Kristina Rothchild was a STEM Scholar in 2016, when she was a Project Manager in the laboratory of Dr. Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The lab investigated the effects of thymol in floral nectar on the parasite load (Crithidia bombi) in the Common Eastern Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens). Her first authored paper about this research was accepted by the journal Ecological Entomology and published here

Where are you from?
Mansfield, Massachusetts. 

Where did you go to school? What did you study?
Haverford College Class of 2016, Bachelors of Science in chemistry. 

What was the best part of your internship?
I really learned a lot from having a leadership position in a large, fieldwork-based operation. It was really great to have the chance to explore the biological side of natural products and ultimately the experience taught me that I prefer the more technical, scientific side of things. My internship also led to me getting hired to start another project at the university in the department of biochemistry the following summer.

What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns?
I learned that it is really important to try out lots of different things to figure out what you are passionate about. I am really glad I took the time to explore a few different fields before going to graduate school.

What are you doing now?
I have spent the past two school years teaching community college in Toulouse, France. I recently moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada to start my Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. I will work on the elucidation of medicinally-relevant bacterial biosynthetic pathways in the laboratory of Dr. Katherine Ryan.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
In ten years I hope to be a professor and have my own laboratory!

What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?
I am reading a seventeenth century play, Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière with my friend’s 12 year-old daughter. We take turns being the different characters and reading in funny voices. Sometimes we even act out the scenes.

Tell us a fun fact!
Although I am super passionate about women’s rights, I also have a hidden passion for entrepreneurship. My dream is that one day I can combine the two and create my own non-profit for women and girls in India!

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