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WIB-RTP: Young Women In Bio Visits the Hub Farm, May 6, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember , Monday, May 13, 2019

YWIB-RTP participants visited the Durham County Public School System’s Hub Farm on the afternoon of May 6, 2019. The Hub Farm is a 30-acre farm, forest, and aquatic educational center that is used as an outdoor educational center. The farm relies on volunteers and students from the school system to help maintain all the different areas on the farm. During the event, the girls explored different areas of the farm with their first stop at the farm’s gardens.


At the gardens, the girls learned about sustainable agriculture as well as what makes produce organic. The garden contained a wide variety of plants ranging from kale to cabbage. The girls even had the opportunity to pick and eat strawberries and snap peas fresh from the garden. The food grown in the garden is either given back to the Durham community or sold at a produce stand at a nearby library. New baby chickens were just born at the farm, so the girls had fun getting to hold the chicks after visiting the garden.

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The next stop on the tour was the farm’s beehives. The Hub Farm had four different beehives, and the girls were able to look up close at one set of bees. The girls learned about the different types of bees in a hive, the queen, workers, and drone bees. The girls also learned about what makes a healthy beehive. The girls had lots of questions ranging from how long bees live and if there is such a thing as organic honey. The girls were even able to see a new bee hatching and see larvae.


The last stop on the tour was at the chicken and duck coop. During the day, the chickens and ducks live outside but at night they go inside in protected coop to be sheltered from potential predators. The girls were able to see the difference in eggs that are laid by different types of chickens. They were also given the opportunity to feed the chickens. Lastly, the highlight of the day was being able to corral the chickens and ducks into their nighttime homes by forming a circle around the animals and walking in towards the coops.


Special thanks to Ashley Meredith, Hannah Ball-Dambergy, and Frances Starn for sharing the farm with us!

Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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WIB-RTP: YWIB Spring Into STEM 2019, April 27, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember, Wednesday, May 1, 2019

WIB-RTP Young Women In Bio, in coordination with Graduate Women in Science RTP, hosted its third annual Spring into STEM event on April 27, 2019. Approximately 50 girls in 4th-8th grade joined us for a morning of hands on science activities and learning. The event was held at North Carolina Central University’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE). The girls rotated through four diverse activities during the morning, each focusing on a different area of science and engineering. 

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In the activity, “Clearing a Path to the Heart”, the girls became biomedical engineers working in teams to design a device to clear a blocked artery. In the activity, a tube filled with playdough was used to mimic a clogged artery. The girls began by comparing the flow of liquid through a clean artery (empty pipe) and a clogged artery. After using materials such as pipe clears, straws, paper clips, and balloons, the girls brainstormed & designed devices to clear the blocked artery. The girls then attempted to clear the arteries with their engineered devices. After, they tested the flow of liquid through their “cleared” arteries and compared the flow to the clean and clogged arteries. The girls’ creativity shined throughout this activity with the girls designing devices that ranged from using scraping to unclog the artery to devices similar to commonly used balloon catheters without any previous knowledge. The girls also thought about how their designs in the context of if they were to be used in real human patients and how some designs may be better than others for actual patient use. 

In the activity, “DNA Detectives”, the girls learned how DNA can be extracted and how DNA can be analyzed by scientists to solve crimes. First, the girls collected samples of their own saliva. The cells in saliva were broken up by adding soap. DNA is insoluble in ethanol, therefore when the girls added salt and ethanol the DNA came out a solution and the girls were able to visualize their own DNA. Their DNA appeared as strings in the solution. After, the girls worked together in groups to analyze a crime scene. Each team was given provide with a suspect’s DNA that was visualized on an agarose gel. Each suspect’s DNA ran differently on the gel. The girls compared the DNA from each suspect with the DNA found at the crime scene to determine who committed the crime. The girls had a blast in this activity, especially with the hands-on components. 

In the activity, “Slime Time”, the girls learned about polymers and their unique properties while making slime. The activity leaders explained how the glue and borax they added together was undergoing a chemical reaction, called polymerization. The girls explored how the properties of the slime could be changed by manipulating the amounts of glue/water/borax added to the slime as well as adding other materials to the slime, such as lotion. The girls had a blast carrying out their own reactions and comparing how their slimed differed from their friends. The girls were very excited to take their slime home to play with! 

In the activity, “Entomology: Pinning Insects”, the girls learned how entomologists preserve insects they find in nature for later examination under the microscope. The girls had the opportunity to learn how to pin insects for display in a jewelry box that they were able to take home. The activity leaders taught the girls how to spread apart the ladybug’s left and right to expose their wings. The girls also learned how to distinguish the native ladybug from the invasive Asian lady beetle. Some girls left this activity with the want to start their own insect collections! 


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WIB-RTP: YWIB STEM Career Exploration with Chapel Hill High School’s FemSTEM Club, April 16, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember, Friday, April 26, 2019

Young Women In Bio-RTP partnered with Chapel Hill High School’s FemSTEM club to introduce female students to STEM-related careers in a monthly series based on the students’ interests. Each month invited speakers shared their own experiences in different STEM fields with a focus on how girls can learn more about these fields as they pursue higher education. 

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In January, three scientists (Danielle Moffett, Ph.D.; Kate Camacho, PharmD; and Lauren Lohmer, Ph.D.) from Nuventra Pharma Sciences presented a pharmacology activity.  In the activity, the girls worked together in small groups with one of the scientists to learn how to interpret the information typically presented on a drug label. They discussed the types of studies typically done during drug development, looked at two different sets of data to understand how dosing recommendations were made, and talked use of placebo controls. The session ended with a Q&A about general drug development, Ph.D. vs PharmD, career-specific questions, and questions about the speakers’ activities in undergrad.

In February, Katie Williams, Ph.D., Associate Director of Business Development at Applied Biomath, presented a probability based problem to learn about data science. The girls learned about the famous Monty Hall problem loosely based on the television series Let’s Make a Deal. In the problem, you are given the choice of three doors, where one door has a prize behind it and the other doors do not have prizes. Imagine you choose door number one. The host who knows what’s behind the doors opens door three that does not contain a prize. He then asks if you want to change your choice to door number two. In a hands-on activity, the girls explored if it was to their advantage to switch their choice to increase their odds of winning the prize by working in pairs to carry out this scenario. One girl acted as the host who knew where the prize was and the other girl guessed where the prize was. The girls recorded how many times they successfully found the prize and how many times they failed. After, Katie walked the girls through how to look at this scenario using probability to understand if it is advantageous to switch doors to increase the chance of winning the prize. 

In March, two graduate students from UNC shared their experiences in environmental science research. Madelyn Percy discussed her work in geological sciences studying the interactions between soil and groundwater. The girls were very intrigued by the time she spent in the Galapagos islands completing field work for her research. Madelyn shared her journey, focusing on how she spent time as a high school teacher and why she chose to pursue graduate school after teaching. Kayleigh O’Keefe shared her ecology work focused on understanding how factors within host-microbial interactions affect disease. The girls enjoyed learning about her fieldwork at the Duke Forest monitoring the growth of a grass species that is commonly infected with multiple fungal pathogens. The girls asked lots of questions, inquiring about Kayleigh’s unique schedule balancing both fieldwork and laboratory experiments.
 
In April, four first-year medical students at Duke and UNC discussed their journey applying to medical school, their daily life is as medical school students, and their future aspirations. The presenters included Anna Dodson (UNC), Mary Gwin (UNC), Emily Goins (Duke), and Reilly Dever (Duke). They shared tips for how the girls can explore their interests in medicine in undergrad and provided study tips for the MCAT. They also discussed unique paths one can take within medicine, such as incorporating medicine knowledge for business applications with an MBA or pursuing service work. The med school students also talked about what they do each year in medical school as well as the different residency and fellowships one can explore after medical school. The FemStem participants asked many engaging questions such as how research can be incorporated into medical school or what activities the medical school students enjoyed the most in undergrad. 

In May, the FemSTEM series will focus on careers in genetics with presentations. The speakers include Cassandra Heighington, Ph.D., who works as a sales specialist for Applied StemCell and who whose graduate work was in the genetics field. The other speaker will be Shruthi Mohan, Ph.D., who works at UNC as biocurator for the ClinGen Resource where she performs gene curation as part of the Autism and Intellectual Disability and the Hemostasis/Thrombosis Expert Panel. 

Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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WIB-RTP: Career Coaching with Chapel Hill High School’s FemSTEM club, March 16, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember, Friday, April 26, 2019

Young Women In Bio-RTP partnered with Chapel Hill High School’s FemSTEM club to introduce female students to STEM-related careers in a monthly series based on the students’ interests. The monthly speakers shared their own experiences in different STEM fields with a focus on how girls can learn more about these fields as they pursue higher education. In addition to the monthly speakers, we hosted a career coaching workshop led by Kirsten Wille, Ph.D., entitled Craft Your Portrait on a Saturday morning. 

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Kirsten Wille is a scientist by education and training, having previously worked in both academia and biotech. Having always found joy in empowering others to achieve, she has worked to create workshops that bring valuable tools and perspectives from the professional world and make them relevant to young adults in ways that empower them to find their own strengths within and direct their own path forward.  

Kirsten led the girls through identifying their values, how to identify careers and jobs that will allow them to use their strengths, and how to gather information about potential future career trajectories via informational interviews. 


This workshop also led the girls through a Myers-Briggs assessment that included hands-on, small group demonstrations of the different traits. For example, the introvert group and extrovert group were asked to plan a party and the differences between the two parties were discussed. 


Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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WIB-RTP: YWIB “Lean in, Women in Science” Panel & Networking Event at the NC School of Science and Math, April 12, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember, Friday, April 26, 2019
YWIB RTP networked with participants at the North Carolina School of Science & Math’s “Lean in, Women In Science” event. This event began with a panel of accomplished female scientists who talked about the challenges and success they have experienced in their careers. After the panel, the participants had the opportunity to network with a variety of science outreach groups in the RTP area, including YWIB RTP. To break the ice, YWIB volunteers shared some of their favorite female scientists with the girls and asked the girls to share what they were learning in their own science classes. The girls asked many questions about how to pursue STEM interests in undergrad, and they showed great interest in learning about internship opportunities in college. The YWIB volunteers shared their own stories from their time as interns in a variety of STEM positions. The YWIB volunteers also talked about different STEM career paths that go beyond just being a bench scientist. This event was open to high school aged girls. 

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WIB-RTP: YWIB “Communicating Your Best Self” Workshop at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, March 18, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember, Friday, April 26, 2019

On March 18, 2019, YWIB RTP was invited to the North Carolina School of Science and Math to present a workshop “Communicating Your Best Self.” There were approximately 45 11th and 12th-grade students in attendance. 

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The workshop used videos, role-playing, images, and stories do guide discussion on both verbal and nonverbal communication. We talked about context-specific content and how you introduce yourself to your new roommate will likely have different content than the introduction you use for an internship interview. 

Demonstrations of the difference tone, inflection, uptalk, and speed can change the meaning of the same sentence helped students become more aware of how they say something. Handshake, attire, facial expression, gestures, and posture were addressed as nonverbal forms of communication.  

We discussed the content and delivery of an “elevator pitch.” After having a few minutes to think about theirs, students were able to practice giving their elevator pitch. The session also included breaking into small groups to give each other feedback on their handshakes. 

 

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WIB-RTP: Recap of the Conflict Resolution in the Workplace Workshop (March 27, 2019)

Posted By Jayme Williams , Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Conflict in the workplace will be something all employees face in their careers. On March 27th, WIB-RTP hosted an event in The Classroom at The Frontier on how to manage conflict effectively. Members and non-members networked over light refreshments before being seated to a guided discussion by Briana Marini an HR business partner at UNC School of Medicine. The discussion focused on tips and tools each person can use during a professional disagreement.  

Each participant received a packet to take home that contains the key messages and actionable strategies anyone can use once conflicts arise. Communication was a theme that came up many times - everyone we work with has a different style and way they like to be communicated to. Using this knowledge can help get to a quicker resolution. Also discussed was that communication should happen earlier in the conflict cycle to ensure a timelier and less emotionally driven conversation.

Attendees were also welcomed to share their experiences and ask questions about their unique situations. WIB-RTP would like to thank our speaker for an informative workshop and all attendees for a fun evening.The next event will be April 27th at the BRITE Building at NCCU, where the YWIB will host Spring into STEM 2019.

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WIB-RTP: Managing Your Career Workshop, February 27, 2019

Posted By Alicia Koblansky , Tuesday, March 5, 2019

On Feb 27, 2019, WIB-RTP members and non-members attended a sold-out event at the BRITE Building at NC Central University were they networked and enjoyed some lite bites from Barrington James. Speakers Rachel Wile from Barrington James and Heidi Scott Giusto from Career Path Writing Solutions lead the evening’s activities. Rachel gave tips on how to work with recruiters and explain that recruiters are like matchmakers of a sort. Heidi discussed the importance of keeping your resume current and to "[r]emember that a resume is not an archive of information; it is a strategic marketing document." Heidi then provided a worksheet for the attendees to reformat their resume in one hour. Afterwards, people were paired off to swab resumes and discuss. Talking with the panelist afterwards, a couple of questions came up:

 

What is the one thing you hope every attendee would take away from your presentation?


Rachel Wile:

“I feel the biggest thing I hope every attendee takes away from the presentation is that working with a recruiter is like having a teammate in the job search/interview process. It’s important to have very open communication regarding thoughts, feelings, expectations, and other interview processes so the recruiter can do everything they can to help manage all of the moving pieces along the way. This not only increases the likelihood of receiving a job offer as it promotes a smooth and well-managed process, but it also ensures that if one is presented it is the best it can be.”

Rachel Wile (Click here for all pictures)

Also, what do you see is the biggest mistake job lookers do in working with recruiters?


Rachel Wile:

“For me, I think the biggest mistake that job seekers make when working with a recruiter is a lack of transparency. In my presentation, I mentioned that by working with a recruiter, rather than a typical negotiation between the candidate and the employer when a job offer is put together, expectations are managed by the recruiter on both sides through the entire interview process so a job offer will be presented right when the time comes. When candidates fail to share certain details, whether that’s possible concerns, other interview processes, expectations of certain details or compensation, then the recruiter is less capable of helping the process go smoothly and to reach a mutually agreeable job offer.”


Same question to Heidi, what is the main point you hope attendees would take away from your presentation?


Heidi Scott Giusto

 “Here is a thought for what I hope people take away from the session:  I hope everyone would leave the event knowing that intentionality is key if you want to proactively manage your career. Be intentional in what you put on your resume, how often you update it, and how you adjust it as you progress through your career. What make sense when you're in your first full-time role will likely not be as compelling of a strategy when you're in your mid-career years.”

Heidi Giusto (Click here for all pictures)

 A big thank you to our speakers and attendees for a fun and informative evening. Our next WIB-RTP event will be on March 27 at The Frontier-RTP on Conflict Resolution. Click on this link for more information and to register .

Tags:  2019 

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