Navigating Out of the Fog 

This week was my first full week back at work since July 4th. I definitely feel a bit fatigued, so it will be nice to have the weekend to refresh and renew for another week of work.
The interesting thing about grants is that they can be a little hazy. Often, we don’t know when a government agency like the National Institue of Health (NIH), or a foundation, is going to come out with a funding opportunity, or how much it will be, or how many awards they will even give out. To make things even more tricky, some websites can extremely confusing to read, or have little to no information. 

For example, I am currently working on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Health Innovation Grant. The CDC has given institutions two different opportunities (grant cycles) to apply for this grant. However, we have no idea when there is going to be a third cycle/opportunity for this grant. 

So, my job is to go through documents having to do with Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 of the Health Innovation funding, and to try to assess if there are any gap areas in the funding, and what areas that the Cycle 3 funding could be awarded. Though so far it has been a lot of reading, it has been interesting to see the impact that this funding had made in various institutions. I hope that my final memo will be least a little helpful to M & Q. 

Not only have I been learning a lot at work, I have been trying to learn more about, well, life. Instead of staring solemnly into space during my daily commute, I decided to start listening to podcasts

My favorite so far has been Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell explores various topics that he thinks have been misunderstood. His latest episode, called “Food Fight,” is mainly about Bowdoin College and Vassar College, two prestigious liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. 

Bowdoin has amazing, five-star quality food, while Vassar’s food is not quite up to par. However, this is because Vassar uses this money to give more financial aid to students from lower-income families. On the other hand, Bowdoin is not so charitable with its financial aid.

I don’t want to spoil the episode because it is something I definitely think people should go check out for themselves. The episode had an even deeper dimension for me because my sister attends Vassar. 

Another podcast I recommend is #Girlboss. It is hosted by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the million dollar (it might be billion) clothing company Nasty Gal. Sophia interviews different professionally successful women, ranging from Internet sensation Glozell to Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE.

I love hearing the advice of these women and their career paths, especially as I begin my own. It’s like having a bunch of different mentors, all in one place. I am very lucky that I have many real life mentors as well, like Genna Kasun at Juniata (who recommended Revisionist History to me!), and my mom. My mentors have helped me learn things about myself, and the kind of person I want to strive to be. 

And in the current state of the world, I think the more we can nurture and help people, the better


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