Fall semester has finally drawn to a close! I can’t believe I have just one semester left of college. Here are some highlights from fall 2018:
- My Evolution of the Iowa Flora class! We spent the first half of the semester romping around local prairie remnants, learning basic Iowa plant taxonomy and ID. Somewhere along the way of collecting and ID’ing 38 specimens, I became a better naturalist and cured some of my plant blindness.
- At the beginning of the semester, I dreaded my Statistical Modeling class, having a bit of imposter syndrome and thinking I’d do awful trying to learn R and stats at the same time. Turns out, my summer research experiences learning to code prepped me quite well and I picked up R with minimal pain involved!
- PR’ed in the 6k during my cross country season! My shiny new PR is 25:11. I’ve come a long way from my first 6k time of 31:25 two years ago. A lot of my gratitude goes to the Varsity Sports running crew in Baton Rouge who gave me a community while getting my miles in this past summer.
- For my Race and Ethnicity in America course, among the prompts for our final paper was to write a manifesto. I chose this prompt and wrote about retention and achievement gaps of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Having the opportunity to write about a topic I’m passionate about made the process a lot more fun.
- I found my voice and spoke up for others in various situations, from advocating for greater incorporation of computational biology in our department’s curriculum, to advocating for a stronger URM in STEM community, to standing up when a Title IX case was grossly mishandled. I was reminded of the Hillel quote (my Hebrew school teachers would be so proud), “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”