow in the Office of Major Modernization Programs.
She’s also held the position of technology liaison at the Y-12 Complex, a manufacturing facility that plays a vital role in the Department of Energy’s nuclear security enterprise.
In 2012, she was awarded the NNSA Stockpile Stewardship Graduate Fellowship. In 2015, Dr. Robinson Snowden received the MIT Graduate Woman of Excellence Award, and the MIT Community Excellence Award in 2016.
In an interview with BET, Dr. Robinson Snowden, who received her Bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University, said that she didn’t always plan on pursuing a career in STEM.
“I was not the traditional narrative that you hear about STEM students that show this clear aptitude from the beginning,” said Robinson Snowden. “Talent, yes, plays a role [in learning], but there’s also discipline and dedication.”
She also offered these words for young girls interested in the STEM field, “The first thing I would say is that you belong there. Being convinced of that is really the first step in making space for yourself.”