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Stories, blog posts, and more illuminating the experiences of graduate life and highlighting the impact of our students’ critical research.

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A list of things from Fall 2015 that make graduate life better

During my last two years of undergrad, whenever I mentioned I was applying to graduate school, the most consistent response I got was a comment or joke about how I’d essentially be living in lab, even from friends who didn’t know much about graduate school in biology.

I like to think I’ve chosen science as my career but not my life and I don’t believe our time in graduate school should always be about academia. So while I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be “living in lab,” I still made a mental note to actively pursue a healthy work-life balance in grad school like I did in undergrad. For me, that means: don’t give up your hobbies and that might mean occasionally prioritizing them before science (if possible).

So Let's Talk Data Collection: When Everything Doesn't Go as Planned

On paper, my plan for data collection is very streamlined and very direct- after all, I had to justify my process to my committee and get it approved. I am recruiting patients for my data collection from my own clinical practice, since this is what inspired my interest in my dissertation project to begin with. I have packets made up, I have duplicates of the consent form, I have adjusted my clinic schedule, I have a locked cabinet for signed consents, I have well-thought-out inclusion and exclusion criteria for my study. I have a plan for beginning to discuss my data. On paper, I have everything I need.

Interview with Assistant Dean Shelly Conner, Recipient of Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award

I could see the answer coming. When I asked Assistant Dean Shelly Conner if she had something she was proudest of accomplishing during her 10 years as Assistant Dean of Rackham Graduate School, she firmly said, “No.” It’s all equally important to her, and in my short time talking with Dr. Conner, that much became very clear. She is one of those extraordinary people who devotes all of her focus and her passion to whatever project she is working on in the moment.