We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 275: Summer Mentorship

planting a tree

It’s summer, so we’re taking a break from my DI…why?! series to talk about my favorite thing about working over the summer. We get to do mentoring! As you may recall, mentoring is my favorite part of the job. Over the summer we get students from high school, international students, as well as undergrad students from all over the place to visit our little lab.

We normally get ~20 students which is a lot in my opinion, but that’s what the boss wants. So the students get split between the grad students so we can mentor them on a particular project and just teach them what research life looks like. Being the good mentor I am I helped my normal undergrad student I work with apply for a grant to get funding for the summer and she got it! Was there ever any doubt?! Again, can’t brag too much since she reads my blog (hey again K!), but I’m a proud mentor.

So along with working with her over the summer, I will be mentoring another student which I’m not 100% sure what the project will be for that student, but she has a rather large art background so I’m thinking some solid modeling experience would complement that really nicely and that would make things simple since my main undergrad student is doing a solidworks project as well.

In any case, it also means we get to show off our skills a little to the rest of the lab. We are all working on various projects that require a slightly different skill set, we all have our own ways of accomplishing things, and we even have our own preferences for software. So summertime is a good time to come together and share with each other the work we’re doing and how we do it. This gives our summer group a chance to see a lot of new and interesting things, but it also gives us a chance to catch up on work our fellow lab members are doing and how they are doing it.

This year we are doing things virtually, so there will be some growing pains for sure, but overall I don’t see a huge problem. In particular for my little group since we can screen share and work through any problems pretty much like we would if we were meeting in person. In just a few short weeks we are going to be kicking this off, so look forward to a mix of my DIY projects and mentoring updates. When I learn something new or interesting you can trust that I will be sharing it here so I have a nice little record of it. After all this blog series is just as much for my sake as it is for anyone else’s!

I also have three papers that I’m trying to publish, so hopefully I can quit juggling those and we can get them to print. There is still some confusing or maybe caution about going back to human experiments in the hospital setting, I was under the impression we would be going full steam ahead right now, but it’s been radio silence from my Co-PI. That makes me a little nervous since he is usually really good about responding, so I hope everything is okay. His wife is a nurse and they work in the same hospital. So between the two of them, they have a lot of potential exposure to people with COVID-19.

That also reminds me, my overseas (UK) colaborator had a neighbor who had contracted COVID-19 and we haven’t spoken since he cancelled our meeting to be with them. So I hope he is doing well and I should probably reach out to see how they are doing also. Basically there is a lot going on at the moment, including my little slice of home renovations. Fun times!

But enough about us, what about you?

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