About the Artwork

Artwork_Quinones

"Identidad y STEM" (Identity & STEM)

By Dr. Semarhy Quiñones Soto

The original artwork submitted for the 2022 NDiSTEM Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico is a representation of elements that remind me of home. The figure in the center of the drawing represents a Puerto Rican woman with Taíno ancestry and she wears a “Vejigante” mask, a folkloric character of Spanish and African origins which is seen as part of Puerto Rican festivals. This collection of Taíno, Spanish and African elements represent the mixed ancestry of Puerto Ricans. The background of the drawing is an outline of “El Yunque” rainforest and the ocean waves, representing our land and sea. Above her head, an array of constellations shines in the night/day sky. The constellations represent different STEM fields – an isosceles triangle (math), the Puerto Rican “coquí” frog (natural sciences), an atom (physical sciences), and the antenna from the Arecibo Observatory (space sciences, as well as the Puerto Rican contribution to world sciences). She is holding a globe to represent all countries and cultures gathering at SACNAS with Puerto Rico, enlarged and highlighted in green, as the location of the conference. She is also holding four types of flowers – a red and white flower from the “flamboyán” tree, a yellow “canario”, the smaller red flower “cruz de malta”, and the white “margarita” wildflower. While these flowers may not be endemic to Puerto Rico, they always remind me of home. The “fambloyán” trees and the “cruz de malta” flowers remind me of the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao, where I spent most my afternoons while my mother finished work, and the “canario” and “margarita” flowers remind me of my “Abuela Elisa’s” house.

Artwork_Quinones

"Identidad y STEM" (Identity & STEM)

By Dr. Semarhy Quiñones Soto

The original artwork submitted for the 2022 NDiSTEM Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico is a representation of elements that remind me of home. The figure in the center of the drawing represents a Puerto Rican woman with Taíno ancestry and she wears a “Vejigante” mask, a folkloric character of Spanish and African origins which is seen as part of Puerto Rican festivals. This collection of Taíno, Spanish and African elements represent the mixed ancestry of Puerto Ricans. The background of the drawing is an outline of “El Yunque” rainforest and the ocean waves, representing our land and sea. Above her head, an array of constellations shines in the night/day sky. The constellations represent different STEM fields – an isosceles triangle (math), the Puerto Rican “coquí” frog (natural sciences), an atom (physical sciences), and the antenna from the Arecibo Observatory (space sciences, as well as the Puerto Rican contribution to world sciences). She is holding a globe to represent all countries and cultures gathering at SACNAS with Puerto Rico, enlarged and highlighted in green, as the location of the conference. She is also holding four types of flowers – a red and white flower from the “flamboyán” tree, a yellow “canario”, the smaller red flower “cruz de malta”, and the white “margarita” wildflower. While these flowers may not be endemic to Puerto Rico, they always remind me of home. The “fambloyán” trees and the “cruz de malta” flowers remind me of the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao, where I spent most my afternoons while my mother finished work, and the “canario” and “margarita” flowers remind me of my “Abuela Elisa’s” house.

About the Artist

Dr. Semarhy Quiñones Soto is a bacterial geneticist and artist. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. She obtained her PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, where she studied the origin of mutations under stressful conditions. Currently, Dr. Quiñones Soto works as a full-time biology lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. She also works as coordinator and advisor for the CSU-LSAMP & RISE Programs to help increase the number of students entering graduate programs. In addition to teaching, she is passionate about increasing the visibility of women, women of color and people from historically excluded communities in the sciences. Dr. Quiñones Soto is an active SACNAS member, a Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute (2016) alumna and is the founder and faculty advisor of the SACNAS at Sac State Student Chapter. She also volunteers mentoring students in molecular genetics research and developing their science communication skills. Outside of academia, she works as a freelance artist focusing on the intersection between science and art. Her project, #TypesOfScientists, aims to increase the visibility of women as STEM professionals.

Semarhy_Round
Semarhy_Round

About the Artist

Dr. Semarhy Quiñones Soto is a bacterial geneticist and artist. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. She obtained her PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, where she studied the origin of mutations under stressful conditions. Currently, Dr. Quiñones Soto works as a full-time biology lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. She also works as coordinator and advisor for the CSU-LSAMP & RISE Programs to help increase the number of students entering graduate programs. In addition to teaching, she is passionate about increasing the visibility of women, women of color and people from historically excluded communities in the sciences. Dr. Quiñones Soto is an active SACNAS member, a Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute (2016) alumna and is the founder and faculty advisor of the SACNAS at Sac State Student Chapter. She also volunteers mentoring students in molecular genetics research and developing their science communication skills. Outside of academia, she works as a freelance artist focusing on the intersection between science and art. Her project, #TypesOfScientists, aims to increase the visibility of women as STEM professionals.

🔔 For permission to use the 2022 NDiSTEM artwork and/or logo, please contact info@sacnas.org

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