Senta Greene - 2017 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Stevenson Professor of Physics
Vanderbilt University, USA
Country of Birth: USA
I have always been interested in taking things apart to see how they work. Nuclear physics, which I discovered as an undergraduate, seemed to be a natural extension of this approach to discovery. Now, as a professor, my primary responsibilities are research and teaching.
The biggest obstacle in my career that I have faced is internal - I tend to question whether my success is due to luck or to my own abilities. To the extent that I have overcome this obstacle, I find that it is important to focus on past successes and, equally importantly, my confidence in my ability to execute my plans for future work.
I wish that someone had stressed to me the importance of finding the best possible mentors. Sometimes, good colleagues are more important than the specific details of the research itself.
If you are interested in STEM, seek out people you will enjoy working with, and research groups that have a reputation for having a good climate for women. Learn not to doubt yourself and your talents.