Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was accepted into the Marine Biology program at University of California-Santa Cruz but chose to attend junior college in my home town because I did not think I was mature enough to leave home yet.
Graduated from my junior college and transferred to UC Davis as an Animal Science major. Moved away from home for the first time in my life and began to discover who I am and what I wanted to be.
Succeeding at UC Davis with a high "C" average. I was inspired by my nurturing professors who treated me with respect and were willing to talk to me. I decided I wanted to be a professor some day!
Graduated from UC Davis, took a big step traveling across the country to Alabama for graduate school. I was scared but the experience was positively breathtaking as I learned more about myself!
Started my PhD in Nutrition at NC State University. It was nothing like I expected and I had depression issues because I did not fit in with my department. My advisor and I had a poor relationship.
The most important meeting in my PhD program: My advisor and I met to discuss expectations. This was a turning point of my PhD and everything started to go positive. I eventually got a teaching award!
Defended my PhD on March 16, 2020! It took twelve years, a journey across the United States, and meeting an astonishing number of people, but I made a significant dream into reality!
I moved to Madison, WI, in May 2020 to work as a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison! My next step will be applying for tenure-track faculty positions in a few years from now!
Keep following my journey

Career

Postdoctoral Trainee

I conduct research in nutrition, lactation, immunology, and milk microbiome; I mentor undergraduate/graduate students.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Science
Environment & Nature
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

Academia is dynamic and every day has new adventures to pursue. I spend a lot of time with maintaining a block-style scheduling system by keeping my weekly schedule time slots blocked up with meetings, lab work, training, attending seminars, or writing. Depending on my progress relative to deadlines, I may shift my schedule to allocate more time to ensure I finish my projects in a timely fashion. Otherwise, my favorite part about academia is that there is always something to do, even nap!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Do not get caught up trying to be an ideal person that is not "you." There are people who seem to know what they want or have it all mapped out. However, while that is good, the way I went about it was building my confidence. My undergraduate professors saw something in me even though I thought I was an "average" student compared to my classmates. But their encouragement helped me find my passion with learning and that passion in science began to materialize once I started doing research.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Any bachelor's degree
graduate
Graduate
Recommend doing a master's degree
doctorate
Doctorate
Any doctorate degree

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Your GPA and GRE scores don’t meet our minimum standards for admission. If one or the other was just below our minimum there could be some wiggle room but with both below our standards, I’m afraid that you won’t be admitted."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student