My name is Melanie Fine and I help inspire girls to achieve their dream careers in science and engineering. As a high school science teacher and Cornell graduate, I have seen firsthand the bias that confronts girls on a daily basis in the math and sciences. As a freshman at Cornell, I walked naively into a freshman honors physics course to find that I was the only girl in a class of around 60 potential physics majors. This had never been my experience in high school and I hadn't the tools to address my growing self-doubt. After the professor started quizzing me (and only me) on my math and physics qualifications in front of the entire class, I re-enrolled in a lower level physics class and struggled to make my way through. It's amazing how much our own self-talk and lack of support derail us from pursuing our dreams. You see, I was no less qualified than anyone in that first class. I had scored well on my AP Physics and AP Calculus exams, and yet, as often for girls, I believed my thoughts of my own inadequacies. Boys, on the other hand, don't attach themselves to these thoughts, and it's questionable whether or not they think them in the first place. Either way, qualified or not, boys are much more willing to jump into unknown waters, take on jobs that are beyond their abilities, and succeed anyway. It is my mission to help girls do the same.
From enrolling in the most appropriate high school courses for your intended major, attending cutting-edge summer research programs, applying to the schools that offer you the best chances for success, to choosing a career that places you either safely on a path already well-trodden by great women before you, or trailblazing a new path with all its fits and starts, upsets and triumphs, it is my hope to be your guide. Let me help you build a transcript that reflects your most qualified self, and the self-confidence to put yourself out there... perhaps where few women have gone before. Because the world deserves you. And you deserve the world.
A bit more about me
As you read above, I received my chemistry degree from Cornell University, where I studied under such luminaries as 1981 Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffman and poet Robert Morgan. I hold a California single-subject secondary teaching credential in Chemistry and Physics. I have received recognition and honors as a teacher, being named an Amgen Fellow of the National Science Teachers Association, a Fellow of the College Board in AP Chemistry and the recipient of the American Vacuum Society’s prestigious low pressure educator grant. My students have gone on to study science and engineering at Stanford, Berkeley, Yale and Wesleyan, to name a few. I write for the Huffington Post on all things related to science and science education.
I am also a cantor, having received my investiture and Masters Degree in Sacred Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. I currently teach chemistry at Culver City High School.
I am the single mother of a young scientist Max, and we live in Los Angeles, California.