Audrey Washington loves to ask questions. San Diego State University’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) helped her build the confidence to pursue the questions that were most interesting to her. Along the way, she recognized how much she values making science a place where people of all backgrounds can pursue the answers to their questions.

As an undergraduate researcher working on projects in SDSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and during two summer research internships at UC Davis and CalTech, Washington has investigated how to sustainably produce alternative energy sources like hydrogen gas.

She recently earned a national award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) for her extensive research experience and her leadership role in SDSU’s Black Student Science Organization. Attending the 2022 NOBCChE conference in Orlando was Washington’s first opportunity to travel to present her research and network with a large community of Black science professionals.

“Definitely the most exciting part about research is talking about it with other people,” Washington said. “Communicating research is just like the little sprinkle on top of fun things you can do.”

A few weeks later, that enthusiasm for sharing her work with others paid off when she won a presentation award at the National Diversity in STEM Conference in Puerto Rico.

Original article HERE