Dr. Mona Minkara
STEM Curriculum Coordinator
Dr. Mona Minkara is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Chemistry, and STEM Inclusion Advisor for ETI.
Like Sara and many others, she had to struggle for her right to education as a blind student. This was especially true in regards to her interest in chemistry. Not many believed that a blind student could succeed in the competitive scientific world. If it were not for the encouragement of some key individuals and the support that she received from institutions of higher learning, she wouldn't have become one of the few blind, female science postdocs in the United States.
She graduated from Wellesley College in 2009 with a double major in Middle Eastern Studies and Chemistry, and received her Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 2015. She has conducted research since the summer after her freshman undergraduate year, and she is currently working in a computational chemistry lab under her advisor, Dr. Ilja Siepmann.
Through her involvement with ETI, she hopes to encourage blind students, their families, and teachers. She wants to share that blind individuals are not only capable of becoming scientists, but are actually an asset to the scientific community because of their unique perspectives and approaches to problem solving that come from living with blindness.
This can be observed through her research, which you can read about on her webpage: monaminkara.com.
She has also included a page called Blind Scientist Tools which outlines the resources and methodologies she has used throughout her academic career. She hopes to disseminate this information to be of service to anyone who might have questions or doubts over their ability to succeed.