International Engagement & Career Life Balance, Part II – The Case of STEM Identity: A 2015 Continuation

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Our international engagement and career-life balance project began last summer with a trip to the LACCEI conference in Ecuador. As part of our project, we generated questions based on observations and experiences. One of the discussions that occurred after our cohort returned, was the issue of STEM IDENTITY. There had been a few conversations among the group of underrepresented graduate students and faculty in STEM about “feeling more connected” to the discipline as a result of the global experience. That sentiment led to the questions that we pose here, as part II of our project.

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– Consider STEM IDENTITY as: A strong connection to the discipline of study, promoting an increase in one’s competence, performance, and recognition.

– Consider recognition as: Recognition of yourself as a scientist/engineer, and/or others’ recognition of you as a scientist/engineer

(REF: Carlone & Johnson, 2007)

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QUESTIONS:

1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY? 

2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?  

While you are under no obligation to leave your name, please consider including your race, gender, discipline, and position (undergrad, grad student, postdoc, professor, STEM professional) along with your answer. Thank you for participating.

27 Comments on “International Engagement & Career Life Balance, Part II – The Case of STEM Identity: A 2015 Continuation”

  1. April 2, 2015 at 12:53 AM #

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  2. April 2, 2015 at 12:55 AM #

    While you are under no obligation to leave your name, please consider including your race, gender, discipline, and position (undergrad, grad student, postdoc, professor, STEM professional) along with your answer. Thank you for participating.

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  3. Natasha P. Wilson
    April 2, 2015 at 10:36 AM #

    1) I did not do international travel this year having to do with STEM related activities, though I was given the opportunity to, unfortunately I was unable to travel during that period.

    2) This is an interesting question. My global experiences have been varied, but most have been travel for vacation or missions and once for work while I was in industry as a research process engineer. I have traveled to first world countries and third world countries, so I have seen disparities which I think can be solved by great minds from STEM backgrounds. Now with respect to career-life balance, I am not entirely sure how to answer this part of the question, but I will do my best. I am not the type of person who believes that there is such a thing as career-life balance and the longer I have been in STEM, and engaged with other peers, professors and colleagues in industry in STEM fields, the more I believe that there is no such thing as career-life balance. I would call it more a sacrifice than a balance. Something has to be sacrificed, you can not have it all. If you are a brilliant, well-funded scientist and have a family, then you are at minimum sacrificing sleep. Many people are getting married and having children later in life because they are pursuing their careers (myself included) and this is a great sacrifice. You do not know if later in your life you will find a partner or be able to have children. These are things we do not talk about when we talk about career-life balance, particularly in STEM, but this might be applicable to other areas as well. If you are a brilliant, well-funded scientist you may not have time for other community related activities that could really benefit from having someone with a technical background involved (community associations, faith-based organizations, mentoring K-12 youth, etc). Sure, there may be ways to integrate this into your research or teaching, however, it is not easy considering there are so few models of this and a lot of pressure to do things the traditional way. I could go on, but I think my experience has shown me that career-life balance is not realistic and that we should think more about what we are sacrificing in order to reach our goals and if those sacrifices really line up with our values and who we are as individuals who are part of a greater society. And from a global perspective, I think we really need scientists and engineers who have prioritized their life not based on their mentor’s goals or direct path, or programmatic goals, but on their own values. I think many people would be freed up then to pursue passions which are toward the greater common good of society and the world. And in some cases, this could look extremely non-traditional. But the freedom should be there because then we will have people in STEM fields who can create change at a global scale or in their own communities from whence they have come.

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  4. Chris M
    April 4, 2015 at 10:13 AM #

    1. Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    I’ve had the opportunity to work in other countries, but unfortunately before beginning coursework in the STEM field.

    2. Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    In my experience outside of the US, engineers and scientists, much like doctors, are more respected and held to a higher standard than the general public. While there is a certain amount of prestige that comes with being a scientist/engineer, I’m not sure it improves either the actual or the perception of career-life balance. If anything there is more of a feeling of obligation to the general public to keep working on projects that improve the quality of life in the area, which can create a work imbalance.

    That said, I think learning the daily routines of people in other cultures can definitely help in restoring that balance. By seeing the daily pleasures that people have, how strong family ties are, for me it is an inspiration to be closer with my own family and to make sure I am spending enough time at home with family and friends. Even though I might think we have it all here in the US, there is much to be learned from our neighbors outside of the country on how to live a good, balanced life.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 10:09 PM #

      Chris – I liked your point of how we can learned about the career-life balance of other cultures. Great point! This is something I will consider from now on.

      Like

  5. April 4, 2015 at 10:39 AM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    The international travel experience does definitely increase the level of STEM IDENTITY. It was disheartening, however, when I returned that the conference paper that I submitted on the work that I did for the Symposium of Health Informatics in Latin America and the Caribbean was not accepted as a paper to count toward tenure. It is being counted as service. So whereas the experience did make me feel more passionate about the work that I am doing and reinforce for me the importance of it, I was very demoralized to see my department’s lack of support for this work. Nevertheless, I have been able to make international contacts and just last month I was invited to talk about the symposium I am creating at a symposium in Perú organized by Quipu the Andean Global Health Informatics Research and Training Center. The Symposium was named “Las tecnologías de Información y comunicación y las Salud Móvil:lecciones aprendidas y desafíos para América Latina y el mundo.” Having had the experience at LACCEI last summer gave me more confidence to present because I was preparing the same material. However, I decided to present in English instead of Spanish. In other words, having these international experiences is increasing my level of STEM IDENTITY and making me be able to handle the negativity that I am experiencing in my workplace. Furthermore, I have been able to recruit leaders from Latin and North America to be plenary speakers to the Symposium of Health Informatics in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    Right now I am having a tough time with career-life balance. I am in the pre-tenure phase and I am working so many hours that I really do not have time for my personal life. I do not feel the sense of STEM IDENTITY has helped with career-life balance. In fact, it may have hurt it because as I begin to see the importance of the work I am doing, I tend to want to spend more time on it.

    Race: White Hispanic
    Gender: Female
    Discipline: Computer Science
    Position: Assistant Professor

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  6. April 4, 2015 at 1:08 PM #

    1) Within the past year I have traveled outside of the United States three times to present my research (Greece and Canada). Each experience was for a discipline-specific conference and I was able to meet people from around the world working in my research area. I would say these opportunities definitely increased my level of stem identity as I have 1) made partnerships with people in other countries from different universities and programs, 2) gotten research ideas that helped to globalize the scope of my topic. Overall, these conferences helped me to realize how important my research is even outside of the U.S.

    2) As a graduate student, I am struggling with career-life balance but I only realize this when talking to friends not in grad school. Because I love what I do, I am okay with putting in time on the weekends or even in the evenings to learn more or to write. However when new friends/family come to town, I realize I am not doing much outside of school work. I have informally talked to other grad students at the international conferences I have attended and this seems to be the norm, unfortunately. I have not discussed the topic with professors from other countries. Thus, a sense of stem identity has confirmed my perspective of work-life balance during school but has not affected my perception of career-life balance after graduate school.

    Race: African American
    Gender: Female
    Discipline: Human-Computer Interaction
    Position: Graduate Student

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    • April 7, 2015 at 10:14 PM #

      While working on your thesis it could be tough to maintain the career-life balance. However, keep in mind how you will achieve it when you work.

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  7. April 5, 2015 at 10:17 PM #

    1. Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    I have not yet had the opportunity to travel internationally for a discipline-specific opportunity-but would love the chance to experience this type of participation.

    2. Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    I am not quite sure if I understand or if I am answering this question correctly, but I will say a few things. I do feel I have a strong connection to my field of human-computer interaction, and I feel that contributors to the field are global, and although I have not traveled abroad, I am familiar with the work that others are doing in the field internationally. Pertaining to career-life balance, I feel that other countries are doing way better for their scientists and engineers and workers in general for work-life balance. I wish I lived in another country at least once every month, and could also follow my dreams for a career in HCI. Why? Because I am a mother. Many other developed countries give over 6 months of maternity leave, some as long as a year! Any mother knows a 3 month maternity leave is…not enough really…at 3 months you and a baby are not even sleeping an entire night. Not even close. So how can a woman feed her baby around the clock, not get any sleep, and still long to be near her child, and still be expected to go back to work after 3 months? I love the work I do and what I will do, but I think, globally, other countries are ahead of us when it comes to promoting work-life balance for WOMEN. I think that women scientists/engineers in the US would be happier and stay in the field if they had to opportunity to connect more closely to their STEM field if we followed other work-life balance models internationally.

    Gender: Female
    Discipline: Human Centered Computing
    Position: Graduate student

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  8. Sylvester Mosley
    April 6, 2015 at 7:24 AM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    Yes; as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I had the opportunity to travel internationally on two occasions for STEM-related experiences. The first opportunity was for the International Conference for Antiviral Research, which I presented a poster. This conference gave me the opportunity to showcase the research I had done in the field up to this point. I received first place in the poster presentation as a result. The second opportunity was a summer exchange with a laboratory in Prague, Czech Republic. This exchange gave me the opportunity to increase my knowledgebase in an area that was just outside of what I was working on at that time. It is amongst the most rewarding things I have done up to this point.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    I believe it can; however, only with time. Early in a person’s career it is very important that continuous work be done to make yourself an expert in the STEM field. Unfortunately, this can come at the cost of career-life balance. Once the expert level has been established, then a person can have a more reasonable career-life balance. What I learned from my colleagues internationally, is that they had more of a career-life balance. Of course, this comes at the cost of having fewer opportunities than we have here in the United States. Furthermore, a choice has to be made as far as how high one wants to climb in their STEM field. The higher you climb, the more is required.

    Gender: Male
    Race: African American
    Posititon: Consumer Safety Officer/Chemist
    STEM Professional

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  9. RHH
    April 7, 2015 at 8:01 AM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    Anytime I’ve gone to a conference, I get motivated by the success of others, either via inspiration, or sometimes even as a side effect of envy. Talking to others in the field and being recognized by them as a peer increases my feeling of connection to the field. If the venue is one outside of the United States, then being reminded of the bigger world consisting of many languages and cultures helps me to consider my work in the context of making the world a better place, rather than just in the narrow scope one can easily fall into when working on a problem.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    Having a connection to my discipline makes me feel I am contributing to the world. That feeling of usefulness is important to feeling satisified in my life. If my work in my discipline does not allow me to feel useful, then I have to invest additional time to find that satisfaction, or suffer the pyschological effects of not feeling useful. Thus, career-life balance is enhanced if my work positively contributes to my stem identity.

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  10. RHH
    April 7, 2015 at 9:36 AM #

    Race: Black
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Computer Science
    Position: PhD student & STEM professional

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  11. April 7, 2015 at 6:47 PM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY? 

    Yes.

    Identity is who and what you are, and so when I began to think of my STEM IDENTITY, I realized my international experience makes up a lot of my current STEM IDENTITY.

    My international experiences have awarded me the opportunity to collaborate with top engineers and students from all over the world. For example, I am currently coordinating with Latin American students to establish engineering education groups in Africa and North America. Being a member of the global engineering community has positively impacted my research goals in grad school. I have began to truly understand a number of global issues, and that has resulted in me identifying my niche and role international research. This understanding has helped me create a research path that aims to solve world issues. I have also learned the importance of building relationships with researchers outside of the USA. The international relationships have provided me with access to information that was once privy to a select number of individuals who were based in other countries. I personally think that EVERYONE should have an international travel experience, especially within the STEM community. I believe there is still so much more that the science community can learn, academically and personally, from each other.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?  

    I personally think it is 50/50. My career-life balance has been shaped by the fact that many engineers don’t have one. Traveling abroad has shown me that engineers work around the clock in every country, and that it is important for me to set time out to rest. But my experience has also shown me that there are engineers abroad who do set time out to rest and maintain a career-life balance.

    Race: African American
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Human-Centered Computing
    Position: Graduate Student

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  12. Anonymous
    April 7, 2015 at 7:46 PM #

    1. I have not yet attended an international experience, but I will be attending an international conference in Europe during the next month. I am incredibly excited about the wide exposure I will be getting and be informed about what the STEM community is doing in other parts of the world.

    2. As a person who grew up in a different part of the world I feel that my entire identity is global, and the two parts of the world where I grew up and where I became an adult and currently live have a vast difference technologically speaking. Technology has played a big part in helping me cope with my cultural transition, a major reason why I am in a STEM program.

    Race: Middle eastern
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Human-Centered Computing
    Position: Graduate Student

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  13. SHabib
    April 7, 2015 at 8:14 PM #

    1)Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    January 2015 I got a chance to go to International Journal of Plasticity Conference in Jamaica. At the conference, I was able to meet many international scientist from Germany, Netherlands, Canada and Australia to name a few. This allowed me to get a bigger idea of the scope of research has all around the world. I felt because of meeting new scientist and presenting my research, I have more confidence, not only in my work but in myself as an engineer.

    2)Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    I think STEM identity actually diminishes balance from “career-life balance” where it decreases the life and increase career part. As Natasha Wilson said, it more like a career-life sacrifice. I believe to have a perfect balance between career and life (and sleep), your research speed or competitiveness will sacrificed compared to others in the field. As my STEM identity increases, I expect more of yourself in quantity and quality of research. Also, as I go to conferences, I see other researchers working on similar topics as I am. Making me want to push myself even harden to accomplish greater work than any others in the field to get the recognition and increase my STEM identity. Therefore, I believe as you STEM identity increase, your 1 to 1 ratio of career to life balance becomes more like >3 to 1 ratio particular when you still developing your STEM Identity.

    Race: Middle Eastern
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Mechanical Engineering
    Position: Graduate Student

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  14. April 7, 2015 at 10:07 PM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?
    My philosophy in life is that learning is like going up a ladder. One experience prepared me to the next. Perhaps if I did not had that particular experience, I would not have been ready or be willing to try other experiences. In my particular case, I have said “yes” to different international experiences that have prepared me to what I am today. Each experience increased my level of STEM identity in different ways making an impact for my next step of the ladder.

    This journey started in my high school years…

    Being original from Puerto Rico (born and raised), the only travel I have done before eleven grade were vacations with my parents to the US. However, on these trips I did not have to plan anything or talk with anyone other than my family (in Spanish). I did learn English in school but I did not practice it. Therefore, I did have the language barrier in addition to many other cultural differences. Accordingly, when I traveled to the states as a high school and undergraduate student this was in some way my first “international experiences”. This is especially true when I was exposed to a diverse environment of different cultures working together with significant differences to Puerto Rico. In high school I participated in the NASA Sharp Plus Program where I spent a whole summer in Jackson, MS. This experience increased my STEM identity by making me a science researcher working in a chemistry laboratory, learning what is research in this field and showing me the overall concept of graduate school for the first time. Then, as an undergraduate student I had a summer internship in a pharmaceutical company at North Chicago IL. Here my STEM identity was increase by taking the role of an Engineer in a pharmaceutical industry.

    Real international experiences did not happen until graduate school. I spent a summer in Brazil doing research as a graduate student as part of a university project with a consumer product company. This work then became my master thesis. My STEM identify was impacted here from the point of view of improving applications through research in engineering. Other experience involved traveling to Dominican Republic for a week as part of a university program in which students are exposed to the culture, education and industry. In addition to the impact of visiting different industries, my STEM identify was reinforced with the opportunity to present a project to undergraduate students of the country. This STEM identity also included ownership and self-awareness of the impact and importance of globalization in STEM.

    Finally, as an assistant professor I have had only one international travel experience, the LACCEI conference in Ecuador. This last one was different and made a particular impact in me. As a professor you are more ready for collaboration and more focus in the particular topics that can impact your research agenda. Therefore, this is the time that you are free to establish actual collaborations with a direct impact from the experience that perhaps can be measured. However, this experience would not have been possible without the other experiences that prepare me to this. As I result to this experience, I plan to continue participating in this international experience as long as it is possible.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?
    The career-life balance is enhanced from the point of view of being able to enjoy learning from different countries in relation to your STEM identity. It could be work and vacation at the same time while learning of your profession and sharing experiences with people that relate to you. However, this also depends on every person’s situation when it comes to family. If you travel alone it is also time to relax from everything. However, leaving the family can be stressful as well. If you have the possibility of traveling with family it can also be a family vacation. I look forward learning everyone’s perspectives on this.

    Race: Hispanic
    Gender: Female
    Discipline: Industrial Engineering
    Current Position: Assistant Professor

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  15. William Rivera
    April 7, 2015 at 11:12 PM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?
    I have not had the opportunity to travel internationally for a discipline-specific opportunity but I would love to have the experience because I do believe that different experiences can aid in finding better solutions to many common problems.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?
    I think that STEM identity changes our career to life balance a career imbalance which our career is our priority and everything else is secondary because as scientist we have a civic duty to improve the quality of life our future generations. From my experiences with peers and friends in the stem fields from different culture I see that as professionals in STEM we are usually working round the clock.

    Race: Latino
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Mechanical Engineering
    Position: Graduate Student

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  16. David Harris
    April 8, 2015 at 12:14 AM #

    1) I have not experienced international travel related to my STEM discipline, but I am sure that it would be a very enriching experience.

    2) I believe that STEM identity built from international experience can greatly improve one’s work-life balance as a result of the increased chances to form connections in one’s field, as well as from the impact of shared experiences that can be gained from international peers.

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    • David Harris
      April 8, 2015 at 12:16 AM #

      Race: African American
      Gender: Male
      Discipline: Computer Science
      Position: Graduate Student

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  17. Tim Brown
    April 8, 2015 at 12:37 PM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    I have not yet experienced an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance?

    I don’t feel the sense of STEM IDENTITY has helped improved career-life balance. We have to work to make time for friends,family and the demand of research make maintaining a career life balance difficult. I have to admit that I am struggling with career-life balance.

    Race: African American
    Gender: Male
    Discipline: Mathematics
    Position: Graduate Student

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  18. William Easley
    April 8, 2015 at 3:44 PM #

    Question 1

    I would say that yes. an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity has significantly increased my level of STEM IDENTITY

    Almost a year ago, I traveled to Toronto, Canada (internationally but not outside of North America) to attend the ACM Computer Human Interaction conference. I would say that attending this conference helped me to better identify my discipline, but not necessary my place in it (or how I could contribute to the field). CHI is a very large conference in which research from many different areas is presented and it is very easy to get lost.

    Additionally, last summer, I had the opportunity to travel to the LACCEI conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This conference focuses heavily on engineering education and as a result, it actually helped me to realize that I have a passion for teaching. During this current semester I have had the opportunity to gain experience teaching undergraduate students which I really enjoy. I think that as a PhD student, I would like to incorporate some degree of STEM education into my research, because I believe it to be part of my identity.

    Question 2

    Having a sense of STEM IDENTITY helps me to better understand what my research contributions to the world can potentially be. I believe that this serves as a motivator which helps to improve my perception of career-life balance. If I know that my work is impactful, and I understand my STEM IDENTITY, I feel that I would be more comfortable spending more of my time working. To me at least, its not really “working” if you love what you are doing. In addition to this, I believe that your STEM IDENTITY is likely to be an area in which you excel.

    Finding your STEM IDENTITY will alleviate the struggles that graduate students often have which are associated with trying to figure out where they belong. I know first hand how frustrating a lack of identity can be, and also that the stresses associated with it can negatively impact career-life balance. Again, while these benefits may only be perceived, perceived benefits are still better than none at all. Keeping a positive mindset is important.

    Name: William Easley
    Discipline: Human Centered Computing
    Position: Graduate Student

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  19. 1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY? Yes serving as the evaluator for a conference to broaden participation in STEM for Hispanic female faculty
    increased my connection to both STEM and evaluation disciplines as an evaluation professional focused on STEM policy and programs. Being able to successfully apply evaluation and technical skills and knowledge in an environment outside of the US and with a different population increased my evaluation competence and capacity. I was also able to network with evaluators from other countries, which increased my recognition as an evaluator. These increases in STEM identity have resulted in improved performance in additional opportunities in the US.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance? For scientists who also enjoy travel and new experiences, international opportunities to work while visiting and learning about a new culture and location can lead to improvements in career-life balance. If planned correctly these opportunities give scientists opportunities to disconnect and refresh after participating in scientific obligations.

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  20. Kavita Krishnaswamy
    April 10, 2015 at 8:23 PM #

    I am a Ph.D. candidate in the UMBC Computer Science under the guidance of Dr. Tim Oates. My research involves the development of robotic systems to provide assistance and increase independence for people with disabilities. I travel to research events and conferences via the Beam, created by Suitable Technologies, to reduce the physical limits of my disability. By exploring and expanding technological boundaries from my home, the Beam gives me independence to have mobility to meet, learn, and network with professionals all over the world.

    (1) Yes, my most recent international travel experience attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain has increased by level of STEM identity in several ways. I was honored and humbled to meet and speak with Madame Axelle Lemaire, French Minister of Digital Affairs. Madame Lemaire was really interested in hearing about my robotics research and we had the opportunity to discuss about research and technological advancement on a global scale that was a mutual aspect of interest for both of us. Madame Lemaire was so inspiring and motivational remarking that women should be leaders in their field that highly encouraged me. I really noticed the difference of identity and respect as a STEM researcher with more travel.

    (2) Yes and no, career-life balance is a challenge for everyone in and outside the STEM fields. My career is my life and my life is my career. I am passionate about helping others and the opportunity to achieve it through robotics research that makes me content with my life and career. I enjoy the experience meeting so many diverse individuals in travel that my life and career is fun and educational.

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  21. Mitchel Zavala
    April 18, 2015 at 12:24 PM #

    Mitchel Zavala – Male – Hispanic – Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student

    1.) Unfortunately I have never had an international experience focused on my STEM field. I can imagine it definitely enhancing STEM identity though. Experiencing global events adds to your thought process, and broadens the spectrum that surrounds your encompasses our minds. I would love to one day be able to say that I have had an experience like this so that I can get a sense for what others around the world are doing in STEM and to learn and add new techniques and abilities to my resume.

    2.) Career life balance I think depends very heavily on the discipline and sense of responsibility of the individual. In regards to a global experience I do believe that throughout different parts of the world, people are disciplined differently and have a different order of responsibility. This difference is en-rooted in the very blood of the individual. They are teachings that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some cultures believe that your career life is the most important part of your life and that it should be at the top of your priorities list at all times. Some cultures believe that family and friends takes top priority, and based off of these choices comes the balance between your career and your life (outside of your career).

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  22. Jaye
    April 22, 2015 at 12:13 AM #

    1) Did an international travel experience involving a discipline-specific opportunity (e.g., conference, research experience) increase your level of STEM IDENTITY?

    I was fortunate to be able to participate in an international technical internship as well as conference travel abroad. Doing so did increase my identification as a active participant in a STEM discipline specifically outside of academia. I was fortunate to meet scientists and students from other parts of the world and to do research in my dissertation area of culturally relevant technology. I will also have the opportunity to travel abroad to an international technology conference – thus increasing my participation in STEM based professional opportunities and broadening both my network and my domain of knowledge in the field.

    2) Does a sense of STEM IDENTITY, inspired by global experiences, improve actual or the perception of career-life balance? I believe that global experiences shape the whole person. Participation in global scientific experiences broadens one’s world view which can increase awareness and enthusiasm toward using our talents to provide solutions for problems outside our personal communities.
    Name: Jaye Nias
    Discipline: Computer Science
    Position: Graduate Student / Faculty
    Gender: Female
    Ethnicity: African-American

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  23. K lemons
    April 23, 2015 at 8:53 AM #

    I have not yet had any international travel experiences, but based on the definition above, I think that an encounter of this sort would help me feel like a more legitimate part of the global biology community as a scientist.
    I’m not sure how stem identity would alter my career life balance as I work toward my degree here in the states, but I think a greater sense of myself as a scientist in the field would help motivate me further toward completing my degree.

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  24. Juan Valdez
    April 23, 2015 at 11:04 AM #

    1) I haven’t had any scientific experiences internationally yet, so I can’t really express how it would shape my STEM identify. I imagine it would make me feel a much larger sense of community and at the same time be a really humbling experience when seeing how many brilliant people there are around the world. Our department (and the whole graduate school, really) has a lots of international students, so its always neat to talk science with them and experience different brainstorming or problem solving methods.

    2) I would imagine a STEM identity that has been strengthened through international experiences would greatly help one’s career-life balance. If you could meet brilliant people around the world that are doing great science and are also well-rounded human beings (family, friends, health, etc), then certainly you can do it too.

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