Harvard partners in national alliance to diversify STEM postdocs and faculty

first_imgThe opportunity came at just the right time for Yeimy Rivera.She was nearing the end of her graduate program in solar physics at the University of Michigan and starting to think about next steps. Rivera decided that part of what she wanted in a postdoctoral position was the chance to expand her professional network beyond the research scene in Ann Arbor. Then she discovered the Research University Alliance (RUA), a collaboration focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in academic STEM careers.Rivera visited the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) for three days in March 2019 as part of the program. She connected with staff, including her host astrophysicist, Katharine Reeves, learned about the work in solar physics and astrophysics, and gave presentations about her own studies. The experience led to a job last month when Rivera started as a postdoctoral fellow with the CfA’s Harvard College Observatory.“It puts you ahead of the curve in a sense,” Rivera said of RUA, which funded the trip through a $1,500 grant. “You are given the opportunity to present at seminars [on your work] at different departments and start building your own collaborations, which is what one strives for as a Ph.D. student.”RUA has served more than 45 participants like Rivera, leading to multiple postdoctoral positions and faculty appointments. Twelve students and postdocs from Harvard have been funded, and six other young scholars have visited. Harvard has been affiliated with the collaboration since 2018 and tentatively hopes to hold a conference for program participants in 2022.RUA is a partnership between nine top research universities led by UC Berkeley. Along with Harvard, other members include California Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, University of Michigan, and Stanford University. The group plans to establish partnerships, including with historically Black colleges and universities.“The very simple premise of what this program started with — and then expanded to — is to give underrepresented minority students, later-stage graduate students, and postdocs an opportunity to form their own network with the premise being that they don’t have existing traditional networks that others may have,” said FAS Assistant Dean for Science Zoë Fonseca-Kelly.,Through RUA, participants receive professional development and the chance to meet and network with principal investigators, prominent research groups, and their peers. Small grants up to $1,500 allow for visits to any of the nine partners as part of a research exchange program. Other program offerings include access to a job-and-skill-matching system and a job application portal.“Sometimes [taking part in RUA] results in job offers at the postdoc level or somebody that can write reference letters for you and maybe it ends in a faculty hiring,” said Fonseca-Kelly, who oversees Harvard’s involvement in the program.RUA is an expansion of the California Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, which launched in 2013 with funding from the National Science Foundation. It then served only the California schools. In 2016, the program started expanding and in October of this year, after being awarded a $2.3 million grant from the NSF, it renamed itself the RUA and relaunched with a more national focus.The Alliance estimates about 850 Ph.D. candidates and 107 postdocs from underrepresented groups are eligible for the program.Students can apply year-round, but travel for the research exchange has been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.For many who have taken part, the program has had a lasting impact.“I wish I had known about it sooner,” said Maral Mousavi, a former Harvard postdoctoral fellow working on affordable diagnostic devices in the lab of chemist George Whitesides.In June of 2019, Mousavi was awarded $1,500 to visit Ellen Sletten’s lab at UCLA to learn about the diagnostics and medical therapies she was working on there. Sletten became a trusted mentor for Mousavi, who, not long after her trip, was hired by the University of Southern California as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. “I was actually on the job market at the time that I actually applied and I wanted to have another mentor,” Mousavi said. “I wanted to interact with somebody who was a woman and who was also a junior person who recently went through the job market and somebody who could advise me on that aspect. My mentors [at the time] were a little bit further removed from that.”Kezi Cheng, a Ph.D. candidate in engineering at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said she began networking with a postdoc she met at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at UC Berkeley, and that led to the two of them launching a plastic recycling startup this year called FLO.materials.“The connection happened because I went on this trip, so it was a very, very worthwhile experience for me,” Cheng said. “It also exposed me to opportunities on the West Coast and the role of national labs in bridging academic and industry research.”As for Rivera, she said the visit to the CfA helped her stand out from the crowd and develop a better sense of whether a job there would be a good fit.“I got a firsthand impression of the entire group — how they work, what they were working on, and really got a sense of if I did end up there, these are the opportunities that would arise,” Rivera said. “That was a big plus for me, so when it came down to actually applying for postdocs and something opened up there, I decided to apply.”The program is eyeing is further national expansion, especially given that underrepresented minorities make up more than 30 percent of the population but only 5 percent of faculty and 6 percent of postdoctoral scholars at research universities in key STEM fields.“There’s a lot of great students outside of the nine institutions, so it’d be great to get more collaboration and give more access in that way,” Rivera said. A science club for girls Free global platform for science education bridges ethnic and gender gaps LabXchange meets and beats challenges of remote learning Related Harvard students, alumnae work to inspire next generation of diverse female scientists Project aims to give young students real-life STEM role models This is what a scientist looks likelast_img read more

Dodgers-Rockies series is ‘something special’ for longtime teammates

first_img“Every time I needed something from him,” Rosario said of Nicasio, “he got it.”Liberatore gets callThe Dodgers recalled left-hander Adam Liberatore from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the game. He takes the 25-man roster spot vacated when Carlos Frias was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday. Liberatore, 27, has never pitched in the major leagues. The left-hander appeared in two games for Oklahoma City this season and allowed one run. It was the first run he’d allowed all season; in spring training Liberatore pitched in 11 games and did not allow a run in 10 innings. He walked three batters, struck out nine, and limited opponents to a .118 batting average. A native of Bellflower, Liberatore was acquired in the November 2014 trade that sent Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris to Tampa Bay.“Carlos … was kind of here for that day (Wednesday) as protection. We’d used Nicasio the day before,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I guess we could’ve chosen a position player but (the Rockies) have a lot of lefties so a lefty could be good for us.”Minor moveThe Dodgers claimed right-handed pitcher Daniel Corcino from Cincinnati and designated left-handed pitcher Ryan Dennick for assignment.Corcino, 24, was signed by the Reds as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 from the Dominican Republic. He appeared in five major league games last season and allowed nine runs in 18 2/3 innings for a 4.34 earned-run average. He opened this season with Double-A Pensacola, tossing a scoreless inning of relief in his only outing.Corcino will report to Double-A Tulsa. Dennick did not appear in a game for Tulsa after the Dodgers claimed him off waivers from the Reds on Wednesday.AlsoDodgers pitcher Brandon League (shoulder) didn’t report any physical issues after making 30 throws from approximately 60 feet, the first time he’s thrown a baseball since March. He will attempt to throw from flat ground again Sunday. … Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen (foot) is expected to throw off a mound for the first time today. … Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) played long toss Friday. Dodgers pitcher Juan Nicasio and Colorado Rockies first baseman Wilin Rosario came into the professional baseball world together. Rosario was 16, and Nicasio 18, when the two were assigned to the Rockies’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League in 2006.Until Nicasio was traded to the Dodgers last November, the two had spent their entire careers in the same organization.“It’s going to be the first time ever that I’m going to see, I can say, my brother, in another uniform,” Rosario said prior to Friday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers. “He turned 19 and I turned 17 when we played together (in the Dominican Summer League). The days pass too quick, man. The years pass too quick and now we’re here. Now we’re going to play against one another.” Nicasio did not pitch against the Rockies in spring training, so the reunion had to wait until this weekend. Sort of.The two players still spend their offseason in the Dominican Republic. Rosario said that Nicasio and his family came to his house for lunch one day. Friday was the second time they’ve seen each other since the trade.The first regular-season game against each other “is something special for us,” Nicasio said.“It feels exciting,” he said.When Rosario needed a place to stay in September 2011 when he made his major-league debut with the Rockies, Nicasio volunteered his apartment. Rosario came up as a catcher, so he’s used to being on the receiving end.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Will Smith becomes third Dodgers rookie in three games to hit walkoff homer

first_imgHe might have struggled to stay awake during the early part of the game when the Dodgers managed just three hits through the first six innings off Rockies starter Antonio Senzatella, threatening to waste a solid start by their own right-hander, Kenta Maeda.Maeda staggered through the first three innings, allowing six hits including a home run by David Dahl in the first and three singles to produce another run in the third. But he escaped a bases-loaded jam unharmed in the fifth and retired the final seven batters he faced in order, completing seven innings for the first time this season.That still left the Dodgers trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh. But an infield single by Max Muncy and a double (his second of the game) by Kike’ Hernandez put the tying runs in scoring position and ended Senzatella’s day.Rockies manager Bud Black pulled Senzatella and brought in Chad Bettis to face Chris Taylor, pinch-hitting for Austin Barnes. Taylor clubbed Bettis’ first pitch, a curveball down and in, into the left-field pavilion for a go-ahead, three-run homer.But Pedro Baez couldn’t protect the lead.After a leadoff single by Daniel Murphy in the eighth, Baez struck out Ryan McMahon and Nolan Arenado. But Tony Wolters doubled into the right field corner and Russell Martin didn’t handle a strong relay throw from Hernandez, allowing Murphy to score the game-tying run.“That one was not an easy play,” Martin said. “It wasn’t as easy as what people might think. It was a strong throw. Nothing wrong with the throw.“If I could go back and do it again, I’d give myself another full hop to give myself time to read the hop. … Sometimes it checks up, sometimes it skips.”All that did was set the stage for the daily heroics.After an infield single and a wild pitch put the winning run in scoring position with two outs, the Rockies intentionally walked Martin, preferring to face the rookie pinch-hitter waiting on deck.“It’s one of those things where there’s an open base,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You know this young player hasn’t been in that spot as many times as Russell obviously has so you just take your chances.”But Smith arrived in LA both sleep-deprived and hot. He hit home runs in six of his last seven games with OKC and hit Scott Oberg’s second pitch out over the wall in right-center field. It was Smith’s third major-league home run (in seven games), two of which have been walkoffs.“I’ve always had a little power that way,” said Smith of the opposite-field homer. “I just feel like my swing is dialed in right now and I’m making good contact on the ball.”One night and about 1300 miles earlier, Smith said he and his teammates watched Verdugo’s 11th-inning home run on television.“I mean, three rookies walkoff home runs three games in a row is pretty remarkable. Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does,” Roberts said.“On a championship ballclub for them to really make an impact with us as young players who are very green, I haven’t seen it. It speaks to the players, the coaches, the player development staff. It’s a collective effort by everybody.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith hits a two-run walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, hits a three-run home run as Colorado Rockies catcher Tony Wolters, left, watches along with home plate umpire Paul Emmel, center, during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith (16) celebrates along with Russell Martin, back left, as he rounds first after hitting a two-run walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith tosses his helmet before scoring after hitting a two-run walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, left, runs to first as he hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, watches during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)A young fan is carted away after being hit with a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, left, talks with Cody Bellinger after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Colorado Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers as Rockies’ Ryan McMahon runs by during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies third baseman Pat Valaika cannot reach a foul ball that was hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, second from right, celebrates with Matt Beaty, second from right, and Enrique Hernandez, left, after hitting a three-run home run as Colorado Rockies catcher Tony Wolters kneels at the plate during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, right, is congratulated by Daniel Murphy after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, left, hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes watches during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Alex Verdugo cannot reach a ball hit for a solo home run by Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl gestures after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hits a foul ball that struck a fan in the stands during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, right, talks with Cody Bellinger after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers Max Muncy, left, stand with Cody Bellinger, center, and manager Dave Roberts after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith hits a two-run walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 20Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith hits a two-run walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Let the kids play, indeed.Before this weekend, no team in major-league history had won so much as two consecutive games on walkoff home runs by rookies. But the Dodgers made it three in a row Sunday afternoon.After Matt Beaty’s game-winner in the ninth inning on Friday and Alex Verdugo’s in the 11th on Saturday, Will Smith came off the bench to hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the Dodgers to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.“I think Garlick’s gotta be next,” Smith joked, referring to rookie outfielder Kyle Garlick — the only rookie left on the Dodgers’ current roster who hasn’t hit a walkoff home run this season.center_img “We were saying this will probably never be broken.”Before this weekend, there was no record to break.Sunday’s win was the Dodgers’ sixth in a row and completed a three-game sweep of the Rockies. It is the first time the Dodgers have won three consecutive games on walkoff hits since May 31-June 2, 2010 (against the Diamondbacks) — when this weekend’s heroes were still in high school.“Awesome. That was sick. I think we’re all still in shock,” said Chris Taylor who hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning for the other half of the Dodgers’ scoring Sunday. “Three nights in a row. Three rookies. His second. It’s special to be able to do that. I think it takes some serious nerve to calm yourself in those situations and he’s done it twice. That’s pretty impressive.”Promoted by the Dodgers when David Freese went on the Injured List Sunday, Smith started Sunday in Oklahoma City, heading to the airport on a few hours sleep to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Los Angeles. He admitted to grabbing a nap after heading straight to the stadium.last_img read more