ENGAGING WITH OUR COMMUNITIES
Communicating science to a broad audience, especially those with low socioeconomic status and the younger generations, has been a long-time personal passion. As the daughter of first-generation immigrants with no education beyond foreign middle and high school, my exposure to the sciences were limited and I regard my career trajectory as equal parts mentorship, hard work, and serendipity.
I’d like to engineer that serendipity for others.
“PhD for a Day!” was my most rewarding
experience in graduate school.
Graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates at Columbia University worked with a local high school teacher to dedicate a day to science for participating local middle school students. The students were exposed to scientific research and even conducted their own experiments! We recruited diverse scientists with non-traditional backgrounds in order to challenge the students’ perception of a scientist.
As a professor, I will start a similar outreach program at the university.
Our community includes the university, neighboring colleges, LOCALS, and the international scientific network.
Beyond “PhD for a Day”, I have participated in various outreach events, such as Girls Science Day and Science Saturday Starters, and actively engaged with the community. Specifically, I have volunteered to sit on panels sharing my teaching insights, served as a senior mentor to younger graduate students outside of my department, given seminars for local high school teachers and community college students, led tours for the Material Science and Nanotechnology High school program, and helped start a discussion of sustainability in research environments. I have also published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) to better explain synthesis to an international audience and started an interdisciplinary seminar series to connect researchers across disparate fields at Columbia (Moments in Materials).
To learn more about each event, please click on the image: