Coming from a family who emigrated from Burma, Jazmin Iannuzzi-Brown values her education in STEM and is proud to be a woman in her field. When asked who her biggest mentor throughout her life was, her answer was easy. “My mother grew up in Burma where it was seen as a waste of money to send women to school. When she came to the United States she loved that there was a different message; that women were encouraged to earn an education. I realized early on that being able to attend college is a privilege,” says Dr. Iannuzzi-Brown. As for choosing to enter the world of STEM, she knew that she always had a passion for studying prejudice and racial discrimination. Although there were several routes she could take to research those topics, she chose to take the psychology route when she discovered her interest in the experimental science.
Dr. Iannuzzi-Brown graduated from Princeton University as an undergraduate student, and from the University of North Carolina as a graduate student. She chose to come to the University of Kentucky (UK) as we have a reputation for our strong psychology department and has been with us for three years. She loves the fact that there is equality when it comes to men to women ratios in the psychology department at UK. She points out that although women are starting to become more interested in STEM at the undergraduate level, there is a particular interest from women at the graduate level for psychology. She hopes that other fields of STEM follow suit in years to come.
As a new parent, Dr. Iannuzzi-Brown has noticed the necessary change in lifestyle when it comes to work-life balance. She makes sure that she is all business while at work so that she does not have to bring work home with her when she leaves the office. Admittedly, Imposter Syndrome is something that has to be overcome in her daily life. Nonetheless, she encourages young women pursuing a career in STEM to find good mentors and build a strong support system early on. “Having a social network can help you achieve anything and it is important to remember that there are always people who can help you. With that being said, always have gratitude. There is no way you can get to where you are without the help of others, so always be thankful.”