SACNAS Member Spotlight

Yanaira Alonso_0Program and year:Neuroscience Graduate Program, 5th year

Where are you heading next

I am planning on pursuing postdoctoral training with the long-term goal of having my own research laboratory in an academic setting. I was recently awarded the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00). This award will facilitate completion of my graduate research and the transition to a postdoctoral position.

Your favorite things about grad school. 

My favorite thing about graduate school is that I have been able to grow and mature not only in the professional aspect but also in a personal one. It has been a tough journey but I have been lucky to realize that there is always people that will support and help you when times are rough. Also, through my experience in grad school I have realize that there are things I should not take for granted, like family and friends.

The hardest thing you’ve had to overcome. 

The hardest things I had to overcome is self-doubt, being away from the people I love and not living the present. It is ok to have a future goal and have plans but it is also important to celebrate the small everyday achievements.

Why you got involved in SACNAS?

I got involved in SACNAS because I saw the need to create a group that represents and celebrates diversity.

 Your favorite thing about SACNAS and the chapter. 

I AM SO PROUD of what the SACNAS chapter has become!!! My favorite thing is to see that there are a lot of people interested in getting involved in helping SACNAS achieve its goals. ¡Si se puede!

Advice you have for first year grad students.

  1. It is OK to make mistakes, do not be too hard on yourself.
  2. You do not have to know EVERYTHING, wisdom comes with age.
  3. Take breaks, don’t burn yourself out.
  4. Live life to its fullest, I know we are all overachievers but enjoy the simple moments.

 Advice you have for senior grad students. 

  1. We have learn a whole bunch throughout grad school, share your advice with the new students.
  2. It is ok to cry, it is ok to complain, but recover from it as soon as you can.
  3. Hey! You got here so far, you are awesome!

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