You Do Belong in Science-stravaganza!

You Do Belong in Science

Sally and Kayla 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. Sally and Kayla reveal who does not belong in science (spoiler alert/content advisory: it’s sexual harassers). They 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 the inclusion of people from underrepresented groups in STEM. He reminds Double Shelix that we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable when it comes to discussing and addressing these important issues facing our science workplaces.

Resources
* 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

Sally and Kayla thank the Berkeley Student Tech Fund, as well as Gustavo Villarreal @wikirascals for their 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 voicemail 415-895-0850 or email Double Shelix doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com. Sally and Kayla are on Twitter @doubleshelixpod and coming soon to Instagram @doubleshelixpodcast — give them a follow!

International Research: You Do Belong in Science Podcast #5

Suhair Sunoqrot

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 Suhair’s experience finding belonging in research labs in the US and Europe is discussed. Suhair successfully balances her nanoparticle and drug delivery research with a heavy teaching load, and Sally and Kayla learn her secrets for making it work. Suhair is an outstanding researcher and mentor.

Resources:
Suhair on LinkedIn
* Suhair Sunoqrot Lab at Al Zaytoonah University

Thank you to the Berkeley Student Tech Fund. Thanks also to Gustavo Villarreal (@wikirascals) and Kaz Lewis (@kazlewis) for our awesome graphics and photos!

Follow Double Shelix 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!!!

Pathways to Grad School: You Do Belong in Science Podcast #4

pathways to grad school

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 how to navigate the admissions process. Conference attendees are paired with peer mentors and have the opportunity to interact with STEM leaders. They 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.

Resources:
*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 leave voicemail at 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 Double Shelix on Twitter @doubleshelixpod

Learning How to Learn: You Do Belong in Science Podcast #3

learning how to learn

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 Double Shelix’s 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. Kayla and Sally discuss with Sherri 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 Sally and Kayla 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 Double Shelix was honored to have her.

Also on this episode, Sally and Kayla 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.”

Resources:
*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 DS on Twitter @doubleshelixpod

Upcoming #YouDoBelongInScience episodes will feature your stories! Fill out this form or call Double Shelix’s voicemail, 415-895-0850, to share your story of (dis)belonging in STEM. Sally and Kayla are hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but they need your help to make that happen!

STEM Outreach: You Do Belong in Science Podcast #2

STEM outreach

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 guest Noni Williams, a math graduate student and data scientist . Noni joins Kayla and Sally of the Double Shelix podcast 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, 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.

Sally and Kayla also discuss with Noni her 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.

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. Sally and Kayla are hoping to share a diverse set of experiences from our listeners, but they need you to help make that happen!

Get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers here.

Resources

Check out upcoming guests here.

If you liked this episode, listen to a previous Double Shelix 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!

 

Finding Belonging: You Do Belong in Science Podcast #1

Finding Belonging

Today, we post the first of the You Do Belong in Science series of podcasts from Double Shelix. In this episode,  Dr. Tamara Alliston, PhD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF, discusses her journey into science and academia, and how she found belonging through peer mentorship, despite imposter syndrome. As a mentor, Tamara works to help mentees “stay connected to what gives them joy,” and they also discuss what brings Tamara joy — musculoskeletal biology and surfing with her family! Tamara stresses the importance of STEM outreach to adult audiences and shares her practical tips for “making this life work.” Finally, they dispel myths about the Pipeline Problem, and Tamara shares some data about funding disparities in orthopedic surgery. Everyone is encouraged to dig into the data to learn about funding demographics in their own field; for most of us, there’s still a long way to go. Bonus: Tamara’s qualifying exam advice!

Resources
Alliston Lab at UCSF
Musculskeletal Biology Gordon Research Conference
The importance of peer mentorship in graduate school

You do Belong in Science
* Submit your story of belonging or ask a question: e-mail doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com or leave voicemail 415-895-0850!
* E-mail to get your Double Shelix and You Do Belong in Science stickers!
* Stay tuned for the next episode.
* Sign up for Double Shelix’s mailing list – https://goo.gl/forms/hQm1Tl0UgPLx9rKi1
* Check out their *newly redesigned* Web site – doubleshelix.com
* Follow them on Twitter @doubleshelixpod. Join the conversation with #YouDoBelongInScience and #YDBIS
* Recommended episode – Teaching for Active Learning with Penn Bioengineering’s LeAnn Dourte (Double Shelix Episode 8)

Thank you
* Berkeley Student Tech Fund
* Gustavo Villarreal, @wikirascals on Twitter, for Double Shelix’s logo
* Kaz Lewis, for their official portraits on our website — follow him on Instagram @kazlewis
* The listeners of Double Shelix, for telling your friends about our podcast and our #YouDoBelongInScience campaign

 

Julea Vlassakis: Podcast Interview

VlassakisIn the latest podcast from Double Shelix and produced by Penn Bioengineering, Julea Vlassakis, mentorship expert and Bioengineering PhD Candidate, joins Kayla and Sally to talk mentoring in academia and beyond. Learn how to establish productive mentor/mentee relationships and cultivate the next generation of scientists — yourself included! Beginning mentees and seasoned mentors alike will learn something new from Julea’s wisdom. Discover strategies for breaking out of the cycle of mediocre mentorship, how to deal with underperforming mentees, tips for cultivating a community of mentors within your field, and how to get a mentor to step up for your career goals. Stay tuned to the end for Julea’s list of mentor and mentee responsibilities — supported by peer-reviewed literature, of course! This is next-level mentorship.

Spoiler alert: Mentor/Mentee Responsibility Number Zero is “Establish clear goals and expectations!”

Resources:
Julea’s work in the Herr Lab at UC Berkeley
Profile of Julea’s research in honor of her winning Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening graduate fellowship
Getting Mentored in Graduate School, recommended book by Johnson and Huwe
Connect with Double Shelix on Twitter: @doubleshelixpod
Who should they interview next? Other thoughts? doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com

Double Shelix: You Do Belong in Science

If you’ve listened to our podcasts, then you’ve heard the work of Kayla and Sally at Double Shelix. They’ll be running a special series of podcasts next month and are asking for readers’ help. Please read the below, and if you decide to participate, let them know that Penn Bioengineering sent you!

 

Double Shelix
You do belong in science – even if it doesn’t always seem like it. Penn Bioengineering‘s affiliate podcast, Double Shelix, is launching a special series on the theme You do Belong in Science. This series will bring together experts in science, education, and inclusion in conversation about creating STEM communities where all can feel belonging. 

As part of this, we are seeking stories from members of our STEM communities (including Penn Bioengineering!) about times when they felt like they did or didn’t belong in science. Sharing these stories can help all to feel that they are not alone in their occasional (or frequent!) feelings of imposter syndrome/isolation.

Call our voicemail at 415-895-0850 to share your story, or record yourself and email it to our podcast email, doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com. Anonymous is ok! We may just feature you the podcast!

Prompts (Respond to whichever moves you! Questions are great too!)
– Is there a time when you felt like you did not belong in science? What happened and how did it make you feel?
– What would you say to someone who is experiencing dis-belonging?
– What can the scientific community (or your school/department/professors/peers) do to help people experience belonging?

Subscribe to Double Shelix now on iTunes or Google Play Music to catch the episodes when they launch in April! And a sneak peek trailer is coming soon! Also, the most recent episode in our feed is all about wellness in graduate school – and features some voices familiar to Penn Bioengineers! More info on our site – doubleshelix.com and our mailing list (sign up here).
Thanks a million and remember, you do belong in science!
Sally Winkler + Kayla Wolf
4th year PhD Students, UC Berkeley/UCSF Bioengineering
Founders, Double Shelix Podcast

Podcast: Wellness in Graduate School

wellnessPenn Bioengineering PhD students Meagan Ita and Michael Magaraci join Sally and Kayla from Double Shelix to discuss wellness in graduate school. Going in, graduate students expect they’ll have to work hard, but most students are unprepared for the mental anguish that grad school can induce – especially when experiments aren’t going well, or when we compare to themselves to others’ successes. Meagan and Mike discuss the importance of actively taking charge of your own wellness, and what departments can do to support student wellness. Things also get real with discussions of the value therapy and/or medicine to address depression or anxiety, and we sound off on the harm caused by toxic mentor/mentee relationships. If you’ve struggled with being well, want to stay well, or want to support others on their journey to wellness, check this out!

Resources: 

Professor Arjun Raj’s blog – truly, a font of knowledge
UC Berkeley graduate student wellbeing survey results​
Fixyourrun.com and Philly Surge Running
Meagan’s Lab, the Spine Pain Research Lab
Mike’s Lab, the Chow Lab
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Headspace – a meditation app
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck  by Mark Manson

Follow Double Shelix on Twitter @doubleshelixpod
Feedback? They love it! – doubleshelixpodcast@gmail.com

Second Roundtable With Undergrads

Second roundtableLate last semester, Penn Bioengineering Department chair David Meaney and senior lecturer LeAnn Dourte held a second roundtable with BE undergrads Eric Helfgott, Joseph Maggiore, Kayla Prezelski, and Margaret Schroeder. They picked up on topics from the last roundtable, extending the topics to balancing an engineering workload and other commitments.