McDaniel College (BA, Biology) and University of Texas at Austin(PhD, in progress)
BA (Bachelor of Arts)
After my Undergraduate degree (BA), I worked for 5 years as a research technician/lab manager at the University of Texas at Austin.
The University of Texas at Austin
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love to learn what our experiments reveal
I'm a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow in Cell and Molecular Biology.
A more extended about me? I’ll give 4 random pieces of info:
- I love science because it allows me to probe questions about our world and there’s always something new to learn.
- I was born in Nairobi, and grew up there till Standard 7, but then my family and I moved and currently reside in the great state of Texas.
- I love to travel, meet new people and learn about different cultures.
- On a given day, I listen to all sorts of music and have very eclectic playlists.. like this morning, I’ve listened to Mozart, Shiro wa GP, Jaye Thomas, Sauti Sol, Sin Bandera, Stromae, King Kaka, and Parov Stelar
Work as a doctoral graduate student in the sciences entails several roles that include research, teaching, mentoring, and writing. As for me, I am currently in my third year so 100% of my efforts at this moment are towards thoroughly collecting and analyzing my data and making sure of the integrity of the data that I am collecting.
I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity to focus on my experiments, thanks to the financial support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP). Often graduate students have to split their time between experiments and teaching/serving as teaching assistants, which adds extra challenges to an already challenging profession.
My Typical Day
planning, thinking about, analyzing, (and sometimes being frustrated by) experiments
A typical day for me right now includes either : preparing materials for my experiments, analyzing data from completed experiments, and/or compiling it into presentations to discuss with senior members of the lab and once a week, my thesis advisor.
Also, a couple of mornings week, I try to read current literature in our field in order to remind myself of the larger context of the work that I am doing.
Of late, I have been challenging myself to talk more about my experiments and experimental design with my peers and senior post-doctoral fellows in our lab so that I can become better at explaining my project. This is an incredibly useful thing to do because it helps you learn how to talk through your experimental rationale, and it makes sure that you are logical in your approaches. It is easy to get lost when you’re trying to figure out a hard experimental problem
What I'd do with the money
50% towards a Nairobi based science outreach organization and the other 50% to a Nairobi high school towards a public engagement effort
If I win, I will spend the prize $ as follows:
- I will donate 50% of my winnings towards a science outreach organization called “Under the Microscope” that is based in Kenya, currently run by a recent Microbiology graduate of Kenyatta University.
- The other 50% will be donated towards lab equipment at a local high school that is recovering from a fire (TBD)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
dedicated, curious, friendly :)
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
either a physician or diplomat.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
i don't remember? but if so, probably for talking too much
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
likely a hospital chaplain
Who is your favourite singer or band?
it changes so much! which isn't a useful answer, sorry.
What's your favourite food?
hmm.. samosas, chapatis + ndengu.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. that I could fly 2. that I could somehow get rid of all diseases 3. that in this life I serve God to the best of my ability
Tell us a joke.
how can you tell the ocean is friendly? it waves