Being engaged in my community is a core value of mine. I have prioritized used STEM and dance education efforts to support and build up the various communities I have been a part of . My STEM outreach has impacted high school students, undergraduates, PhD students, and senior citizens. I have led free dance workshops for toddlers, high school students, and the general public. Here are some of the efforts that are most meaningful to me:
- Mentoring undergraduate students each summer as part of the MRSEC Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Over the course of my PhD, I have had the opportunity to work with four stellar young women in STEM and the honor of writing their recommendation letters for graduate school.
- Serving as the President of the American Vacuum Society chapter of Northwestern through the Materials Science Umbrella Society (MSUS). I’ve organized professional development programming for my peers. This has included teaching MATLAB workshops to first year PhD students, moderating a panel with professors from around the world, and running the MSE department’s first poster competition for graduate students.
- Serving as the Social Chair for the Society of Women Engineers Graduate division. I organized ice cream socials and knitting nights that allowed graduate women from across campus to come together and build community.
- Teaching senior citizens about contemporary science topics through the “Science with Seniors” program of the Northwestern Science Policy and Outreach Taskforce. My favorite presentation was about the legacy of the Oppenheimer project in Chicago; the presentation turned into a delightful discussion with Chicago community members who remembered the impact of nuclear research on their lives.
- Leading college application essay writing workshops through Northwestern Splash. The content of my workshop is available in a blog post here.
- Organizing a college application coaching program at Evanston Township High School in partnership with Northwestern Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement. In the inaugaral year, I matched 16 high school seniors with mentors.
- Teaching Indian dance to Chicagoland high school students through Northwestern Splash. I’ve led Bharatanatyam and Bollywood workshops with my dance partner Utthara.
- Teaching a public Bollywood dance workshop in Millennium Park on behalf of Meher Dance Company for SeeChicagoDance 2019.