May 28, 2017

Speech at Penn State College of Medicine 2017 Commencement

Speaking at Penn State College of Medicine's Commencement.
Even though I defended my dissertation almost a year ago, I was finally able to participate in the spring Commencement ceremony with my classmates at Penn State College of Medicine last Sunday!

I was honored to give the graduate student address, and I wanted to share the text of my speech below. Even though it's kind of a rough time for a young scientist to start their career now, the goal of my message was to suggest something that all scientists can start doing today to, hopefully, make the world a little more receptive to what we do. Enjoy!


“Wait. What do you do again?” 

Every graduate student has been asked this question at least 20 times. Per year. Usually at family holiday gatherings. 

I’m very humbled to have the opportunity to address my graduate school colleagues, friends, and family this afternoon. But as I sat down to write this speech, I stared at a blank Word document for a while – which is unfortunately still a common occurrence, even after typing a 200-page dissertation. I didn’t quite know how to address so many different people with so many different graduate school experiences. 

What did we all do these last few years?