Graduate Citings: DURAPS Edition with Katelynn Wright

This is an event that inspired me to pursue research and to begin developing an ELC proposal to University Gaston Berger

It’s day 2 of our coverage of the upcoming DU Research and Performance Summit (DURAPS)! Today we’re featuring Katelynn Wright, a DU master’s student who will be presenting “Proposing, Developing, and Implementing an Accredited English Learning Center in Geuoul, Senegal, West Africa” at the summit.

Researcher: Katelynn Wright is a master’s student in International and Intercultural Communication. This program is an interdisciplinary partnership between Media, Film, and Journalism Studies and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Current Research: I am proposing and developing curriculum for an English Language Center (ELC) in Guéoul, Senegal for the new sister university to L’Université Gaston Berger: University of Guéoul. This project is in collaboration with co-founder, Judy Beggs, and Nancy Storer. A needs assessment will be included within the proposal that necessitates quantitative and qualitative research to determine what levels of English we must include in the ELC curriculum. The current proposal promotes discussion upon this possibility with L’Université Gaston Berger.

My interest in this research started when I interned with Friends of Guéoul from April 2016 through August 2016. During that time, I assisted in a pilot program dedicated to training English teachers to change their teaching pedagogy from route, writing and reading literacy to communicative and critical thinking. Upon learning of the sister institution, University of Guéoul, I expressed an interest in developing an ELC there. I strongly feel that our efforts shouldn’t stop at the 6-week Intensive English Summer School (which is now projected to be an annual project, yay!).

Collaborators: I work closely with two very talented and passionate women. Judy Beggs is a Sturm College of Law Alumnae, and the co-founder and current Executive Director of Friends of Guéoul. Nancy Storer is an experienced English as a Second Language professional and former commissioner of the Commission of English Language Accreditation.

DURAPS Presentation: I will be presenting on the ongoing research and development of an accredited proposal I am doing to institute an ELC which I will present to L’Université Gaston Berger. I will also discuss our quantitative and qualitative research we have been conducting in the form of surveys and observation. Intentions are for me to stay in Senegal for months after the 2017 Intensive English Summer School that will begin the first week of August and end in mid-September to conduct research.

Research Advice: Research proposals may be refused multiple times before they stick, but don’t give up. Additionally, research is conducted above and beyond your years in graduate studies—be sure to recognize a diamond in the rough. Something that may seem an unlikely research opportunity because there is lack of literature in a certain study doesn’t mean it’s not worth researching. That reason is precisely the reason for research. Fill in the gaps and become a pioneer in your field!

Want to present your research at DURAPS? GSG welcomes complete or work-in-progress submissions. Be sure to submit your abstract by 2/27!

What to Expect at DURAPS 2017!

duraps_logoInterested in learning about Salvador Dali’s knack for creating jewelry? How about a comparison of Islamic and Chinese political theories? These topics and many more will be presented at the DU Research and Performance Summit this year! Since next week is your last chance to turn in your submission, we wanted to share with you the exciting research and benefits that you can expect at this year’s summit. For the rest of the week we’ll be sharing the work of your fellow colleagues who have presented at DURAPS in the past or are presenting this year. To start things off we chatted with the president of Graduate Student Government, Veronica Droser, to get her expert insight on DURAPS 2017. Here’s what she had to say:

What is DURAPS?

The fourth annual DU Research and Performance Summit is a celebration of the amazing work graduate students across campus do. It is designed to recognize the rich and diverse nature of the scholarship being produced by graduate students at the University of Denver. It is a fun, professional, and enriching event that shows just how important graduate students are to the DU community. This year we have students presenting on a wide variety topics including: international affairs, experiential learning, race & identity, religion, art history and much more!

How Does DURAPS Benefit Grad Students?

Ready to gain exposure, network with faculty and alum, and add another bullet point the conference section of your CV? DURAPS is a perfect opportunity to do that! There are a ton of ways that DU grad students can benefit from this annual opportunity. Below are just a few of the advantages you can expect to gain this year:

  • Sharpen Your Presentation Skills: DURAPS provides a professional conference experience, and allows students to practice and prepare for presentations at conferences in their field, lectures in their community, and even job interviews with prospective employers.
  • Give your Conference Presentation at Trial Run & Get Feedback: I have presented at DURAPS both as an individual and as a member of a larger research team. I am not the world’s best public speaker, but I was able to practice a presentation that I later gave at my national conference. Based on my presentation I was given valuable feedback about my slides, and gained a great deal of confidence. Without DURAPS I would not have been able to make important changes to my presentation, and would have been way more nervous when time came to talk at my national conference!
  • Network! DURAPS provides opportunities for networking with faculty, administrators, students, and alumni from all across campus. Who knows, the person your sitting next to at lunch could be your next research collaborator!
  • nivea_durapsEarn Grant Funding: This year, as with past years, we are awarding $200 grants to the top six student submissions.
  • Boost that CV: DURAPS is also a great way to add to your CV. The APA Science Student Council reports that in the competitive job market a history of conference presentations shows potential employers that you regularly disseminate your research findings to colleagues as well as keep up-to-date on developments in your field.

What Will Be Presented at DURAPS 2017?

What I love about DURAPS is that you get an opportunity to see just how rich and diverse the graduate student body at DU is. I have seen students present on business plans for microbreweries, on the importance of using music to teach and understand biology, and even the sexist media portrayal of female killers. You really just never know what kind of awesome stuff you will learn when you attend a panel.

This year the DURAPS steering committee is dedicated to including topics and work that are representative of the range of graduate student programs offered at DU. You can look forward to seeing traditional academic papers and posters, reflections on clinicals, labs and internships, performances and works of art, business plans and proposals, and everything in between!

Hungry? (for opportunity and/or actual food)

For grads that are hungry both literally and figuratively we’ve got you covered (we know how important free food is when you’re a student)! In addition to amazing scholarship being presented, the second annual Grads and Grub will be offered. Grads and Grub is a networking luncheon and reception where students have the opportunity to mingle with alums and administrators. On behalf of Graduate Student Government, and all of the graduate student presenters, we look forward to seeing you there!

Ready to present? GSG welcomes complete or work-in-progress submissions. Be sure to submit your abstract by 2/27!

vdroser-picture-2015Veronica Droser, GSG President- Veronica Droser is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Communication Studies department where she studies family communication. Her research centers on how families and relational pairs experience different facets of life, focusing specifically on moments of transition and periods of strain in a family or relationship. Currently her work focuses on understanding experiences with death and loss within a family.

Evolving from a Pleaser to a Leader – DU Alumnae Shares Her Leadership Journey

We’re so excited for tomorrow’s Women’s Conference! There’s going to be so many amazing discussions and workshops surrounding women’s’ resilience, challenges and successes from individuals across the nation. One of those inspiring individuals is DU GSSW alumnae Christy Belz. Christy received her MSW from DU and now runs a coaching and consulting practice. The focus of her work is the empowerment of individuals and organizations. She’ll be presenting at the conference along with assistant professor Dr. Bensen. They’ll be sharing their journeys surrounding conscious leadership through the coaching process and the benefits of using the The Leadership Circle Profile (TLCP) tool. This week we had the opportunity to sit down with Christy and learn more about what helped her overcome the leadership challenges she’s faced since she graduated from DU. Here is her story:

When I decided to pursue my social work education at GSSW, I did so with a deep desire to serve and to make a difference. My “good girl persona” and my “need to please” drove much of my early practice. I sometimes did more work than my client to ensure that all their needs were met. Today, I have a different perspective and teach, train and coach leaders to be their most authentic selves, to lead from their strengths and embrace the whole self in the evolution and practice of leadership. I hope sharing my journey will empower you to embrace your gifts and talents to become the leader you’re meant to be.

This is my personal story of my leadership journey and a tool that I have found to be most beneficial to my own self-awareness and practice of leadership.

A Student – The Leadership Practice

At the DU Graduate School of Social Work, I was fortunate to train with seasoned social workers, like the beloved Dr. Jean East. My macro practice focus placed me in many of her classes. It was my honor to intern and work with her and Susan Kenney in their co-led nonprofit called Project WISE (PW). At PW we were committed and dedicated to the empowerment of women with low incomes. We supported them, personally, interpersonally and politically. We counseled, coached and stood with our women in advocating for themselves in their communities. The work was satisfying and engaging and state laws were passed based on our collaborative grassroots advocacy and community engagement. I loved it. After several years, when the co-founders decided to transition, I became the new executive director. I was excited and thrilled to be leading an organization that I loved and felt so passionate about, until… I started getting triggered!

Being a people pleaser and thinking everyone was supposed to like me, I did not provide the leadership needed to support the agency. I look back on those days feeling regretful of the ways that I interacted with my colleagues. I was overwhelmed, trying to work a full-time job on 32 hours a week and keep up with my family and young child. I resigned my position as my vulnerabilities and my shadow selves had caught up to me. I left feeling like a failure as a leader and incompetent to lead at all.

Because of this experience, I realized I needed to heal myself and overcome the shame I felt for leaving Project WISE. I started experimenting with mindfulness, somatic work, energy work and positive psychology. By working with individuals in my home, I created the work I do today called Emotional Energetic Repatterning. This work uses the energy and information that is stored in and around our bodies to bring awareness and support for conscious healing.  This work helped me to heal my own emotional wounds and shadows which has made me more conscious, competent and centered.

A Learner – The Leadership Circle and Reflective Practice

As a social worker, I did not fully understand that I was in need of a business leadership tool until a friend suggested I explore a 360-degree tool called the Leadership Circle. “This work is so you,” she said..  At that point, I had a private practice and was working every day with clients to find the best practices to support them in their day-to-day lives to resolve emotional traumas, PTSD, addiction and relationship struggles.  After applying a business leadership tool used in the for-profit market to my work with clients in leadership roles, I came to a better understanding of my own leadership potential and what had gone wrong at Project WISE.

The Leadership Circle Profile (TLCP), a 360-degree feedback tool, combines both leadership competencies with human development to increase our self-knowledge of who we are and how we lead. Through self-reflection, TLCP provided me insight into the vulnerabilities and shadows that I needed to “reveal and heal” to become a more effective leader.

In human service work, knowing ourselves and understanding how we are conduits for our community and organizational work may seem self-evident. Yet, until we know ourselves and understand the underlying conditioning that contributes to ineffective leadership, and therefore ineffective organizations, we can continue to fail. The Leadership Circle provided the road map to the underlying social, emotional and energetic patterning that kept me stuck in old patterns that did not serve me, or those I was trying to lead. It effectively showed me where I could grow and develop as a leader.


A Leader – Empowerment Coaching and Consulting

Today, I support other women in powerful leadership positions. The Leadership Circle helps us see what strengthens us as leaders and what gets in our way. Given the hard work of being in helping professions, I believe the Leadership Circle model has the potential to help human services leaders build on their creative competencies and uncover and examine their reactive behaviors. Ultimately, great leaders create and run great organizations.

I believe individual coaching is not only powerful but necessary when looking to “know oneself”. As a personal and professional coach, I can see what is too close for my clients to see. Together we uncover and then recreate new ways of being and work tomove from reactive to creative competences.

dsc_4550-final-web**Come explore the Leadership Circle work and the partnering I have done with an extraordinary leader, DU professor, Karen Bensen. We will share our stories and the experience of working together at the   DU Women’s Conference on 2/10.

DU Women’s Conference Workshop: Have the need to please? Evolving the Practice of Leadership– 2/10, 11-12:15, Driscoll 145

Graduate Citings: Tales from the Field – Shanna Kattari

002_shanna_brightHappy Winter Quarter DU grad students! We’re so happy to have you back on campus. We have so much amazing talent here at DU and we’ve been honored to be able to speak with just a fraction of you over 2016.  For 2017 we’re very excited to feature the exciting work Shanna Kattari. Shanna has utilized an intersectional lens to examine a variety of different issues involving sexuality in marginalized communities, particularly LGBTQ individuals & people with disabilities. Her main goal with her research is to create social change and she is working to ensure that multiple marginalized voices, such as trans people of color or disabled trans folks, are heard within the sometimes isolated confines of academic scholarship.

Researcher: Shanna Kattari, a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Social Work

Current Research: I do research in a variety of areas that can be boiled down to the three areas sexual health/sexuality, disability/ableism, and discrimination/disparities. One area of focus has been on the experiences of transgender and gender variant individuals (those whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth), including health disparities and discrimination across the variety of contexts. This has included published pieces on the differences between cisgender (non-transgender) and trans folks in experiencing housing and employment discrimination, racial differences in the experiences of trans people in experiencing health services discrimination, age group differences of trans people who have experienced health care discrimination, how conforming to cisgender standards of gender are related to experiences of homelessness and shelter discrimination face by trans people, and about police reporting and intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences of trans people. My collaborators and I also have several papers under review in this area including research about trans-masculine parenting experiences, racial differences in trans people’s experiences of social service discrimination, (dis)ability differences in trans people’s experiences of social services discrimination, trans people’s experiences of survival sex work, how trans inclusive health care providers are related to the mental health outcomes of trans people, and a Transgender Inclusive Behavior Scale to measure how supportive and inclusive one’s behavior is of trans people.

Collaborators: I have been privileged enough to work with a variety of collaborators on this topic area, including Dr. N. Eugene Walls, Dr. Leslie Hasche, Darren Whitfield, Lisa Langenderfer-Magruder, Stephanie Begun, Jonah DeChants, Antonia Alvarez, Rachel Speer and Leo Kattari. Because of the intersectional lens that frames my research, I get to work with people who have a variety of research specialties in finding those crossroads between their area of focus and experiences of transgender and gender variant folks.

shanna-quoteInitial Inspiration: As someone who has many trans and gender variant friends, as well as a trans partner, it is crucial to me that research be done exploring the experiences of discrimination and incredible disparities faced by this community. There are so many negative experiences that are the result of transphobia that need to be further examined in order to create change in society, show the incredible resilience of this community, and change our world into becoming more inclusive of trans folks.

Biggest Challenge: There is so little extant literature on trans and gender variant communities, especially from a social science perspective (as compared to medical research), that trying to build on what already exists has been challenging as sometimes there is almost nothing to use as a framework for our new studies. Much of what we know is based on community experiences, but marginalized communities are often ignored in research, especially those with multiple marginalized identities, like trans people of color, or disabled trans folks. It is important to make sure their experiences are added to the literature, and further more, that research is not done solely for research sake, but with the intention of creating change.

Research Advice: Take your work that you’ve done for classes or will be doing for class and work it into publishable papers; you’ve already put in a lot of the effort, so it makes sense to follow it through. It also helps me to think about how much effort the various communities I research with have expended to be part of this work; the time taking surveys, the emotional components sharing their stories in interviews, etc. It is our responsibly as researchers to make sure these effort doesn’t go unused, and one way to do so is to ensure that their voices are heard within the world of the academy.

DU PhD Student Wins Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship

meseret-hailu-office-of-graduate-studies-university-of-denverHappy week 5 everyone! You’re halfway to your well deserved winter break. This week we’re thrilled to share with you the journey of University of Denver PhD student, Meseret Hailu. Meseret was recently awarded the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship to conduct her dissertation research in Ethiopia. We had the chance to sit down with her last week and learn more about her research and application experience. Meseret is a third-year Ph.D. student enrolled in the Higher Education program in the Morgridge College of Education. Her research interests are grounded in comparative international education, with a special emphasis on gender issues in STEM programs for Black immigrant women in the U.S.

What research will you be conducting in Ethiopia for your Fulbright? In my proposed study, I question what factors lead to the persistence of women in undergraduate science and technology majors at universities in Ethiopia. To do this I will be employing the use of a sequential, exploratory mixed-methods design that requires both qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative portion will include recruiting 30 undergraduate women who have studied a science or technology discipline at the three specific, public universities. I will conduct semi-structured interviews with them to understand these women’s lived experiences and identify factors that have helped them succeed and graduate. The next step will be to use emerging themes from the interview transcripts to design a quantitative survey instrument. This electronic survey will be extensively distributed until responses from approximately 275 women (across all public universities) are received to ensure statistical reliability. Ultimately, this research is important because it can influence future development of education policy and highlight the resilience of women.

Who are you working with? My primary mentor and advisor is Dr. Frank Tuitt, Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and Professor of Higher Education. In addition, I work with Dr. Tesfaye Semela, Professor at School of Education and Training at Hawassa University in Ethiopia. 

What steps did you take to apply for the Fulbright-Hays program? I regularly checked the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) listserv through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. The application for the   Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad (DDRA) Program was open for about a month, and I worked closely with my adviser to develop a study and submit an application.

What are you looking forward to and what are some challenges you might face? I am looking forward to doing my first-large scale study, and I anticipate it will be challenging   being far away from people and resources that I can readily find on campus at DU.

What advice do you have for other students interested in applying for a Fulbright? Try to explain every stage of your research plan. Ambiguity diminishes the credibility of an application, so make sure you are clear about what you intend to do at every step of data collection and analysis. Also, subscribe to the IFLE newsletter.

Graduate Citings: Tales from the Field – Molly Sarubbi

Molly-Sarubbi-Graduate-Citings-Tales-From-the-FieldWelcome back pios! We’re so elated to have you back on campus this fall, it’s been so lonely without having your bright, shining, studious faces around here! We hope that you had wonderful and relaxing (is that possible in grad school?) summer breaks. To get you pumped up for your upcoming papers, projects, and presentations we’re excited to highlight the work of Molly Sarubbi, a PhD student in the Morgridge College of Education. She is working to break down the silos and broaden the focus surrounding the role that foster youth histories play throughout the higher education experience. Happy reading!

Researcher: Molly Sarubbi, PhD student enrolled in the Higher Education program in DU’s Morgridge College of Education. She is also a policy researcher for the Postsecondary Institute at the Education Commission of the States (ECS).

Initial Inspiration: As a foster care alumni and lifelong advocate, I am intimately aware of not only the barriers this population faces but their resounding resiliency. I am committed to sharing these narratives. In addition to experiencing prolonged abuse and maltreatment, numerous transitions, and long-term disparities in support resources, foster youth face significant obstacles to educational attainment. Of the almost 400,000 youth in the system this year, 26,000 youth will exit foster care at age 18.  Only 46% will graduate high school, and less 3% of those will go to college (AFCARS, 2015). I have seen these disparate odds play out over and over, whether it was in my own peer groups, the families I worked with as a director of an urban family YMCA, or in the advocacy role I serve through research and mentoring within the foster care system.  These youth, their voices, and their stories of persistence continue to be absent within higher education discourses, and policy agendas. The need to fill in these gaps continues inspire my own research and practice.

Current Research: My scholarship and practice focuses broadly on equity through the examination of the relationship between traditionally under-served communities, higher education, and policy. Grounded in a commitment to social justice and equity in education, I focus broadly on access for traditionally under-served students and families, with a specific emphasis on educational pathways for former foster care youth, and the resulting imperatives for higher education policy and practice.

Much of my work is grounded in asset-based collaboration with communities, and various advocacy initiatives for foster youth. I have been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and youth mentor for 7 years, and work to help guide children through court and education systems. Similarly, I continue to build alliances across national foster youth support programs, and work to increase awareness about the educational barriers for this population.

As I continue to build my research portfolio, I work towards honing my skills as a critical, qualitative researcher, centering the resilient voices and experiences of this population.  This past summer, I collaborated on an multi-institutional, interdisciplinary project investigating the impact of mentoring programs for youth in the child welfare system. My impending dissertation work will examine the experiences of foster youth through post-secondary education. This research will begin to position foster youth narratives  within larger social, ecological, and educational systems, and highlight their resiliency and persistence in higher education.

My expertise in highlighting education attainment for foster youth has lead to my work at Education Commission of the States (ECS) as a Policy Researcher. I am currently leading a project centered on a the development of a 50 state comparative analysis of state financial aid policies that impact foster youth education attainment. A forthcoming brief, release in late October, will include a historical review of  federal and state statute,  analysis of state-based authority for policy implementation, and recommendations for best practices and policy development. Additionally, as a member of the postsecondary team, I serve as a resource for state constituents on a variety of education policy issues including free community college, organization and governance, and the college completion agenda.

Collaborators: I am currently collaborating as a research assistant with my advisor, Dr. Judy Marquez Kiyama, to understand the role of families in college transitions, the influence of funds of knowledge in family outreach programs, and  the role that low-income and families of color play in cultivating their children’s educational aspirations and ideologies. We are currently engaged in data analysis and multiple publications resulting from this work. In addition to collaborating with the higher education department faculty, and the other institute staff at ECS, I am proud to work with both local and national community-based organizations that support both families, and foster youth educational access and attainment.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenges in doing this important work are the lack of asset-based research, understanding of foster youth experiences, and opportunities for them share their counter narratives.  Research on foster youth has traditionally been siloed within fields of psychology and social work, and often only addresses the negative impact of time spent in foster care on child development and life outcomes. Beyond this focus, there is minimal literature examining the role that foster youth histories play throughout the higher education experience. This scarcity has led to narrow understandings of foster youth persistence and achievement. Furthermore, negative stigmas of individuals in foster care, their distrust in support systems, and inconsistent tracking initiatives can also make it difficult to identify these youth and subsequently share their success narratives.

Research Advice: My major piece of advice may seem obvious, but I have found it to be extremely salient in my own endeavors; do work that you are passionate about!! As an emerging scholar/researcher/practitioner, the process can be isolating. You will constantly question your abilities, feel overwhelmed, and rejection can be tough! However cliche it may sound, it really is what it takes to create real change. Be confident in the importance and potential impacts of your work. While it’s certainly difficult to not be discouraged by setbacks, you have to use the feedback as positive building blocks for moving your important work forward. Having a grounded stake in the meaning of your work helps diminish that rejection and fatigue, and of course, creating a network of people who celebrate your potential never hurts!

*Do you know of any fascinating research happening on campus? If so, send us an email at!

Graduate Citings: Tales from the Field – Taylor Firman

TaylorFirmanPictureWelcome to your last full month of summer vacation pios! We hope you’ve had a wonderful break and look forward to seeing your lovely faces this fall. To conclude your summer break, and get those synapses firing for Fall Quarter, we’d like to share with you the intriguing work of PhD student Taylor Firman. Taylor is exploring examining randomness in gene networks in order to shed light on previously unexplored areas of research in quantitative biology. We hope you enjoy this month’s Graduate Citings and be sure to check out Taylor’s video at the end!

Researcher: Taylor Firman, PhD student enrolled in the Molecular & Cellular Biophysics Program, active in the Physics Department

Initial Inspiration: Growing up, I was fairly obsessed with math puzzles (my mom used to catch me writing multiplication tables in the fog of our car windows), but these skills just seemed like neat parlor tricks until I took a high school physics course. To see how the fundamental nature of the world around us could be described using the basest of languages, mathematics, was fascinating and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Current Research: My current research is generally focused on the computational modeling of biology. For instance, in a previous project, we were able to recreate how a fruit fly takes its elongated shape within the embryo using computer simulations. More recently, we have been looking at the role of randomness and fluctuation within gene networks to see how they affect the overall behavior of the system. Biology is a very rich subject matter and the mathematical approach of a physicist can help to shed light on previously unexplored areas of the field.

As of this point, our research involving randomness in gene networks has been published in the Journal of Chemical Physics and we are hoping to publish more recent developments about a principle called Maximum Caliber in the next year. A manuscript about our work on simulating fruit fly morphology is working its way through the submission process and will hopefully be published within the next year as well. Ultimately, we hope that these papers and the concepts behind them will help to inform experimentalists on new directions of questioning and shed light on previously unexplored areas of research in quantitative biology.

Collaborators: My research advisor is Dr. Kingshuk Ghosh within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and in the past couple of years, we have worked very closely with Dr. Dinah Loerke (Physics) and Dr. Todd Blankenship (Biology) here at DU.

Biggest Challenge: Thus far, my biggest challenge was coming to the realization that cutting-edge science is never going to be a straight line from idea A to idea B like it’s portrayed in scientific literature. A biophysicist named Uri Alon described it perfectly as traveling through “the cloud between the known and the unknown.” Experiments are going to fail or produce data contrary to what you would expect and it will be necessary to take multiple detours to get to a new and innovative idea. This doesn’t make you a bad scientist. To get through this cloud, it requires patience, time, and lots of support from the people around you, things I’ve been lucky enough to find here at DU.

Research Advice: As I touched on earlier, my advice to future graduate students would be to realize that research truly is like “traveling through a cloud.” Equipment is going to break, ideas are going to fall apart, frustration will set in, but realize that this is all part of the process of generating innovative ideas. Enjoy the investigative nature of research, have faith in your capabilities, and stay the course.