We embrace all human (and microbial) diversity. Much like a healthy gut microbiome, it is our view that a diverse group of scientists is needed to build a healthy research group. Our goal is to build a multidisciplinary research group comprised of individuals with a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, skills, and ways of thinking. State College is a vibrant and diverse community where very few people you meet are “from here”. Penn State is also one of the “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly schools in the USA.
My goal as a mentor is to encourage creativity and independent thought while creating a team environment with unique training opportunities. We use a number of methods to help develop both scientific and professional skills including:
- Alternating weekly lab meetings, journal clubs, and skills workshops
- Twice a year individual development plans
- Group meetings with the Microbial Interactions Group
- Metabolomics Data Club
- Weekly 1-on-1 meetings with PI
Science is more fun (and productive) as a team. We build our team atmosphere through activities such as our annual Fall Classic: a microbiome trivia/athletic competition designed to separate the endospores from the persisters. Ice cream also somehow seems to be a regular occurrence.