After witnessing the wave of misinformation during the pandemic, Jade Christman (B.I.S. ’22) wants to make science more accessible.
By LaTina Emerson
ATLANTA — Jade Christman has a passion for science and research, but she’s also interested in social media and content creation. While some may not see the connection between these different fields, combining them is the career of a lifetime for this budding science communicator.
“There was so much misinformation about the vaccine at the time, purely from people not understanding how the vaccine worked, how your immune system works and exactly how it protected you,” Christman said. “It was extremely frustrating to see, especially in the beginning when it was so imperative to get the vaccine and exercise social distancing.”
Christman said there can be a disconnect when it comes to translating technical research papers into easily comprehensible terms. “It's just something everyday people don't go out of their way to do,” she said. “And why should they? Unfortunately, because of this, I feel as if there is a big disparity in implementing science into our daily lives.”
An Honors College student, Christman will graduate this spring, after only three years, becoming the first daughter in her family to earn a college degree and the first in her family to pursue a science career. She navigated almost her entire college career during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing non-pandemic college only during part of her first year.
The Biomedical Science and Enterprise bachelor’s program gave Christman the opportunity to learn about a variety of disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, anthropology, marine biology, microbiology, human development and law. This diverse foundation has fueled her passion for becoming a science communicator.
“I always thought that my interest in science clashed with my interest in social media and content creation, but I realized I can combine the two,” Christman said. “Seeing how science communicator Hank Green educates people and answers questions in a scientific way really inspired me to pursue something like that.”
Christman chose Georgia State because it provided a diverse and balanced experience.
“I really enjoyed that it was an open campus, so it felt less like I was separated from the city,” Christman said. “The second I walked out of the residence hall, I was right on the streets of Atlanta. Georgia State also has always been very accommodating. I felt like I could healthily balance school and work life.”
At Georgia State, Christman enrolled in the Honors College and also participated in research for two years, presenting her research project at the Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference and learning different lab techniques and procedures.
She chose the Biomedical Science and Enterprise bachelor’s program because of the flexibility it offered.
“I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to study at the time, besides knowing I wanted it to be science related, but I didn’t want to be stuck with just one discipline,” Christman said. “It was a relatively new program, and it looked super exciting and multidisciplinary. I instantly felt like this was the right fit for me. I’ve gotten to experience so much and have had so much control over what classes I wanted to take.”
Photo by Carolyn Richardson