Getting to know: Chelsie Boodoo

Feb. 9, 2021

Ph.D. student has a passion for science and storytelling

Chelsie Boodoo is a graduate student who is majoring in biomedical engineering. She is interested in biosecurity and shares a passion for mixing science and storytelling.

Chelsie Boodoo is an award-winning Ph.D. student interested in biosecurity and science communications.
Chelsie Boodoo is an award-winning Ph.D. student interested in biosecurity and science communication.

She was the winner of a 2021-22 Leadership Endowment Fellowship from MSU’s Council on Graduate Students, and is the College of Engineering representative with the Graduate School Leadership Fellows. Boodoo was also a 2021 Inspiration Award recipient from the MSU GenCen and Women’s Student Services for demonstrating inclusive action and influence in working toward gender equity and social justice.

She also just received a fellowship with ARIS - the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society. MSU is among the ARIS Center’s national partners, along with Brown University, Duke University, Iowa State, Northwestern, Oregon State, and others.

Leadership and science are only part of her skill set.

Boodoo is also the founding president of MSU SciComm and currently co-hosts the award-winning show, The Sci-Files, on Impact 89FM, along with Daniel Puentes. The Sci-Files explores groundbreaking student research on the campus of MSU. In the past, everything from love to overcome adversity to the use of wastewater to predict COVID-19 in communities has been featured. The Sci-Files has been on the air for two years and airs on 88.9 FM every Sunday morning.

“My passion for science communications has driven me to find unconventional and inspiring ways to share science stories and feature up-and-coming student researchers,” Boodoo said. “I attribute much of my storytelling skills as the digital content creator for the MSU Science Festival to my various experiences with researchers. By sitting down and learning from some of MSU’s greatest research minds, I have learned a great deal in creating relevant and essential science content for the science festival.”

Boodoo said her work with MSU SciComm has been rewarding and nurtured her communications dexterity.

“I have produced more than 100 episodes for The Sci-Files. Last year, we won first place for college radio talk shows at the Michigan Association Broadcasting Awards. That same year, we got second place for City Pulse’s Top of The Town contest in the category “Best Podcast.” We are very proud of our success, but the ability to converse with future scientists about a myriad of topics is the true reward. The connections that I have formed over the series of the podcast has cultivated my hunger to learn more.”

MSU SciComm is currently recruiting more members to train the next generation of leaders, she said, adding, “we are hosting a free conference virtually this year on March 20-21 called Conveyance. Check it out!”

Sci-Files Galaxy - Chelsie Boodoo was commissioned by the City of East Lansing for science-art at Valley Court Park in 2020.
Sci-Files Galaxy - Chelsie Boodoo was commissioned by the City of East Lansing for science-art at Valley Court Park in 2020.

Boodoo came to MSU from Miami, Florida, after graduating from Florida International University (FIU) in 2017. She is a first-generation college student, and her family is from Trinidad and Tobago. She received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in chemistry at FIU. 

Boodoo will receive a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from MSU in May and plans to continue her Ph.D. studies at MSU in biosystems and agricultural engineering.

“I want to pursue a career in biosecurity or science media,” she said. “This spring, I started a communications internship with the Arms Control Association, where I have the opportunity to educate the public on nuclear and biosecurity topics – something I am passionate about. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Boodoo continued: “I am also excited for the upcoming projects I am working on, such as the MSU Science Festival that will feature about 200 presenters on a wide range of topics. I hope everyone gets a chance to check out our programming in April, and maybe next year, we can resume the festival in person.”

Read more on her many talents and interests here.