Dr. Janell N. Catlin | This is What a Scientist Looks Like

Dr. Janell N. Catlin is the Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) at FIRST. She joined FIRST in October 2020 and brings over 20 years of experience as a global STEM education researcher, teacher educator, and advocate of access to STEM education for all learners. 

In April 2023, Dr. Catlin was invited to join Joy Donnell on a LinkedIn Live hosted by IF/THEN She Can called “This Is What A Scientist Looks Like” to discuss ED&I in STEM fields. As a follow-up to this inspiring conversation, Dr. Catlin was asked a few rapid-fire questions about her experiences. Please keep reading and watch/listen below for her thoughts and ideas across a variety of topics. 


“It’s our drive at FIRST to ensure that students are able to think globally and act locally so that the work that they do now and work that they will do as adults, is well informed.”  

-Dr. Catlin on the importance of FIRST and STEM programming 


What drew you to the ED&I field? 


Why does representation matter? 


“If you pursue what is instilled in you, you can never go wrong. It’s a gift. There is no plan, it’s following your heart.”

-Dr. Catlin on choosing your path in life 




If you could give your 14-year-old self advice, what would you say?  


“When you can see yourself in someone and say “Wow, they did it. Maybe that means I can do it too.””

-Dr. Catlin on the importance of role model



Watch the full conversation between Dr. Catlin and Joy Donnel here.