Celebrating Diversity in STEM: Dr. Kevin Clarke
This February, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Office of External Affairs is celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting incredible members of Boston’s STEM workforce. A huge thank you to these talented individuals who volunteered to share their stories as we honor STEM diversity and encourage students interested in a STEM career path.
Dr. Kevin Clarke discovered his love of science when he just a teenager, but that passion has stayed with him long into his adult career. As the Medical Affairs Manager at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Kevin manages and publishes clinical trial results to the healthcare community, working closely with his colleagues to develop plans for new medicines. He utilizes his knowledge of drugs to create educational materials such as posters, booklets, and manuals that can be easily understood by professionals and patients, truly making the most of the STEM education that inspired him from the very beginning.
Q: What motivated you to enter the STEM workforce?
A: My interest in STEM came from my 10th grade chemistry class. I enjoyed conducting chemical reactions and learning the science and math behind them. This interest led me to pursue a degree in chemistry in college and then pharmacy in graduate school. As a pharmacist I am able to combine my love of science with healthcare.
Q: What has been your proudest career achievement?
A: Being able to give back to my alma mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU) as a professor, mentor, and opening new opportunities for STEM students.
Q: Why is it important for today’s students to actively engage in STEM learning?
A: STEM advancements are the key to a better life in this technology-driven world, and STEM-educated professionals are the driving force. It is important that today’s students actively engage in STEM learning so we can continue to push the envelope in the fields of healthcare, technology, and the sciences where there is an abundance of knowledge still left to be discovered.
Q: If you could give your high-school self career or life advice, what would it have been?
A: I would tell myself that life is full of ups and downs but in every failure there is a lesson to be learned. Keep pushing until you reach the goal/dream set for yourself and let nothing or no one deter you.
Boston Public Schools believes that an immersive STEM program is more than just teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills. STEM education is an all-encompassing experience that encourages students to solve problems and seek inquiries that are relevant to our current society using STEM competencies to address challenges. Thank you, Kevin, for including your voice in this important conversation.