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Raven Baxter      

Science Communicator & Molecular Biologist Known as "Raven the Science Maven"; Founder, STEMbassy

Raven Baxter, Ph.D., aka Dr. Raven the Science Maven is an internationally acclaimed American educator and molecular biologist known for effortlessly merging science with pop culture. Using her magnetic personality, she challenges the status quo to prove that science communicators aren’t all one and the same. She is highly sought after for speaking engagements, and brand partnerships.

Raised by a single mother in North Carolina and New York, Dr. Baxter’s curiosity to explore the world around her at a young age developed into a lifelong affinity for science. Today, whether producing viral hip-hop videos such as her “Antibodyody Antibody" Song or her “Wipe it Down” to teach science lessons to the masses or hosting a STEM-themed talk show she created called STEMbassy, she joyfully disrupts traditional cultural perceptions about scientists.

Passionate about diversity in STEM, Dr. Baxter builds community with her participation in the Black in Science Communication group and recognizes the importance of service as a legacy member of the prestigious Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which counts Vice President Kamala Harris and civil rights activist Rosa Parks as distinguished members. As an entrepreneur—and unapologetic fashionista—Dr. Baxter recognized the importance of inclusive fashions for science fans from all walks of life, which led her to found her own online store, Smarty Pants. Her shop features of-the-moment, whimsical STEM-themed apparel and accessories designed by her with a portion of the profits benefiting STEM students.

In addition, Dr. Baxter is a sought after public speaker who maintains a strong voice in science academia as the Director of Diversity Initiatives in the UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences. She has earned numerous awards for her achievements, including the State University of New York’s Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in honor of her service in educating the public about COVID-19, and recognition on Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Recently, Dr. Baxter joined a 4-person team of celebrities and influencers commissioned by NASA to inspire student participation in the NASA TechRise Student Challenge. The team created a video that challenges students in grades 6 – 12 to build and test a design based on Dr. Baxter’s hypothesis about what a maraca would sound like in microgravity, during the NASA TechRise Virtual Field Trip in September.

Speech Topics

Hip-Hop Pedagogy in Science for the Newest Generations

Hip-hop and rap looks different for each generation. My work has shown that modern approaches to pedagogy, including hip-hop pedagogy, are needed to reach underrepresented populations. In this talk, I will discuss the success of my approaches to using contemporary rap and hip-hop to engage learners in science.

From College Dropout to PhD: Finding Resilience in your STEM Journey

No one said that life would be easy. Raised in a single-parent, twice-divorced household (sometimes homeless), I persevered through huge life challenges and within 10 years, I accomplished what most would have never expected. In this talk, I'll share intimate details of my story and provide your audience with the tools to overcome adversity.

How Increasing Visibility for Women in STEM Benefits Everyone

My research adds to a body of literature that shows that it benefits people from all backgrounds to see women, particularly Black women, in STEM fields. In this talk, I will discuss the current research regarding Black women in STEM, and how to support underrepresented populations in STEM.

How to Create a Culturally Responsive Learning Environment

Building inclusive learning environments and ensuring that students feel safe and welcome in your classroom is a major factor in student success, and a huge part of my teaching practices as an outstanding science educator. In this talk, I will engage your audience in a productive talk with the goal of setting an action plan for the classroom.

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