Department of Biomedical Engineering assistant professor Ronke Olabisi was among eight “STEM luminaries” featured in the December 2016 issue of Vanity Fair. “Saluting a New Guard of STEM Stars” was co-sponsored by IBM to celebrate the film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of the contributions African-American women made to the space race of the 1950s and 1960s, by highlighting today’s accomplished women scientists and engineers who are “working for expanded inclusion for the next generation.”
Olabisi was interviewed along with her mentor Mae Jemison, a medical doctor and the first woman of color to travel to space as part of NASA's Endeavor mission. The article also included Michio Kaku, Anne Wojcicki, Kimberly Bryant, Jedidah Isler, Debbie Sterling, and Diana Albarrán Chicas.
On inclusion in STEM fields, Olabisi says, “To me diversity is not just differently colored people—it’s people from different walks of life and genders. I had a physics student from a disadvantaged background, and there was an enclosure we needed to build. This student came up with a really elegant solution to the problem having come from a background where the family had to fi gure stuff out with zero budget.”