One month ago, I had a conversation with Drs. David Baltrus and Jennifer Gardy. One month later we’ve matched over 140 BIPOC & Latinx students with about 100 mentors for a microbial based virtual summer research project and are about to finish our second week. Due to the rally of the mentors, we were able to add Latinx too which is just fantastic.
This project has been therapeutic for me. Not only does it help so many students by giving them research opportunities that were eliminated by COVID-19, thus helping to bridge what might have been a gap on their CVs as they apply to graduate school, it represents the power of a community to come together to solve a very real accessibility problem that existed for many even before COVID-19.
The job isn’t over yet. Round 2 is coming and the cut off for students to sign up is July 12th at 11:59 PM PT for an opportunity starting for the last four weeks of “summer” July 20th – August 14th. We have had almost 200 more students sign up (and that number is likely to rise) but we are now lagging behind with mentors. So mentors continue to share this site with your colleagues. Talk to them about how you did your project. Encourage them that they can do it. Tell them that graduate trainees and postdocs can be mentors too. This project has gotten to where it is based on your word of mouth and and support.
The seminar series is off and running. The talks will be Tuesday (July 7th) at 1 PM ET, 10 AM PT over Zoom. Our next speaker is Dr. Christopher Barnes, an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow at CalTech. He will give a talk titled “Structures of human antibodies bound to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein.” Make sure you add NSURPorg@gmail.com as a safe sender so that you can get the link to the talk (which we won’t share publicly).
That’s it for now. Not bad for a one month anniversary!
Cheers and stay safe!