Grad school isn’t easy, so why do we do it? People do it for many different reasons. There are some who do it because they’ve always loved science, since the very beginning.  Since they were young, they have enjoyed asking questions about the world around them and finding the answers. Others stumbled onto it a little later in life and found that research and working in a lab gave them a sense of independence and empowerment that they have never experienced before. No matter the reason why, everyone has one thing in common, the path to grad school is terrible, and once you finally getRead More →

This bonus episode builds upon Science in Color’s dialogue with Dr. Kevin Jones by continuing the conversation with Jonte Jones and Tony Larkin, two African-American contributors to Science in Color.  This interview covers issues that uniquely affect African-American men in STEM such as the idea of a heightened imposter syndrome, the extra burden of wanting to give back to your community, and the importance of putting yourself first and maintaining a solid work-life balance. There is also some discussion of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) versus Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and how the experiences in each compare and contrast. Music: JBlanked – Been onRead More →

In this episode, Veronica has a conversation with Dr. Kevin Jones – an African-American professor in the pharmacology department at the University of Michigan.  This revealing interview covers a wide range of topics via the filter of Dr. Jones’s non-traditional journey to a tenure-track position.  From his injury that cut short his track career, to his time as a postdoc in Spain, to his decision to quit a teaching-heavy tenure-track position to return to a postdoc position to redirect his career to be more research focused; Dr. Jones’s career has taken many twists and turns and lends evidence to the idea that everyone’s path isRead More →

Today’s we have a special bonus companion piece to episode 6 which featured a discussion on the challenges of single motherhood while in grad school. This bonus episode dives deeper into the experiences of a person whose voice we have all come to know—the woman who took an idea and turned it into Science in Color, Veronica Varela. Jonte Jones turns the tables on our host and we hear about her journey through life and path to and through grad school, as well as her struggles as a mom. Music: JBlanked – Been onRead More →

In this week’s episode, Veronica talks to the newest member of the Science in Color team, Elizabeth Rodriguez, a neuroscience Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan. They speak candidly about her journey through life as well as the ups and downs of navigating a STEM graduate program as a single mom. Sponsor: SACNAS Music: JBlanked – Been onRead More →

Alex Interviews Dr. Alison Gammie, the director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at the National Institute of General Medical Science at the NIH. Undergraduate and Predoctoral Opportunities  Postdoctoral Opportunities  Music: JBlanked – Been onRead More →

The United States is a diverse nation, and will grow increasingly so in the coming years, however the proportion of minority groups in the STEM fields is a far cry from being representative of the U.S. Data from the 2017 NSF Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (WMPDSE) report states that as of 2014, despite underrepresented minorities (URMs; such as African-Americans, Hispanics, Native American, & Pacific Islanders) making up 32% of the U.S. population, only 20% of people receiving Bachelor’s degrees in science or engineering PhDs are URMs, and that number drops to 13.9% at the Ph.D. level. Working to increaseRead More →

As a companion to our discussion on mental health in graduate school, this episode features a raw conversation between two couples about mental illness and its impact on their relationships. The conversation discusses the struggles one may feel when trying to help their graduate student spouse with mental illness and whether being experienced with grad school helps that process. This episode also touches upon the impact positive comments from a mentor has on the mental health of their mentee as well as commentary on the grad school culture from an outside perspective.Read More →

The rigors of graduate school are undoubtedly challenging for any student, however, these challenges are often exacerbated in students who suffer from mental illness.  In some instances, graduate school can also be a breeding ground for developing acute mental health issues that had not presented themselves previously.  Recent studies have revealed the prevalence of mental distress and the development of psychiatric disorders such as depression amongst graduate students and postdocs (Tsai and Muindi, 2016; Gisle et al., 2017; Gloria and Steinhardt, 2013).  These issues are not only detrimental to the health of academics but they are also negative influences on the quality of scientific workRead More →

Being a first generation student while navigating higher education can be incredibly frustrating but add coming from a marginalized group and the pressure from the challenges can often be too much. In Science in Color Podcast Episode 3, we talk to Carla Ramos, a graduate student who opens up to us about her experience as a first generation student progressing through various stages of academia. We discuss financial issues such as what it means for those who are the first one in their family to encounter government loans as well as obstacles that are unique to first generation students; this includes cultural differences in how toRead More →

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