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142. Advancing Racial Equity in Science w/ Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

When Dr. Kenneth Gibbs talks about diversity and inclusion in the sciences, it’s not just a cause célèbre. It’s personal.

“For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Black man. A descendent from enslaved Africans here in America, so my family has been here for hundreds of years. That’s part of my story.”

And while his grandfathers had 4th and 8th grade educations, his parents were able to go college in the 1970s because of public investment in programs like Upward Bound. He and his sisters were able to go to graduate school.

“I had a PhD from Stanford by the time I was 27,” Dr. Gibbs recalls. “You can see that arc, but you can also see that when I got that PhD, I was the only black man in my building for that five years that wasn’t a mailman, janitor, or technician.”

He finishes, “There’s nothing wrong with any of those jobs, but I said, ‘There’s something kind of “off” here.'”

Now, he’s working to fix the system, and to make science look more like society.

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139. Back to School During a Pandemic

In March 2020, the world shut down.

International borders were sealed. Businesses shuttered. Schools locked their doors and students were sent home to learn ‘remotely.’

At the same time, many universities and research labs also closed down for the summer of COVID-19. While a few labs remained open as essential research continued, many scientists froze down samples, trashed cell lines, and went home to spend some quality time with PubMed.

But now as summer wanes, the research labs are thawing out.

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125. Demystifying the Research Institute

Most PhD students attend traditional academic institutions of higher educations. It’s the world of classes, campuses, and mortarboards you probably think of when you think about a University.

But there’s a less-traveled path to a PhD that may actually hold some benefits for certain students, including those coming back to school after working for awhile, or those with families.

We’re talking about research institutes, and it’s possible you’ve never even heard about this alternative path to a PhD.

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119. Ten Tips to Crush Your First Semester

It’s that time of year again – summer days are growing shorter, your friends are trying to fit in one last trip to the beach, and the backpack aisle at Target is about to be cleared out to make way for the Halloween costumes.

Yes, it’s back-to-school time. From toddlers to teenagers, this time of year instills foreboding about the school-year ahead. But as a first-year graduate student, you may have other feelings.

For most, it’s the start of a new adventure. For the first time, you’re pursuing the one subject in the world you love best, surrounded by other equally brilliant and passionate people.

It’s the end of being told what to learn and how to study, and the beginning of blazing your own academic trail.

It IS a new experience – different from your matriculation in high school or college – and it may be difficult to know what to expect.

This week, we lay out a ten-ish step plan for putting your best-foot-forward in that first semester of your graduate journey.

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