Last updated on September 15th, 2023 at 03:11 pm
As someone born in Japan who has lived most her life in the United States, Miho Yoshioka brings a unique lens to the DEIA advisory council, a lens through which she has connected with underrepresented communities in her years of navigating various scientific fields. Before working as a Biological Science Technician for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Miho worked in vector-borne diseases, tropical biology, behavioral ecology and aquatic invasive species control. She received a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies with a Spanish minor from Emory University, and later an M.S. degree in Biology from East Carolina University. Throughout her academic and professional career, Miho has shared her perspective as a Japanese female scientist with colleagues and groups working in her realm of research as well as the public and youth communities. In 2016, Miho’s ARS career began in Peoria, Illinois, where she worked in biocontrol of fungal pathogens that impact staple wheat and potato yields. Currently, in the ARS Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colorado, Miho conducts chemical analyses of plant and soil samples to direct land management practices that contribute to more functional, sustainable soils.
When not in the laboratory, Miho serves on the unit’s EEO and awards committees and location’s safety committee. She has both led and participated in discussions about unconscious bias, recruiting insight into how to foster a more supportive, inclusive workplace and beyond. She recently was appointed to the City of Fort Collins Human Relations Commission, which promotes acceptance and respect for diversity through educational programs and activities offered to the local community. As a DEIA advisory councilmember, Miho is extremely motivated to advocate for underserved and underrepresented members of the already trying agricultural industry. She believes inclusion is paramount in any program, and agricultural safety– where policies can quite literally determine life and death– is no exception. She is grateful to be a part of the council and to share her voice and experiences.
Outside of work and advocacy, Miho stays active. Since retiring from 10 years of competitive figure skating, Miho has continued to enjoy various forms of movement, not exclusive to hiking in beautiful Colorado. She dances at an inclusive studio three times a week, loves challenging her strength in the gym and yoga studio, squeezes every last run out of her annual ski pass, continues to hone her scuba diving skills, and loves running with her mom as a form of sightseeing when they travel. At home, Miho is usually found cooking, reading (usually fantasy or Harry Potter for the umpteenth time) or playing with her two cats Mei and Taro, if not all at once. While she didn’t develop teeth until she was two years old, she has always had an uncanny photographic memory. She hopes to visit Scandinavian countries in the next few years.