SPARKED: Piecing Together Stories to Find Solutions—Beck’s Story

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Beck Crisino

Rebecca “Beck” Crisino has always been the person who asks “why?” Growing up in a traditional household where women generally stayed home and men worked trades, Beck was told that college wasn’t for women. Her grandmother, the matriarch of the family, said she should focus on becoming a parent and taking care of the house. Beck respected her family, but she wanted more—she wanted answers to her questions.

As someone who loved to solve problems, Beck believed in the power of science to piece together stories and find solutions. While studying forensic science at college, she took a Pharmacology class with an inspiring teacher and discovered another passion. She completed a double major in chemistry and forensic science and got a job doing hands-on experiments studying drug dosages. She eventually joined Johnson & Johnson in Research and Development, where today she is part of a special program designed to develop key leaders within different areas of the enterprise.

One of her proudest moments at J&J was introducing new methods to test drug concentration. Drawing on her previous experience, Beck suggested unconventional processes that ended up successfully gauging the amount of medicine being delivered to the body. Looking back on this achievement, she’s proud of herself for having the “knowledge and guts” to speak up and propose the best method to solve the problem. Beck recently earned an M.B.A. in addition to her Master’s degree in molecular biology. As a young girl, Beck didn’t believe she could attend college and was unaware of the opportunities in STEM2D fields. Today she has three degrees and a prestigious job with one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Her advice for young women looking to follow in her footsteps is simple:

  • You can do anything you set your mind to.
  • Work hard and don’t let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dreams.
  • If you can’t find somebody to support your vision, keep looking.