In the image above, you could see the recruitment fair, where about 1000 energetic undergraduate and master’s students are exploring opportunities for graduate studies at more than 300 colleges and universities across the nation. This is the “California Forums for Diversity in Graduate Education”. I had the opportunity to visit the forum at University of California at Santa Barbara on November 7 on behalf of the University Graduate School of Indiana University.
Last month, I got an amazing opportunity to interact with some of the brightest researchers across the United States. I was part of the IU-team (Dr. Yolanda Treviño (the Assistant Vice President for Strategy, Planning, and Assessment), Dr. Garfield Warren (physics), Dr. Sara Skrabalak (chemistry) and myself) that attended the 5th annual Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) held in Washington, DC on February 19-21.
About 1000 undergraduate and graduate students presented their research at the ERN conference. Continue reading
Graduate studies at IU bring opportunities not only for academic training, but also for professional development and developing leadership skills. Obtaining good grades and doing great research indeed are cornerstones for one’s successful career. But adding leadership qualities to one’s toolkit would even exceed the success attained by grades and research. Why? Because leadership qualities let you make a difference in lives of many, not just yours. Continue reading
If I’ve learned one thing in attending social events as a grad student (and yes there are plenty to attend), it is that homemade dishes always are more respected than store-bought. Always. Closely related to that, if you make some tasty dip, you will gain fans, guaranteed. One quick dish that has not let me down yet in three years as a PhD student and two as a MS student, now my ace-in-the-hole: guacamole. While there are many delicious variations, I thought I’d share how I do it, which is tweaked from my mother’s version.
The caveat to all of this is that to-taste trumps every measurement…always. In fact, there is only one rule: do not measure; go with what you like. I taste it as I go, after every couple ingredients. I’ll put in bold the ingredients that are always consistent from bowl to bowl, even though the measurements may change slightly. Here is what I do:
- 5-9 medium avocados
- 1/2 to 1 whole medium red onion (sliced fairly small, but you do want occasional big chunks; and yes, I took the middle out.)
- several pinches of salt (probably more than you’d think); and several pinches of pepper (to match the salt)
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
- 2 diced tomatoes (large-ish chunks, for texture)
- A handful of cilantro. Chop roughly.
- Heat: about half of a Serrano pepper (about 2 inches worth). I’ve used all kinds of peppers in the past. Whatever you choose, slice it finely and mix well.
- Fresh-squeezed lime juice (1-2 whole limes)
Main consideration: the salt has to counter the bland avocados and the acidity of the lime juice. So it will likely require more salt than you would ordinarily use. And then add roughly the same amount of pepper as you’ve added salt. Lastly, mash and mix with a fork…intentionally leaving it chunky.
Last year, I fell into my summer internship. That means I found my internship through networking with classmates and their connections. How the story goes: Continue reading
I really enjoy the content and skills that I am learning in my Higher Education and Student Affairs grad program. However, one of my research interests lies in Asian American issues and there was no specific concentration in my grad program. So, how did I work my magic to find a mentor and discover my research interests? Continue reading
When it comes to graduate school, most people’s first thoughts jump to experts in training in a narrow field of study, but further consideration might reveal the truth – graduate school, in fact research and teaching in general, is very reliant on collaboration. It is a key component that differentiates the good scholars from the best, and is a skill that is carefully acquired and refined throughout a career. If you need further evidence of this, just take a stroll around the IUB campus – you will see a building constructed especially for collaborative work, which is even named the Multidisciplinary Science Building II (or MSB II for short).
Once you get into graduate school and arrive on campus, you’ll probably take a little time to get settled into the town, your program, and your routine. After that though, what then? Well, fortunately there are number of great student organizations that you can choose to become a part of.
As a graduate student, you are automatically eligible to join the Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO), the official campus-wide student government body for graduate and professional students. There are also programs such as the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity that work in a more focused manner to promote a more specific interest, such as diversity. Some of these organizations are specific to graduate students and gives you a chance to interact with people outside of your own department, which is always a great opportunity to broaden your horizons.
Each individual school and department is also likely to have its own student government organization, which is a great opportunity to get involved, get to know other students and faculty, and share your input on a variety of topics that are important to your experience while here at IU and for future students.
Beyond organizations such as these there are innumerable other clubs and organizations that encompass almost any interest. Many of these are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, so it’s a good opportunity to get to know more people beyond just graduate students.
When it comes down to it, getting involved is a great opportunity for you to balance your work and schooling with something that you’re passionate and interested in. You can also meet many great new people and develop personal and professional relationships that can last far beyond school. So go ahead and take a look to see what’s out there for you, who knows what doors will open when you get involved in a graduate student organization.
One of the best tips I have received about grad school is to remain connected to your loved ones. It is certainly very difficult when you are juggling your other responsibilities, but making time to talk, Skype or write an email to friends and family will help you improve your mental health.
I made a terrible mistake during my first year Continue reading
I am a firm believer that sweatpants, a T-shirt and an assortment of sugary snacks can be a human’s best friends, but sometimes these need to be abandoned in favor of finding your social and professional niche within the IU community. While it sounds daunting, and not at all as easy as blasting through a marathon of Law and Order: SVU, it is an extremely important skill. I will, in full disclosure admit to not mastering this yet, but it is important to make connections for professional development, and for you own mental health; grad school is hard, and having a circle of people you can talk to can make the process easier. Continue reading