Women Who Reign: Kristin Weiss
“Make the rest of your life the best of your life.”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Growing up I loved science. I loved looking under my microscope at all the organisms that lived in the water from from the lake down the street. I loved seeing how the ink of pens would separate into an array of different colors using chromatography, each with its own unique pattern. I loved making homemade lava lamps and watching the colored oils rise and sink when heated. If you had asked me when I was 10 what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you without a doubt that I wanted to be a scientist. While my love for science followed me all the way through high school, I ended up finding another passion: engineering. When I joined the robotics team at the local science center my sophomore year of high school, there was no turning back. I was fascinated getting to design robots on the computer and then bring them to life to compete with. It got to the point that my parents would quite literally have to drag me out of the shop some nights because I never wanted to leave. When I started college, I decided to major in biomedical engineering, which is the perfect mix of science and engineering, and I am convinced that BME really is the Best Major Ever! I am about to enter my third year at Georgia Tech and have loved almost every minute of my college experience so far. I currently work in a joint Emory and Georgia Tech BME lab doing research on DNA origami. In my free time I mentor the FIRST robotics team that I was apart of in high school, and serve as the student director for BEST Robotics in Georgia.
Fun Fact: I love to ski and have actually skied down a frozen waterfall.
What # would define your life journey?
I am a very girly person and, at times, have been told that I can be a bit of a princess. Those who know me well though, also know that I am a huge science and robotics nerd, so I think that Debbie Sterling and her company GoldieBlox sum me up perfectly with one of their famous sayings, “more than just a princess.” Yes, I can be a princess, but at my core, I am so much more than JUST a princess.
Favorite website / app:
I will have to say Snapchat because I love the concept of communicating through pictures! Over the years I have gained lots of friends, especially robotics friends, who live in other states and parts of the country, so it’s always fun to see what they are up to in life.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
My mom has been my inspiration since day one! As a prominent women in STEM, she has always taught me to pursue my passions in STEM and taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to with hard work and dedication. She has also taught me to ignore gender stereotypes and strive to be the best that I can personally be.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
In college, there have many times where I get worn down with the rigor of my classes and grades, and sometimes I question why I went into one of the hardest fields out there. The way that I overcome this is by mentoring my high school robotics team and all of the younger kids that we work with. Going back and seeing what made me fall in love with engineering, before I had to worry about grades and the pressure of school, always seems to reignited my passion for engineering and put a smile on my face. My absolute lowest low in college turned into one of my favorite and most memorable nights because I ended up at a team outreach event for elementary and middle school students who managed to turn my tears of distress to tears of laughter in a matter of a few minutes.
I’m not entirely sure yet, but most likely I want to do something involving biomedical research. I love the medical field, but I cannot stand blood or guts or any bodily fluids, so I’d ideally like to help shape the medical world from behind the bench.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks! Ignore gender stereotypes, because you can do anything that you set your mind to if you dedicate yourself and work hard! If you ever feel like you aren’t good enough or forget why you are where you are, go back to where your passion started and remind yourself how far you have come. Find someone who believes in you and will help cheer you on even when you have lost faith in yourself. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy what you do! You only get to live life once so make the most of it!