WOMEN IN STEM
Several women engaged in research give up on their career at the postdoctoral stage. Having a group of peers that you can reach out to for help, support and resources can relieve some of the stress associated with this particularly stressful career step. The MIT POWER, postdoctoral organization of women engaged in research, of which I am a board member, has the goal to provide professional and personal development support specific to women who want to pursue advanced careers in science and industry, and to support and advocate for women postdocs in all aspects of their professional training at MIT. As board member, I have organized seminars with women professors and entrepreneurs and put together tailored mentoring sessions to assist other women postdocs during the job application cycle.
In 2022, I have been a co-facilitator and instructor for the graduate courses LEAPS I and II (LEAdership and Professional Strategies & Skills Training) at MIT. Leadership training is essential for advancing the careers of emerging scientists and fundamental to making academia and industry more inclusive and equitable environments. The course covers a variety of topics useful for careers inside and outside academia integrated with interactive components and discussions, and the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. Being a LEAPS fellow has helped to advance my own mentoring and leadership skills, and prepared me to provide the same training to others.
You can read more about LEAPS in a piece on the physics@mit journal.
Moving abroad to study or doing research can be stressful and extremely disorienting at the beginning. Having a network of expats can make settling in a new country smoother. Shortly after joining MIT, I became a member of the Italian Association MITaly. Our mission is to facilitate a well-connected network of students, faculty, and affiliates that are linked by a shared experience of both MIT and Italian culture.
Evolutionary and Ecological Systems Biology Talks
At the beginning of the pandemic, discussing science with peers has been a relief for many people stuck at home. With Jeff and Dani, we decided to facilitate connections among students, postdocs and faculties interested in Evolutionary and Ecological Systems Biology by hosting a virtual seminar series on the topic: the EESB talks.
Share science, make it better
During my PhD, with other graduate students and postdocs of ecology departments in Italian universities, I founded and coordinated the activities of the association Successione Ecologica. In 2014, as part of a series of activities open to undergraduates, I enjoyed teaching coding skills and data analysis to young researchers. Since, at that time, quantitative tools were rarely part of undergrad curricula in ecology and environmental science, this helped to build their confidence and analysis tools for cutting edge research.