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Bec Roldan


I am currently a 4th year organic chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Michigan where I am working on developing new synthetic routes to make a class of biologically interesting compounds found in red wine. Prior to graduate school I made my way from my rural hometown in Louisiana to Rhodes College, where I graduated with a B.S. in chemistry in 2019. Grounded in a liberal arts education, I have long been interested in the intersections of chemistry, society, and culture. This interest led to me to pursue a variety of science communication endeavors throughout my PhD.

As a science communicator, I have largely focused on highlighting the diverse and rich experiences of scientists themselves. As a first year graduate student I started the podcast “My Fave Queer Chemist” to showcase the often left out stories of queer and trans chemists. Now in its fourth season, I have interviewed over sixty LGBTQ+ chemists at different stages in their careers, including Nobel Prize winner Carolyn Bertozzi, and have presented on inclusive science communication at national chemistry and STEM conferences. I’ve served as a UM Chemistry Department SciComm Writing Fellow, a Science Communication Fellow for the UM Museum of Natural History, a Public Engagement Fellow at UM’s Office of the Vice President of Research, and participated in the 2022 ComSciCon Flagship Workshop. My writing has been featured in Science Magazine and Chemistry and Engineering News. When I’m not working you can find me watching women's college basketball or checking out new breweries. I’m so excited to be working at NPR as a Mass Media Fellow this summer!


Bec Roldan stands in front of a wood panel background in a flannel shirt

University of Michigan

Fellowship Sponsor: American Chemical Society

Fellowship Host: NPR