We are heartbroken at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many others, and we condemn police brutality in all forms. Black lives matter. Fighting for change in unjust systems is at the core of our mission to promote inclusive science and, frankly, we are ashamed that we have not done more.
We hope that our audience will join us in taking action to help our communities (or department, lab, team, workplace, family) be anti-racist and support and promote Black peers, students, mentors, faculty, friends, and community members. Many in our audience are at an early career stage, and may not have much experience speaking with people in power to confront racist behavior or implement new anti-racist initiatives. We challenge our non-Black friends to get comfortable being uncomfortable and speak up anyways, recognizing that not everyone has the privilege of silence.
Going forward we commit to featuring more Black scientists, engineers, and leaders on our podcast episodes and other platforms. Below, we have linked a few resources for ways you can join us in donating, learning, and action.
Sally + Kayla
Resources and data
Sometimes bad projects happen to good people. Kayla and Sally discuss how to identify if your project may be in trouble, talk about these challenges with team members, and say good riddance to bad project. We also talk about letting go of good projects that come to an untimely conclusion due to circumstances outside your control - lost funding, changing priorities, or, you know, a global pandemic.
Requesting, writing, and stressing about letters of recommendation? Been there! Kayla and Sally cover all these letter of rec worries and more! We get into the weeds like what to do when a recommender asks you to "write the first draft for me" and how many "friendly reminder" emails are too many. Finally, we walk you through writing your first letter of rec about a trainee. It's the first of our Skill Share series - hope you enjoy!
How involved should graduate students be in activities outside of lab? Sally and Kayla discuss how to strategically choose personally- and professionally-fulfilling extracurriculars while still budgeting time for life.
Science policy panelists Andrew Bremer, Stephanie Mack, and Kathy Shield join Sally and Kayla again to discuss how scientific research is funded with a focus on the process of allocating and distributing government funding. The panelists also share how graduate students can be involved in this process and impact research funding for years to come.
Journal Science Policy and Governance
National Science Policy Network
Science Policy Group of Berkeley
When her first career dreams were absolutely dashed, Dr. Maria Artunduaga reinvented herself, founded a company, and learned to thrive.Trained as a physician in her home country, Colombia, Maria dreamed of coming to the US to become a pediatric plastic surgeon and hustled to make it happen. When blatant discrimination and subsequent litigation forced her out of medicine forever, she felt stuck. Eventually, she trained and studied to become an engineer and entrepreneur. She founded Respira Labs and is using acoustics to identify COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) flareups. Maria shares her journey, her advice for others going through career hell or facing discrimination, and lessons learned as a CEO. We are honored to share her story as part of our Journeys series.
Find Maria on Twitter @DrArtunduaga and Respira Labs @RespiraLabs or RespiraLabs.com.
Subscribe to Double Shelix and tell your friends! Find us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod or email us - email@example.com.
Thanks to the Berkeley Student Tech Fund for supporting the series and to Joel Wanek for editing and production.
Skydeck, UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator program, has created a new model for funding education. They provide resources and funding to help university-affiliated founders go from idea to startup, and profits from Skydeck’s venture fund go directly back to the University. Double Shelix is delighted to welcome Caroline Winnett, Skydeck’s Executive Director, to discuss her path from concert violinist to MBA grad to startup gamechanger. We also discuss some of Silicon Valley’s systemic issues and what needs to change to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. If you have a startup or are thinking about thinking about starting one, Caroline will inspire you to absolutely go for it!
UC Berkeley Entrepreneurship Resources
Thank you to Joel Wanek from Mind Space Time for editing and production of this episode!
Subscribe to Double Shelix on iTunes, and tell a friend about our podcast!
You’ve secured a coveted faculty position - now what? Double Shelix welcomes Helen Zha, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Helen started as a faculty in January 2018, and on this episode, we discuss her experiences on the faculty job market and how we can learn from her mistakes - and her successes! Helen shares the triumphs and challenges she has faced in the first year of running a brand new research group, and the best advice she’s gotten from her mentors about navigating this exciting career stage. Also, tenure is only 4 years away, so we discuss that terrifying situation, and why it doesn’t seem equally terrifying to all junior faculty. We also discover what motivated Helen to pursue an academic career, her ultimate career and life goals, and how she has perfected the art of the lipstick break. Oh, and her biohybrid materials research, of course!
DOUBLE SHELIX LIVE - Tuesday, October 23 at 5:30 pm. UC Berkeley Hearst Mining Building, Room 290. All are welcome! Free food thanks to our partners, Berkeley Society of Women Engineers. We’ll be discussing how learning the hidden curriculum for success in STEM can help students overcome imposter syndrome and excel! More info: https://goo.gl/brDeto Hope to see you there!
Helen Zha’s research group - https://www.biohybridmaterialslab.com/
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Tell a friend or colleague about Double Shelix!
Heidi Norton joins Double Shelix to discuss her transition from graduate school to living her best life as a senior molecular biologist at Biomeme, a biotech startup in Philadelphia. She shares her tips for using enthusiasm as a networking tool, and how students and early career professionals can identify their strengths and demonstrate them to potential employers. Heidi shares some of the awesome science she does Biomeme, creating hand-held PCR machines to find endangered species, diagnose diseases in the field, and track high-value goods in the supply chain. Heidi tells us why she loves working at Biomeme and about current job openings at Biomeme - a technical sales/business development role and a software development role! If you love science and solving problems and want to learn more about the business of science, you should TOTALLY APPLY!
Biomeme's open positions - biomeme.com/careers
Biomeme on LinkedIn
Email Heidi for more inside scoop on the job postings - email@example.com
Biomeme on Instagram - @biomemeinc
Biomeme on Twitter - @biomemeinc
Awesome videos of Biomeme's technology out in the world - biomeme.com
Heidi's blog, Beta Pleated Chic -betapleatedchic.com
Thank you to Biomeme for supporting this episode! Please apply to their jobs or tell a friend or mentee to apply - we all could use a little encouragement to reach for our dreams! If you apply, tell Sally and Kayla (who couldn't join for this episode, but will be back!) and we will send you encouraging gifs!
Subscribe to Double Shelix on iTunes!
More on doubleshelix.com
Instagram - @doubleshelixpodcast
Twitter - @doubleshelixpod
Summer internships + rotation projects: Leveraging short-term experiences for your future career success!
How can you make the most of a short research or work experience?! Sally and Kayla give their tips for how to succeed in a summer internship or research rotation. We discuss how to manage day-to-day responsibilities, demonstrate your curiosity and eagerness, and finish strong to leave a great impression. We give the inside scoop on asking for letters of recommendation and navigating tough conversations about authorship and publication goals. Also, what to do when you end up in a truly toxic situation (which you probably won’t, but still it’s scary). Other important things: great lab notebook habits and tips for all stakeholders to make a successful undergraduate poster fair. If you supervise interns or rotation students, or if you are one - this is the episode for you!
*All the best practical tips for crushing your summer research experience, from The STEM Squad
*Excellent tips about framing your summer work experiences in future job, school, or fellowship applications on our episode with Christina Fuentes and Shaheen Jeeawoody
*Stellar advice for becoming an amazing mentee and mentor, on our episode Next Level Mentorship for Mentors and Mentees with Julea Vlassakis
*Sally’s post on how to ask for a letter of recommendation on Beta Pleated Chic
Thank you to our funders, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering and the Berkeley Student Tech Fund.
Share your thoughts on this episode on our voicemail 415-895-0850 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. We're on Twitter @doubleshelixpod and on Instagram @doubleshelixpodcast - give us a follow! Thank you to everyone who has reviewed us on iTunes!
We wrap up the You do Belong in Science series with listener stories and lessons learned from this series. Listeners write in with stories about the importance of professors' LGBTQ allyship and dealing with chronic illness in graduate school. We reveal who does not belong in science (spoiler alert/content advisory, it's sexual harassers). We also welcome allyship correspondent Jon Muncie to discuss actions everyone can take to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace, fairly judge peers' research, and increase representation and promote inclusion of people from underrepresented groups in STEM. He reminds us that we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable when it comes to discussing and addressing these important issues facing our science workplaces.
* Resources for LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, and allies at Berkeley, at UCSF, and at U of Pennsylvania
* Proud and Prepared: A Guide for LGBT Students Navigating Graduate Training - resource from the American Psychological Association. Preview it here
* Dr. Kate Clancy's congressional testimony video (starts ~41:30) and transcript
* Dr. Kate Clancy's amazing podcast, Period Podcast
* Sexual harassment videos and NYT analysis: https://nyti.ms/2Gg4NHT
* Resources for dealing with sexual harassment: rainn.org/thatsharassment
Thank you to our funders, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Bioengineering and the Berkeley Student Tech Fund. Also thanks to Gustavo Villarreal @wikirascals for our amazing graphics. Get your Double Shelix and You do Belong in Science stickers at doubleshelix.com/stickers.
Share your thoughts on this episode - or your belonging story - on our voicemail 415-895-0850 or email us email@example.com. We're on Twitter @doubleshelixpod and coming soon to Instagram @doubleshelixpodcast - give us a follow!
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed us on the iTunes store! Keep penning those awesome reviews!
Professor Suhair Sunoqrot joins Sally and Kayla to discuss her experiences running her research lab at Al Zaytoonah University of Jordan and what she wishes international colleagues understood about the research climate in Jordan. Also on this episode, a listener is having a hard time fitting in while researching in another country, and we discuss Suhair's experience finding belonging in research labs in the US and Europe. Suhair successfully balances her nanoparticle and drug delivery research with a heavy teaching load, and we learn her secrets for making it work. Suhair is an outstanding researcher and mentor, and we're honored to have her on Double Shelix!
* Suhair on LinkedIn
* Suhair Sunoqrot Lab at Al Zaytoonah University
Thank you to our funders, Penn Bioengineering Department and the Berkeley Student Tech Fund. Thanks to Gustavo Villarreal (@wikirascals) and Kaz Lewis (@kazlewis) for our awesome graphics and photos!
Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Send us your stories of (not) belonging in science! Doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com, on doubleshelix.com, and 1-415-895-0850.
You do belong in science!!!
You do Belong #4: Illuminating the pathways to graduate school - with Christina Fuentes and Shaheen Jeeawoody
A STEM graduate degree can be a gateway to an amazing career, but many undergraduate students are unaware that these opportunities exist or how to navigate the grad school admission process. Guests Christina Fuentes and Shaheen Jeeawoody join Sally and Kayla to discuss strategies for enabling students to learn about and successfully apply to graduate school. Shaheen and Christina are both leaders in Graduate Pathways to STEM, a grad student-run organization that brings students from non-research institutions to Berkeley or Stanford for a 1-day conference to learn about the opportunities a graduate degree presents, what grad school is like, and navigating the admissions process. Conference attendees are paired with peer mentors and have the opportunity to interact with STEM leaders. We also discuss strategies for successful grad school applications, writing strong essays that advocate for yourself, Shaheen and Christina's pathways to graduate school, and the value of peer mentorship - "Peer mentorship kept me in the PhD." If you're considering applying to graduate school, want to improve your writing, or want to understand how your community can be more welcoming to graduate students of all backgrounds, you will LOVE this episode.
*Bay Area Graduate Pathways to STEM
*Christina Fuentes on LinkedIn
*Shaheen Jeeawoody on LinkedIn
Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill out this form, or call our voicemail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM.
Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers (free only for a limited time!) - DoubleShelix.com/stickers. Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Many students arrive in college under-prepared for success, and professors have the responsibility - and opportunity - to help them gain skills to enable their success and find belonging in STEM. However, few professors are trained to help students develop these skills, so our guest, Sherri Messersmith, incorporates them into her series of developmental math textbooks! On this episode, Sherri shares her journey in math, from besting elementary school bullies on every math test, to high school math teacher, to college math professor, and now author of 15 college math textbooks. We discuss how staying true to your passions outside your main focus area - like writing, cooking, and travel, for Sherri - can make you better at your job, and even open the door to new opportunities - like textbook authorship! Sherri tells us what departments can do to engage with students in introductory courses and how to build students' confidence in difficult material. As Sherri says, life is not linear, so follow your passions, work hard, and be ready if fortune strikes with an amazing opportunity! Sherri is an experienced educator and speaker on the topic of enabling student success, and we are honored to have her on Double Shelix!!
Also on this episode, we hear from a listener who was told by professors that they didn't belong in their grad program because they went to a small liberal arts college, not a big research institution - what?! We discuss how students take these kinds of comments from faculty really harshly, and how faculty can do better. Also, the importance of peer support in making it through trying times when you're singled out or are the "only one."
*Road Trip Nation, the book that inspired Sherri's career leap to textbook authorship: www.roadtripnation.com
*Sherri's textbooks: https://amzn.to/2JRcHct
*Follow Sally and Kayla on Twitter @sallywinkler and @Kayla_J_Wolf
*Follow us on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill out this form or call our voicemail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM. We're hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but we need your help to make that happen!
If you liked this episode, you will love our episode all about imposter syndrome and improving your writing - Episode 3, "Battling Imposter Syndrome // Writing is Part of Science." It's a few episodes back in this feed.
Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes! And please, tell your friends about Double Shelix!
The real value of STEM outreach is the positive youth development and mentorship that students receive. Being inspired to pursue a STEM career? That's just a welcome bonus, says our guest, math graduate student and data scientist Noni Williams. Noni joins Kayla and Sally to discuss effective strategies for STEM and professional development outreach to kids and teens and her extensive experience leading initiatives from robotics and digital art festivals to AP Computer Science and slam poetry. Also, our allyship correspondent Jon Muncie checks in for a discussion on how we can all work to distribute the burden of emotional labor equitably in our workplaces and beyond.
We also discuss Noni's experiences being the only woman and/or student from an underrepresented background in her graduate mathematics courses and balancing work as a data scientist at United Way of the Midlands with graduate school. Noni gives advice for others in similar situations. Some of Noni's keys to success including tracking gratitude, finding peer mentors, and defining clear boundaries around her time. Noni brings her *extensive* experience leading STEM outreach initiatives for kids and teens to this episode, and we are honored to speak with her!
Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill this form or call our voice mail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM. We're hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but we you to help make that happen!
Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers here.
Check out our upcoming guests here.
If you liked this episode, listen to our episode with mentorship expert Julea Vlassakis -"Next Level Mentorship for Mentees and Mentors"
Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes! And please, tell your friends about this podcast!