Alumni February 2022 News

From dino drawings to STEM ambassador

Myria Perez ’18, a fossil preparator in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Deep Time FossiLab in Washington, D.C., is on a mission to inspire more young women to pursue STEM careers.

Her dinosaur drawings earned Myria Perez ’18 a volunteer position at the Houston Museum of Natural Science when she was just 12. Flash-forward to high school, and her passion for dinosaurs again made a big impression – this time on renowned vertebrate paleontologist Louis Jacobs, now professor emeritus of Earth Sciences and president of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU.
Jacobs became her mentor while she earned bachelor’s degrees in geology and anthropology from SMU. Along the way, she helped prepare fossils that Jacobs and his team had uncovered in Angola. They were exhibited in Sea Monsters Unearthed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where she now works in the Deep Time FossilLab as a fossil preparator.
Perez aims to inspire more young women to enter STEM fields as one of 125 AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors.
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