First-Generation Determination

Brooke Weiler smiling for the camera in front of a rock wall. Brooke has medium length brown hair and is wearing a black blazer with white checkered stripes.
Brooke Weiler, senior in biochemistry and psychology.

As a first-generation student in STEM, Brooke Weiler, a Mizzou senior, hopes to influence others in years to come as a professor in STEM. “I would like to use my experiences at Mizzou to encourage other first-generation women in STEM.”

Navigating her career interests overwhelmed her time as a new student at Mizzou, “Being first in your family in a STEM degree is intimidating at times.” Navigating double STEM degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology, Weiler acknowledges how fortunate she was to have found her passion early during her time at Mizzou.  

“I fell in love with the research! I fell in love with the research team.”

Through the Discovery Fellows Program, Weiler was connected to the biochemistry lab of Charlotte Phillips, Ph.D. and professor of Biochemistry and Child Health, “I fell in love with the research! I fell in love with the research team.” Weiler said.

Talking about the importance of the Missouri Method, Weiler explains the impact of not having experience, or an understanding of the importance undergraduate research, can have on a student’s career outcomes in the sciences, “I didn’t know how to be a college student because I didn’t have parents who attended college.”

Weiler appreciates her Mizzou experience as a first-generation student, encouraging others though the peer mentor program and as a teaching assistant, “It’s one of my passions, to help other students, because I know how hard I struggled in certain STEM classes.” Weiler found her enjoyment of helping others helped lead to her desire to become the professor she knows other first-generation students need.