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September 19, 2016

Dear Science Cafénistas,

Campus is overrun with bodies, new and familiar. My calendar is full of colored blocks telling me that experiments must wait for office hours to end. And the 157 bus is filling up faster than you can say Fontano’s.

It’s the start of a new academic year. For many of us, it’s a time to reflect on our progress and plan for the future. This month, we bring you a thoughtful piece about pursuing your passions in the field of science. If you’ve ever wished you could spend a bit of time learning about, well... everything, this piece will resonate with you.

We have so much to share with you in this email newsletter that we’ll keep the longer content, like that article and our student interview, on our website. Check here each issue for links to guide you there.

We are also excited to introduce you to our collaborator, UIC Librarian Cathy Lantz. Cathy is eager to share resources and tips for Biology academes at UIC. Because she is awesome. And that’s what this newsletter is all about!

This month on
Finding Your Niche- at UIC and beyond by Sarah Zinn
Under the Lens: Alena Kozlova by Lillian Perez
Google Scholar Meets Web of Science by Cathy Lantz

Take care of yourselves, and keep sciencing!


Recommended Reading

Juggling teaching and research, all while in grad school. One in three is too high. What are the biggest questions in science, and what is the impact of your research? A golden age for structural biologists. A sculpture controlled by live honeybees. Is there a bias against female first authors? The cutest spokesman for cutting-edge medicine, one year later! How to warn a whale when you’re boating. The hot ocean blob. Does the word “moist” make you cringe? Do’s and don’ts for dealing with data. Too cold, time to rethink human migration. Your friendly neighborhood Earth next door. Jelly’s cousin wreaks havoc in Yellowstone River. This. Appealing to the artistic side of science. How big is a fart? Voting conSCIENCE. More proof that climate change is real, but the jury's still out on severity. Dear Bruce, your budget is a brain drain. Feeling stressed, break out the art supplies! Science questions from toddlers: sex-ed edition.

Under the Lens

Alena Kozlova

“I was always interested to know what’s going on in a tube -- even though you don’t see it, it’s an amazing world.”

Read our interview with Alena on our website.
Who should we interview? Email us at

Podcast Picks

Kids These Days
A conversation about The University of Chicago’s letter to its incoming class, trigger warnings and safe spaces, and a debate over freedom of expression in the classroom. Plus an interesting commentary on millennials and thoughts on the campaign.

Emma Seppala
“Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment (whatever that means)?” In this episode, Dr. Emma Seppala on success vs happiness. A great podcast for coping with stress.

Get Mortified
Looking for a good laugh? Listen as adults read their cringeworthy childhood stories. Our Café favorite is # 22- Joan: 50 Shades of Awkward.

Supplemental Figure

Who's presenting next week?
Big ups to D Beeler for sharing this one.

Shoutouts to...

The Gong lab, featuring Liang-wei Gongi, Zhongjiao Jiang, and Wenping Li, for winning an NIH grant! Free patch pipettes for everyone!

Xin Wang, way to pass into the realm of PhD candidacy! The fun is just about to begin...

Madhushalini Sukumar, the doctor is in! Pop yourself some bubbly.

Ece Eksi for your Honorable Mention in the UIC Images of Research 2016. You light up our cells!

Chieh Chang’s Lab for this killer eLife pub full of beautiful branching neurons.

Our Virgo and Libra readers, another year wiser- Megan Garfinkel, Mary Ashley, Connie Jeffery, and Bianca Garcia!

Go on, brag a little. Send us your rockstar moments of the month at


9.18               BGSA Beach Bash @ Montrose Beach
10.11             Deadline to apply for Pfizer Professional Development Program
                         - see email from Beth
10.15             BGSA Pumpkin Picking @ TBD
10.17             BGSA Happy hour @ PhD’s
11.4               BGSA Happy hour @ Drum&Monkey

9.19              Constitution Day  and more Civic Engagement events
9.21              Campus Electronic Recycling Collection (CERC) @ SCW
9.27              Rock the Vote @ Lecture Center Plaza - Quad

9.20              Cinema Science with the Field Museum: Stand By Me
                          @ Music Box Theater

9.21              Women in Science Symposium @ Field Museum
9.23              Gender Bias Under the Microscope @ Rosalind Franklin
9.25              Zumba at the Zoo @ Lincoln Park Zoo
9.26              Science Happy Hour @ Lagunitas Brewing TapRoom
9.28              GWIS Chicago Science Talks @ Wicker Park Library Room
                          - feat. 2 UIC student talks!
9.29              Cinema Science with the Field Museum: The Mummy
                         @ Music Box Theater
10.4              The Metabolism of a Marathon @ Pint
10.17-23       Chicago Ideas Week

Share your event here and on our calendar.

It might be too late for iced coffee, but it's never too late for some freshly brewed science.

Share a cup with friends.

Read anything good this week?
Listen to an inspiring podcast?
Send us your questions, hypotheses, and observations.

Find us on the internet.

The Science Café is made available through the Biology Graduate Students Association (BGSA) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. All copyrights to original content in the newsletter are owned by the individuals listed as authors.

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