Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays! I hope you're finding ways to be safe and enjoy the holiday season. As always, we like to end the year giving you a recap of what we've been up to. I know NONE of us saw 2020 going like this, but here we are almost at 2021. I hope you all were able to meet some of your goals. For me, I have been BUSY. 2020 wasn't at all what I was expecting it to be, but I'm humbled and thankful for all of the good that's been happening. Here's what I've been up to:
I was able to cook a lot of new recipes this year. I didn't have a set goal in mind, but I think I cooked about 20 new recipes. My favorites hands down were crab cakes, a chocolate chip skillet cookie, and spinach crab dip. Cooking is therapeutic and with everything that has been happening this year it has been my solace.
I also journalled A LOT this year! That was a goal I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year so actually keeping up with it has been a good way to sort out my thoughts and feelings. My favorite has been my daily gratitude journal. It's helped me change my perspective on life and to be grateful for the small wins.
The other thing I did this year was launch a science brand called Devin, The Chemist. I had been toying with the idea of a science brand and officially launched my website in August. It's going to be following my interviews, features, science, and science communication. I'm excited to be posting new content on the website and on Twitter. Be sure to subscribe to devinthechemist.com and to follow me on Twitter @Devin_Eleven.
One of the biggest surprises this year was being awarded Ohio State's 2020 Next Generation Innovator of the Year award! I found out via a Zoom bomb at my department's faculty meeting. I totally cried. Also yes, there's a video. Here's the link. But seriously, being recognized for the work I'm doing as a collaboration with Nationwide Children's Hospital for cystic fibrosis research is very exciting and also humbling. I have truly loved working on this project.
Other grad school updates! Graduation is around the corner! I don't have a defense date yet, but I will be "Dr. Devin J. Swiner" next semester. It's very wild to think that I will be done with school forever in a few months. Grad school definitely has flown by. Leading up to that, this past year I published another paper and I have a draft for paper #4 pretty much completed. So yea, I am well on my way to finishing.
You may be wondering what the plans are post-graduation and I'm here to tell you that I have a job!! I signed my contract and am going to be Senior Scientist at Merck! It still is weird to think that I'm going to be working at MERCK, but here we are. New Jersey, here I come!
Okay so I always joke that I "did a little thing" this summer, but it really wasn't little. I am one of the co-founders of #BlackInChem on Twitter and I am just in awe constantly at how big the movement is. It started out as a Twitter event in similar to #BlackAndSTEM , #BlackBirdersWeek, #BlackInAstro, #BlackInNeuro, etc. that catered to Black chemists, but it blew all the way up. We did a lot of science communication, networking, and Zoom events throughout the week and I am so thankful for those that helped put it together and that I've met because of it. There have been so many collaborations that have come out #BlackInChem and I tried to keep up with all of them on my website, so definitely check them out there. All in all, #BlackInChem was the gift I didn't know I needed this year and I am thankful for that.
- The Chemist