Author: Ishi


As spring break looms I often think about what are graduate student rights when it comes to breaks and vacation. My contract guarantees me with no time off from my mandated 20hrs/week of research which is already somewhat of a joke. I have heard horror stories of students being expected to work through Christmas and…
Read more

Open Access Journal

I’m all for open access to science but I do wonder – why do we have to pay 4,000 dollars for it to happen? I chose to look at Environmental Science and Technology, an American Chemical Society journal. The about the journal section is brief and states it’s goals almost exclusively as a research journal…
Read more

How do you keep up?

Pivoting on our ethics investigation with the office of research integrity, I feel like a lot of academic culture is that of “Keeping up” with others and I’m realizing how impossibly difficult this can be. Often I find myself jealous/ envious/ aware of colleagues successes and progress and I think naively try to benchmark it…
Read more

Research Misconduct

As a PhD student and someone who’s entire life is focused around research right now, I am often frustrated by the continuous analysis and iterating that comes from producing quality work. I know though that I want my work to mean something and that I need to do the due diligence whether it be in statistics,…
Read more

Mission Statements

I chose to look at and compare the mission statements of 3 colleges/ universities close to my family; Michigan State University (MSU), Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) and Macalester College. I was interested in how the mission of a small liberal arts college like Macalester would compare with two much larger universities and how…
Read more

Critical Pedagogy

As I read this week I was struck by some of the reflections on what education means. I had honestly never thought of why I am educated. I didn’t really think about what point of view I was getting in school as I was growing up. Now, reflecting I see that I never honestly learned…
Read more


Reading “Finding my Teaching Voice” was my favorite of the class thus far. It took the intangibles that I really struggle with and voiced them in a meaningful way. The idea of last minute extensions which only benefit those who wait rung very true for myself as a student and I am glad we are…
Read more

Start motivated, Get worn down.

Environmental engineers tend to be the idealist, almost 50% female subgroup of the engineering discipline. We get students who want to change the world, help improve access to water and really want their work to be meaningful. Somewhere between the 4 semesters of calculus, 2 semesters of chemistry,  2 semesters of physics and one semester…
Read more


Who’s job is it to be ethical and to keep others in line? In this blog we’ll explore that question along with other ethical challenges that we all may face in the workplace.

Food & Water in Addis

The food here is fantastic. Take anything you’ve heard and its actually probably right. I would say though I have been surprised with how much Ethiopia’s food fits with Western diets or even just restricted diets. Their main food, Njera, is made from Tef which is not gluten containing and is really high in protein…
Read more