Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
gROWTH MEDIUM MOTIVATOR: aPRIL 2018
First-year PhD student, Microbiology and Immunology
Hometown: Amarillo, TX / Salvador, Bahia Brazil
“Always follow your dreams, even if the only person that believes you can achieve them is you.”
Tell us about yourself!
What three words would you choose to describe yourself?
“Honest, funny and kind”
How do you de-stress?
What is your favorite thing about your current program?
“The incoming class of micro graduate students feels like a tight-knit family. It’s nice to go through the program with other intelligent humans!”
Tell us about a challenge you ran into in your educational training and how you overcame it.
“It is really easy for me to sink in to myself and think that I am going through my struggles in isolation, but whenever I held out my hand, someone was always there to pull me out of the water.”
What factors or interests led you to choose your current program or field?
“Once I realized that the microbes around us perform elegant molecular feats that I thought only higher-level eukaryotes had mastered, I was hooked.”
How did other people help you get to where you are today?
“I did a lot of informational interviews early in college, and the precious candor and time of my interviewees helped me navigate my interests and get me to where I need to go. Hearing the stories of people that possess similar social identities than I possess also inspired me and made me believe that I could pursue my dreams. If it were not for my teachers and colleagues’ efforts that ranged from staying after class to help me understand a scientific concept to writing my letters of recommendation, I would not have been prepared for graduate school.”
What is your greatest source of inspiration to keep pushing toward completing your goals?
“I have two connected inspirations to keep pushing toward completing my goals: Many people in my life have tried to make me believe that I wasn’t talented or intelligent enough to reach my goals, so it satisfies me to prove them wrong. Contrastingly, many have believed in me and supported me, and it feels great to make them proud.”
Advice for Current Grad Students and Aspiring Scientists
What advice would you give to an aspiring scientist?
“Science is fun! Don’t be too serious about everything you do all the time!”
What’s the best advice someone gave you that you still use today?
“Always follow your dreams even if the only person that believes you can achieve them is yourself.”
What’s your secret for time-management and being productive?
“Sleep and me-time is the key to being productive. Also food.”
What book would you recommend to the community? Why?
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It’s a great book about the intersection of social justice and science, something that has made me into a better scientist.”
Can students and trainees contact you directly?
YES! You can email me at email@example.com if you want to talk about going through science training and how your social identities have impacted your journey. Also, I make a mean chocoloate chip cookies, so if you need a friend to talk to, I’m around!