2023 Symposium Session Descriptions and Speaker Bios

​Student Workshop:  GRFP Writing workshop:

Title:  How to get from here to there: Graduate school fellowship writing workshop

Workshop (Friday, January 13, 2023, from 3:15-4:45pm)

​​​The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) supports thousands of students each year pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees, with three-year scholarships worth over $100k. This writing workshop is designed to inform undergraduates, graduates, and faculty about GRFP opportunities. Student participants will gain a tangible jumpstart in envisioning and crafting effective applications. Whether you or your students are applying to grad school or next year's GRFP— this workshop is for you!

Writing is a learned skill. STEM requires us to continuously build our writing toolkit for the purpose of publications, grant funding, teaching, and more. This workshop will help you write an engaging and CONCISE grant for the NSF GRFP. Here, you will gain insights on ways to tell your story, communicate your research, and make yourself a competitive applicant.

CSU alumna, GRFP recipient, and current UCLA Ph.D. student Nicole Lynn will speak about her experience with the GRFP and how it has benefitted her academic journey. Since 2020, Nicole has been a contributor to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, writing about science for ASBMB Today.

With a focus on how the GRFP is reviewed and examples of components that make a strong application, we will provide student and faculty participants with information to help students write competitive GRFP applications. Student participants will gain hands-on experience in project planning, specifically in identifying examples to fit the GRFP's Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts review criteria. We will also provide participants with exercises to assist students writing their personal statements connecting their diverse backgrounds with their professional goals. The workshop ultimately endeavors to empower students and provide them with tools and confidence to write a successful GRFP application.

Speaker Bio:

Nicole Lynn received her B.S. in Biotechnology from California Polytechnic State University Pomona, with minors in Chemistry and Theater Arts. As a Ph.D. Candidate in the Torres laboratory at UCLA, she assesses the unique roles and/or redundancies for a family of microtubule-severing enzymes called katanin, in the context of cell division. Nicole recently published a review on this subject, titled 'The Mammalian Family of Katanin Microtubule-Severing Enzymes'. As an incoming student at UCLA, Nicole was awarded the 2018 Eugene V. Cota Robles Fellowship. In 2019 she became a Cellular and Molecular Biology training program fellow at UCLA. In 2020, Nicole was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP), and in 2021 she received honorable mention for the National Academy of Sciences Ford Fellowship. Since 2020, Nicole has served as a volunteer science writer with ASBMB Today, with over fifteen published articles.

Host Bios:

Koni Stone received her B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. After several research gigs: Vanderbilt, University of Iowa and Louisiana State University, she landed her first real job, with her own phone and her own office at CSU, Stanislaus. Her research students are analyzing tobacco smoke from second hand and third-hand smoke. They are also developing a method to detect aldehydes in gas from vaping. She takes every opportunity to infuse writing into her teaching. Learn to write = write to learn.

Sally Pasion completed a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard-Radcliffe College and worked on gene amplification at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  She completed a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA, studying mitochondrial topoisomerase and cell cycle regulation. She then completed postdoctoral work with MCM proteins at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 2001, she moved to San Francisco State University, where she is an Associate Professor of Biology, teaches Genetics and Molecular Genetics to biology undergraduates, introductory biology to non-major students, and Cell & Molecular Techniques to graduate students.  Her research interests focus on genome stability in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.  

Faculty Workshop: Broader Impacts 101 and Scientific Communication

Would you benefit from a deeper understanding of the NSF's broader impacts (BI) criterion? Would you like tips and strategies for conceptualizing, developing, and implementing BI activities? Would you benefit from pointers on building BI partnerships, leveraging existing resources, evaluating BI activities and other essential skills for addressing the BI criterion?

“Broader Impacts 101" is an activity-based workshop, delivered by ARIS.  This workshop has helped thousands of researchers make sense of the BI criterion and empowered them to approach their grant writing with more clarity and confidence. This workshop is ideal for individual researchers, BI professionals who support researchers' BI efforts, or anyone wishing to learn more about broader impacts.

Speaker Bio:

Jory Weintraub is a co-Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) and Director of ARIS Professional Development and Training.  He has served as a faculty member at both Duke University and the University of North Carolina, and has 25 years of experience working in STEM education/outreach/communication and societal impacts of research.  Jory has a PhD in Immunology from UNC and a BS in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from UC San Diego.