Phd Trekkers



Join us, Mari, a Latina soil scientist from Massachusetts, and Yan, an Asian chemist from California, on our graduate trek towards a Ph.D. and beyond. A podcast on the interface of science, socio-political discourse, activism, and intimate life journeys. #CornellAlumni #PhDLife #NSFGRFP #WeAreMcNair


  • EP10: Fellowship Writing 101 - Intellectual Merit & Broader Impact

    15/08/2017 Duración: 59min

    Looking to apply for academic funding and fellowships? Join the PhD Trekkers where we unpack some basic fellowship application do's and don'ts. Tune in for some advice on constructing your research proposal & personal statements, on the reviewing criteria such as Intellectual Merit & Broader Impact and what they encompasses, and the application revision/reviewing process. Other topics include some insider tips from Professors who have personally served on the fellowship reviewing panel and our personal stories/experiences on applying for graduate fellowships. These tips does not only apply for the NSF GRFP to also to other scholarship, fellowship, and other funding opportunities as well. For more information and questions on the NSF Fellowship please email us as For more information on the The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program please visit:

  • EP9: Insider Tips on Graduate School Social Dynamics

    24/07/2017 Duración: 45min

    Join us on an episode where we explore the graduate school social networking dynamics. How do grad students interact and manage relationships with friends, labmates, peers, collaborators, Professors, PI, mentors, admins, and your larger scientific/research community. How do you initiate these interactions in your own school and with others in/related to your field of study, especially if you are an introvert. How do you make yourself heard and voice your thoughts and concerns. Other topics include happy hours and other department events, social culture surrounding beer and coffee, and interacting with guest speakers/seminars.

  • EP8: Surviving and Thriving in Academia - Interview with Assistant Prof. Keary Engle

    17/07/2017 Duración: 01h13min

    Are you interested in a career in academia? Tune in for this episode of PhD Trekkers where Yan interviews Keary Engle, an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the Scripps Research Institute. Keary discusses his career journey, his approach toward research, mentoring, education, outreach, and how he navigates some of the unique challenges of being an Assistant Professor. Keary also offers advice to other young scientists on maintaining work/life balance, identifying research projects, and staying connected with one's passion for science. Other topics include selecting potential postdoc advisors, setting up a new lab, recruiting graduate students and postdocs as a new faculty member, etc. We even managed to sneak in a few questions about Keary’s adorable dog Hermione and his thoughts on the March for Science! For more information on Prof. Engle's work: For more information on the TSRI summer SURF(Scripps Undergraduate Research Fellowship)Program: http://education.scripps.ed

  • EP7: You Are What You Eat - A Graduate Student's Path Towards a Healthy LifeStyle

    09/07/2017 Duración: 48min

    Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet are especially important for graduate students given our long working hours in the lab, high stress/pressure, sleep deprivation, and even mental illnesses and depression. It's so easy for us to get burnt out and compromise our health. But grad school is a 5+yrs battle and in order to survive and succeed, we better start with our health! Join the PhD Trekkers on our approach towards living a healthy life in grad school!

  • EP6: Unpacking the Black Box of Scientific Research

    02/07/2017 Duración: 49min

    Join us on an episode where we start to unpack the meaning behind a word that is central in every Ph.D. student's life - research! What do we mean when we use this word and how do we go about breaking it down for those that aren't our coworkers? How does research look like across different disciplines and fields of science? How is research in the lab different from that of the everyday life? Let us know your thoughts on research and the scientific method! ^_^

  • EP5: Teaching in Higher Ed and Alternative Tenure Tracks - Conversation with Prof. Marie McMahon

    24/06/2017 Duración: 01h04min

    Ever considered teaching in higher ed as a career path? PhD Trekkers Mari and Yan talks about Yan's recent eye-opening conversation with Professor Marie McMahon in San Diego Miramar Community College. where she shares her fascinating life story, career trajectory, and the various uniquenesses and challenges of the community college setting. Tune in to learn more about the process of landing a teaching position and tenured track position, the nitty-gritty interview details and tips, the concept of a community college, and the current academic job market. Yan even asked about his chances of landing a teaching position as a 1st generation Americans with a foreign accent! Other topics such as students evaluations, faculty diversity in higher ed, and academic upward mobility are also discussed. More on Prof Marie McMahon's work:

  • EP4: Trump Education Budget Cut - The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

    19/06/2017 Duración: 53min

    In his recent federal budget proposal, Trump proposed the elimination of many pivotal educational programs across the K-12 and higher ed system. As beneficiaries of many of these programs throughout our educational training, we the PhD Trekkers, would like to share how these programs shaped who we are today and who we will become tomorrow. If you are a high school, college, graduate student, alumni, or even parents, please tune it to learn more about the various federal and state educational opportunity programs that you can be involved in to help you achieve your dreams and passion.

  • EP3: Meet Co-Host Yan - Finding a Voice between Extroversion and Introversion

    18/06/2017 Duración: 01h10min

    From China to the U.S, from a rebel to a grown up, from chemistry to teaching to friendships to life stories and personal growth, please tune in for this episode of Ph.D. Trekkers on co-host Yan's life story and advice ^_^

  • EP2: Meet Co-Host Mari - From Urban Backyards to Soil Science Frontiers

    18/06/2017 Duración: 01h38min

    Our paths aren't always straightforward but sometimes its those unlikely and unanticipated turns -- and a bit of naivety -- that help us go a long way! Join our co-host Mari on an interview about her life and how she came to be a first-generation Latina soil scientist. What is that you say? Tune in to find out!

  • EP1: Pilot - Why Podcast? A Trek Through the Bittersweet Graduate School Experience

    18/06/2017 Duración: 56min

    We are the PhD Trekkers aka graduate students pursuing a PhD in science. This podcast is our way of sharing our experiences and thoughts on science, graduate school, education, life journey, social and political discourse and the intersections of all the above categories. What does an Asian chemist and a Latina soil scientist have in common and why are they doing a podcast? Find out in the pilot episode of Ph.D. Trekkers ^_^ Enjoy!

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