How a Three Year Break Prepared Me for a PhD

For a while, I have wanted to write about how my time away from school shaped me into the person/researcher I am now. A reflection on this past semester felt like a good opportunity to discuss how lessons learned in my time away prepared me for the challenges I recently faced. As a brief timeline... Continue Reading →

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Starting at a Sprint

Completing a PhD is like running a marathon. You can approach it as a race and attempt to finish first, or you can merely focus on finishing. You can change up your pace, run for a cause, run with someone else, and/or stop for a water/bathroom breaks. Instead of pacing myself in anticipation of the... Continue Reading →

Diminishing Returns on Exams

Exams, short for examinations, are supposed to test whether the examinees (i.e. students) know and understand the material that has been presented to them. In high school, you take exams during the semester as a separation between each topic taught; once you've completed the exam, you move on to the next topic. You may have... Continue Reading →

Fellowship Failure

This past December, I applied for a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (information on this and other fellowships can be found here). If received, this fellowship would fully fund my graduate education, providing me the freedom to join any lab I wanted at my institution. The application requires a 3-page description of... Continue Reading →

Getting My Footing

I stress bake... a lot... which my classmates and colleagues are figuring out because I brought them macarons last week and mini cupcakes today. I find that baking and cooking utilize the same prinicples as my scientific work, but I tend to be successful in the kitchen far more than I am in the lab.... Continue Reading →

My New Normal

Everything post-Harvey has been a bit of a whirlwind. We missed the last day of orientation and the entire first week of classes due to the storm and its aftermath. The school has been scrambling to make up the missed information sessions while trying to aid students, faculty, and staff affected by the storm, and... Continue Reading →

Hurricane Harvey – Day 4

Fun fact: Hurricane's are awful. In my last post, I talked about the preparations Gulf Coast residents are taught to take during hurricanes. When hurricanes/tropical storms have previously rolled through town, I was a child, so all I needed to be concerned about was keeping safe and staying with my family. In those instances, the... Continue Reading →

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