Michelle Hernandez Ph.D.

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Eres único y valioso! / You are unique and worthy!

Dr. Michelle Hernandez was born in Washington DC, the daughter of Nidia Armenteros and Robert Kratzer, granddaughter to Maria Rosario and Jaime Feliciano, and is of Puerto Rican and German ancestry. Michelle comes from a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins who live in NYC, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida. Michelle is married to Guillermo Hernandez who is of Salvadorian descent and they both love to travel and try new foods. In her spare time, Michelle loves to learn about new cultures, teach and mentor, as well as volunteer her time.

Michelle didn’t always know what she wanted to be when she was growing up, but she knew she wanted to make a difference. Science, as it turned out, was going to be her key to her future. Michelle was the first in her family to graduate from college, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology (BS) from Montclair State University, and went on to get a master’s in Molecular Biology (MS). With the help of scholarships, Michelle went on to get a second master’s degree and then a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) from New York University (NYU) in Exposure Assessment, becoming an air pollution scientist.

Michelle is actively involved in multiple organizations to help Latino and Hispanic youth and young adults to realize their scientific potential. She is a member of SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science), HOT (Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists), HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) and serves as a mentor to many young adults and working professionals.

Currently, Michelle is Associate Director of Occupational Toxicology at Merck & Co., Inc. in their Global Safety and the Environment group where she provides technical guidance on a broad range of occupational, environmental and product safety issues. She is also co-lead of the Merck Hispanos Organization in Kenilworth, NJ, hosting networking, mentorship and professional development opportunities for Merck employees, while promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity.

La Dra. Michelle Hernandez nació en Washington DC, es hija de Nidia Armenteros y Robert Kratzer y nieta de Maria Rosario y Jose Feliciano. Provenientes de Puerto Rico y Alemania. Michelle tiene una gran familia compuesta de tíos y primos que viven en distintos estados de los Estados Unidos (NYC, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida). En su tiempo libre, a Michelle le encanta viajar, aprender acerca d nuevas culturas, enseñar y trabajar de voluntaria.

De pequeña Michelle no sabía qué quería ser cuando fuera grande, pero sí sabía que quería hacer una diferencia. Al parecer, la Ciencia sería la llave a su futuro. Michelle fue la primera de su familia en graduarse de la Universidad, obtuvo su Bachelors degree en Biología de la Universidad de Montclair y luego obtuvo su Maestría en Biología Molecular. Gracias a que recibió una beca, pudo obtener su segunda maestría y finalmente un doctorado de la Universidad de NY en Exposure Assessment para convertirse en una científica especializada en la polución del aire.

Michelle participa en varias organizaciones para ayudar a jóvenes latinos e hispanos y jóvenes en general a descubrir su potencial científico. Forma parte de SACNAS (Sociedad para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia para Chicanos/Hispanos y Nativos Americanos), HOT (Organización de Toxicólogos Hispanos),  HISPA y trabaja como mentora asesorando a jóvenes profesionales.

Actualmente Michelle trabaja en Merck & Co., Inc. como Directora de Toxicología Ocupacional, en el sector de Seguridad Global y Medio Ambiente, donde se encarga de proveer ayuda técnica en problemas de seguridad asociados con temas ocupacionales, de Medio Ambiente y de productos. También esta al mando de la Organización de Hispanos en Merck, ubicada en Kenilworth, NJ. Allí Michelle se encarga de organizar reuniones para promover la interacción de los empleados, realiza trabajos de mentoría/asesoramiento y desarrollo profesional para empleados de Merck, promoviendo la inclusión y diversidad.

Academic History

Montclair State University, New York University
Lake-Sumter Community College
Biology, Medicine and Health
English, Spanish
United States
New Jersey


Merck & Co., Inc.
Associate Director Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences
Environmental scientist, Health and safety adviser, Research scientist
Chemical Manufacturing, Education and Health Services
HISPA, Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement (HACE), MERCK Hispanic Organization (MHO)
SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science); HOT (Hispanic Organization of Toxicology)

Life Experience & Challenges:

United States
United States
Washington DC
Puerto-Rican, German
Poverty, Learning difference, Other
Educational barriers
6 years old
Relationship Skills

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