Friday, March 27, 2015

#FF: Friendship Friday!

Thank you for visiting the blog! We hope you enjoyed our #hashtag theme this week - and to finish it off, we've got ourselves a #FriendshipFriday, dedicated to all of you!

We thank those who submitted photos to help us make this collage. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#TBT: Jaishri Shankar: A Love Letter for All Things Gems

Hey there, Gemstone! Most of you probably don't know me, but my name is Jaishri. I graduated from UMD and Gemstone (Team SWAMP) in 2013 and promptly moved to South Carolina to join Teach for America. I'm now in my second year as a TFA corps member, and I teach 8th grade Science to a very energetic and dynamic group of young men and women in Kingstree, South Carolina. I'm placed a very rural area at the local middle school, and everyone in town knows me as the crazy 8th grade Science teacher who loves turtles just a little too much...wonder why...? ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#WCW: Dr. Skendall

"I met our Woman Crush Wednesday, Dr. Skendall, two Friday afternoons ago as the Gems Suite was clearing out for Spring Break. Our conversation ranged from talk of her latest conference, to her role on Gemstone, to her children literature preferences." - Elliot Frank, Stone Journalist

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#TransformationTuesday: Edward Lin

Yesterday we had Man Crush Monday so of course today at The Stone we have Transformation Tuesday! As you all know, college is typically a time of great change and the activities we are involved in can play a huge role in that change, so it makes sense that Gemstone has caused some big transformations in the students who have completed all four years!

Meet Ed Lin.
Actual depiction of the transformation Ed underwent in college

Monday, March 23, 2015

#MCM: Dr. Coale

It's Man Crush Monday here at The Stone, and all Gemstone students know that the ultimate man crush is the Director of the Gemstone Program, Dr. Frank Coale. Yet, few Gemstone scholars know much about this mysterious man. I have recently interviewed Dr. Coale and I am eager to share the inside scoop about our collective man crush.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guest Alumni Post: Jessica Lu

Class of 2014 - Team MEGA
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (MS1)

"Gemstone is a four-year, interdisciplinary team research program where students develop and conduct their own project aiming to address a broader societal issue." 

After four years of talking about Gemstone to freshmen in GEMS100, prospective students, and inquisitive family/friends, those words start to tumble out instinctively. When I was interviewing at medical schools, every single interviewer wanted to learn more about Gemstone. I don't know whether it was the elegant name, or they just had no idea what aquaponics meant and why I decided to work with fish for so many years... but by the end of interview season, I had my elevator pitch down to stand-up routine perfection. However, I did notice that every interviewer focused on a single word in my well-rehearsed spiel: the word "team". They had seen research before, but seldom team research, which encompasses its own unique assets and challenges. That intrigued them. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Precious Gem: Unnati Mehta

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of interviewing this week’s Precious Gem, Unnati Mehta of Team BRAIN BLAST. Originally from Clarksville, MD, Unnati is a Behavioral and Community Health major with a minor in International Development and Conflict Management (IDCM). She is also part of the Global Semester program on campus, for which she interns at the National Institute of Health three days a week conducting HIV/AIDS outreach. She enjoys her internship because not only is she helping her community, but she is also gaining experience in the field of public health, which she hopes to work in one day. This semester Unnati is focusing mostly on her IDCM minor, as she is taking the minor’s two capstone courses that focus on development and conflict. Although the material is dense and requires much reading, she says that these are her favorite courses she is taking this semester.

One may expect that with her course load and work from her internship, Unnati would try and relax with whatever free time she has—but in her case, she uses time outside of class to engage in various extracurricular activities. Unnati has been part of the dance team Entouraas for her past two years at UMD and while she did not originally plan on joining the team this semester, she was asked recently to come back to fill an open spot. She has a great love for dance so she jumped at the opportunity and even participated in a competition in Miami the weekend before our interview. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity at the University of Maryland. Unnati also loves to travel: she has studied abroad in both London and Amsterdam, where she studied the cities’ public health systems. She also travels to India every year to visit family.

Gemstone has reinforced Unnati’s love of research to the point that she sought additional research opportunities outside of the program. She has conducted research in the dietetics department at UMD and would like to incorporate research into her future career. She plans on attending graduate school after her time at UMD is complete in order to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, followed by a Ph.D. in epidemiology. Currently in the process of researching graduate programs, she would like to attend graduate school somewhere on the East Coast, her current preference being Columbia University. While Unnati does not have her exact career planned out yet, she is certainly setting herself up for success. She lives by the motto: “do what you’re passionate about,” and will certainly be able to continue to uphold this after she receives her graduate degrees. Whether she is at her internship, attending a fraternity event, fulfilling her love of dance, or in the lab for BRAIN BLAST, Unnati will undoubtedly be doing something exceptional if you spot her around campus.

-6 March 2015, Nate Nenortas