Welcome to 2021: Letter from the editors

Welcome to a new year and a new semester, Michigan AWIS!

Over the past year, we’ve shared some moving and personal pieces from members of our community here on campus. The pandemic has, in my mind, shoved into the spotlight the importance of telling our stories, building a supportive and understanding network, and sharing our perspectives and experiences. We’ve published several pieces on how academia, parenting, and the pandemic intersect, with women discussing their balancing acts, self-doubt, and even pandemic pregnancy. We shared an account from a student who got COVID-19 early (and still struggles with symptoms), a brief interview with one of the #BlackInMicro founders, and a reflective essay on how our sense of curiosity can be squelched in grad school. Most recently, we posted two essays on pathways to science: one highlighting how community serves as a cornerstone for women in STEM, and one on the value and diversity that students in nontraditional pathways bring to academia.

These stories are as varied in theme as our community is varied in background, experience, and ideas. But one commonality does run through them: the invaluable knowledge that, whatever your struggle, you are not alone. Whether by connecting with women in academia through groups like AWIS, finding your people in a student organization, or simply reading stories on this blog, creating a shared experience and finding the support we all need is a must for thriving in academia and beyond.

As we look to the coming year and all the positive changes we hope to see, I invite everyone reading this to consider your own stories. What in your life do you seek community for? What advice do you have for the women in STEM following you? What do you want people to know they’re not alone in?

I truly love getting to know members of my community better through the process of helping them tell their stories here, and I encourage anyone who has something to say to get in touch with either me or—announcement!— a new editor on our little team, Christina Del Greco. We’re excited to see what comes our way this year!

—Becca Dzombak, EIC

Hello, Michigan AWIS!

I’m so very excited to be the newest blog editor for AWIS.  One of the things about science that never ceases to surprise me is how clearly our research is framed as stories.  It is our job as scientists to chase down the most exciting scientific stories, as those are the ones that make our understanding of our field a little bit bigger.

In the same way, every story we share about our experiences as women in science works to make the world we’re experiencing feel bigger as well.  Our stories have the potential to show other women that we aren’t alone, and that so many more of our experiences are shared than we might think.  In contrast, some of our stories might not be shared, and those are just as valuable because they show us that the world of women in science is also so much broader than just our own experiences.

Last year was a chaotic year for all of us, and now that we’ve had time to start fresh in 2021, I am looking forward to getting the chance to hear and share all of your stories with the rest of our community.  We hope to hear from you all soon!

            —Christina Del Greco, Editor


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