Unique Scientist: Jordan Harrod

[Photo credit: Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) Headshots]

Is it time to meet our first highlighted woman engineer who is also an amazing YouTuber? You bet so! Say hello to Jordan Harrod (She/her), a graduate student at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology in the USA!

What kind of scientist are you?
I’m a PhD student in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, which is basically a catch-all term for anything that relates to medicine and engineering. I just started my second year and joined my labs earlier this year (I’m co-advised!) so my work currently focuses on using deep learning and brain stimulation to better understand anesthesia.

What made you want to become a scientist?
I’ve always been interested in medicine and building things, but I was too afraid of accidentally killing my patients to pursue medical school. Instead, I looked for career paths at the intersection of medicine and engineering, which led me to biomedical engineering!

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
The first thing that comes to mind is being a black woman in science. I’ll always remember going to the graduate student club fair at MIT and immediately being singled out by the Black Graduate Student Association as a new student because they’d never seen me before. I’m also a YouTube Creator, so most of my time outside of research goes towards developing better science communication content, developing my channel, and networking with other creators to reach wider audiences! 

[Photo credit: Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) Headshots]

“I’ll always remember going to the graduate student club fair at MIT and immediately being singled out by the Black Graduate Student Association as a new student because they’d never seen me before.”

Jordan Harrod

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I have a YouTube channel! It’s called everydAI, and its focused on how we interact with artificial intelligence (AI) in our everyday lives. I started it right before I started my PhD program, and it’s nice to have something else to think about when research isn’t going as planned. 

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I think that science communication, both within the scientific community and between scientists and the public, is extremely undervalued. With my one wish, I would want the scientific community to value communication skills more. 

“My friends have embarked on their own amazing journeys that inspire me every day. As they say, it takes a village.”

Jordan Harrod

Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now? There’s no way that I can pick one person. My parents have inspired and supported me from day one. My research advisors have all been incredibly supportive of my ambitions, within and outside of the lab. My academic mentors have helped me see the importance of engaging with the public outside of science and advocating for evidence-based policy. My friends have embarked on their own amazing journeys that inspire me every day. As they say, it takes a village. 

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I stayed home because I wasn’t feeling well! I think that PhD students often develop this mindset that you have to be in the lab all the time, even if you’re sick! At the time of writing this, I’ve had a fever for about 12 hours. Instead of going in and attempting to get work done, I’m at home, on my couch, drinking tea. I’ll still probably try to get some work done remotely, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. 


#WomenInSTEM, #BlackInSTEM

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