Reflections on Role Models: Judit Camacho
When I started at SACNAS, my greatest role models were the founders of the organization. To this day, I respect and admire their vision and persistence in bringing Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists together as a community. After 17 years with SACNAS, you—the members of this community—have become my role models. I am inspired by you daily, watching you persevere as undergrads and become my peers, get your PhDs, and obtain positions of leadership. Because of you, I am continually challenging myself to do better, think strategically, and to flourish as a leader.
Removing Hierarchy from Role Models
Through my work at SACNAS, I have learned that role modeling is not necessarily hierarchical or from the top down, it’s circular and often reciprocal. It can be easy to think of role models as people who are on another, higher level. However, I feel that it is vital for us to challenge our beliefs about “what” and “who” a real role model is. When we redefine what being a role model means, it becomes easier to recognize people who can inspire us and actually empower ourselves to serve as a role model for others.
Finding a Role Model
Remember, SACNAS is full of role models—people like you and me who are passionately imagining and actualizing their dreams! They are our peers and the people we admire. I urge you to use the resources on the SACNAS website and our year-round programming to connect with our national community, a network of potential role models. Some tips I have found helpful: align yourself with individuals heading in the same direction as you, who have similar interests as you, and who share the same ideas about the way you view the world. Once you make those common connections, do your best to stay in touch and continue learning from one another.
Whether it’s for a grant proposal or scientific paper, successful scientists must master the communication of their work & ideas. The interdisciplinary, diverse, and supportive SACNAS community is a perfect place to flex your writing muscles & hone your storytelling skills. Contribute to our library of written & multimedia resources; share your experience & expertise with over 20,000 fellow SACNISTAs.