From First-Gen College Student to First-Gen Grad Student

*This post was co-written with Alicia Peaker and originally appeared on Gradhacker, a part of Inside Higher Ed.

At my high school, fewer than 10 percent of graduating seniors went on to four-year colleges. I can’t imagine what that number looks like for graduate school. Although first-generation college students are relatively well-studied (though still not well-supported), there is a major lack of research about first-generation grad students (FGGS).

On Gradhacker we’ve featured posts by grad students who have shared their experiences and strategies for adapting to graduate school as an FGGS. You don’t have to be an FGGS to identify with many of the themes we’ve covered this week (imposter syndrometranslating your work for your family, and more) or to use the strategies each author has laid out. At the same time, first-generation students do face some unique challenges that can affect performance, time-to-completion, and drop-out rates. So here are a few more strategies for making the transition from college to graduate school as a first-generation student. Continue reading From First-Gen College Student to First-Gen Grad Student

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Mind-controlling fungus turns insects into zombies

Deep in forests around the world a strange fungus is lurking. It doesn’t grow on trees, or from the ground like so many other fungi that we are familiar with. Instead, this fungus infects an unfortunate insect, turning it into a mindless zombie and control of its body until the fungus matures, erupting from the dying insect.

Think this sounds like a plot line from the X-Files? It’s not.

For some unfortunate insects this actually happens; enter the Cordyceps fungus.

How can a microbe turn these normal insects into fungus-erupting zombies? Read on to find out more. Continue reading Mind-controlling fungus turns insects into zombies

Collaborate to Advance Your Career

I once had a prominent scientist tell me that “it is better to share a cake with others than to eat a cookie alone in the corner” in regards to academic collaboration, and it has stuck with me ever since. Sure, we all did some mandatory group work in undergrad, but that was completely different from a truly professional academic collaboration. In many cases you might not know what your collaborator looks like as everything takes place online, but don’t let this perceived distance fool you. Effective collaborations are some of the most beneficial activities you can engage in, especially early in your career. Continue reading Collaborate to Advance Your Career