For thousands of years, Inuit women celebrated womanhood and rites of passage by giving and receiving traditional markings. Two years ago, I received my tavluġun (chin tattoo) through a traditional Inuit hand poke method, where a needle is dipped into ink and then poked into the skin.

An Indian Spice Blend™ You Won’t Find at Whole Foods

One of the most challenging tasks every family must undertake at some point in their lives is deciding what to watch together. One evening, the compromise for our family was Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix standup special, Homecoming King. It was a win-win: my immigrant parents got to see a young brown man rise to fame, and I got to hear relatable jokes on the trials and tribulations of growing up brown in America. As I laughed unabashedly through jokes about subtle racism in romance, school and beyond, my parents sat beside me looking amused but mostly confused.

Big Changes in the Qualifying Exam Procedure

Imagine standing in front of a panel of faculty members, some of the most prominent academics in the world of aerospace engineering, having prepared for a short 60 minutes to complete an oral exam and prove your competence in the field in which you hope to receive your PhD. In many departments at MIT, this is the qualifying exam procedure (‘quals’), widely regarded as one of the most terrifying and stressful aspects of graduate studies.

The Pod Leader Experience

Every year, the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) hosts around 40 undergraduate students from around the country to engage in meaningful research at MIT during the summer. This effort, called the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), aims to provide underrepresented minorities an opportunity to conduct research at world-renowned labs on campus. The cohort consists of interns with diverse nationalities, ethnicities, abilities, and academic backgrounds. An integral part of MSRP is having the students interact with current MIT graduate students. That’s where Pod Leaders come in to play. 

Biologists Need More Angle Grinders

I was very surprised one day to realize that I had developed a single callous on the pad of my right thumb. I can’t remember the last time I got a callous: I don’t rock climb, play an instrument, or do extreme sports. I don’t even take classes anymore, so I rarely write with a pen. Then it hit me: literally the only thing I do with my right thumb is pipetting. It was a pipetting callous.


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