Letter from the Interim Editor

/Letter from the Interim Editor
Letter from the Interim Editor2020-09-24T13:57:45-04:00

During this unprecedented time, during this time of uncertainty, during this time of wishing for health and safety, during this time of wishing well, during this time of the unknown…

We can still rely on 3 things:

  1. Death
  2. Taxes
  3. Change

Death and taxes are the standard cliché, but most people forget that change is also constant and inevitable.  Although we don’t know when this pandemic will end, we know that it will not last forever.  Although we know that systemic racism is an ongoing issue, we know that we can all work together to correct the injustices.  Although right now it seems like we must endure a new chaos every day, we know that this too will subside.

While it’s easy to write the dependent clauses at the end of each of those sentences, there are days when it’s difficult to remember that these ‘unprecedented times’ and ‘times of uncertainty’ will also change.  It’s going to take time and effort to ensure that the change is positive, but nonetheless, it will change.

On my difficult days (and let’s be honest, those days are becoming the norm), I try to recount the things I accomplish and the good I put into the world.  Some days that means the only task I can acknowledge is that I got out of bed and fed my cat (I’m choosing not to acknowledge the coercion from my furry roommate) – and remind myself that that’s okay.  But other days, I remind myself of the work I do with NRMN.  My title is “Virtual Engagement Strategist” and while I have a set job description, most of my tasks fall under the “and other duties as assigned” portion of the description.  Thus, when I think of the good I’m putting into the world through NRMN, I’m not thinking about the meetings I had or the articles I wrote, I’m thinking about the people I helped find someone to help them achieve their dreams.

Every morning, the first thing I do after logging into my computer is check MyMentor to see if any mentees have requested assistance in finding a mentor.  After identifying matches, I look to see the new connections that occurred while I slept and remind myself that this is why I’m hoarse at the end of the day from back-to-back Zoom meetings and this is why I deal with the frustrations and daily minutia that we all endure in our lives.  I do this to help others develop their independence, confidence, and self-efficacy to achieve their dreams.  I do this to try to fix the leaky pipeline into the STEM fields.  I do this because I want to help others.

I’ve always been intimidated by the STEM fields but respected them and wanted to find a way to contribute to the growth and discovery within the fields.  I’m intimidated by the STEM fields because I don’t have a STEM brain.  I will never master chemistry or physics, I will never cure cancer, and I will never write a computer program.  MyMentor has provided my liberal arts brain a path to be a part of the STEM fields and contribute to the intellectual gains in a way which I have no claim but lets me assist in helping others discover and achieve their dreams.  Seeing these connections and motivation is what helps me believe that the change which lies ahead is something to look forward to.  To those starting new mentoring connections each day, thank you for providing me optimism.

If you are a mentee or a mentor and would like my assistance in MyMentor, I’m happy to help.  You can email me at katie.stinson@unthsc.edu or send me a message in MyNRMN.