Published September 15, 2020
Fortune magazine has named UB graduate student Raven Baxter to its exclusive “40 Under 40” list of emerging leaders in the field of health care.
Baxter — better known as Raven the Science Maven — is a science communicator who marries science with hip hop music to educate and inspire young, underrepresented students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
After joining the workforce as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, Baxter quickly learned that the only other African Americans working at her office were security guards and custodians. She shifted her career to science education to push more people of color toward STEM fields.
Baxter is pursuing a doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Education through a 2019-20 Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship. Her dissertation focuses on culturally responsive teaching strategies in STEM education, particularly through hip hop music, and the effects of media representation on Black women in science.
Connecting with the community through music, Baxter uses clever science-themed wordplay and self-produced beats to create numerous songs and music videos. In May, she released an album, “The Protocol,” which includes her viral hit, “Wipe It Down,” that encourages cleanliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has also launched a web series, STEMbassy, which features scientists of varying genders and races exploring STEM in the context of politics, culture and social issues.
Her work has gained national recognition. Baxter secured a deal to write a children’s book and an agreement with a major television network to create a science education show. She has also fielded an offer from a major biotech company to serve as its science communicator and education specialist.
For more information about Baxter, her music or her work, visit her website, scimaven.com.