Exciting News and Accomplishments
Exciting News and Accomplishments
Research and Class Projects
May 10th, 2022
And, just like that, I am finished with my last grade-based course ever! As interesting as I found all my meteorology classes, I'm at the point in my life where I'm really excited to focus solely on research. My next steps over the summer are
fieldwork, getting my first journal article submitted and published (draft 1 is finished, yippee), and my general exam. If I wasn't a busy bee already, I will be now, so wish me luck!
March 26th, 2022
The other day, I completed my last ever course exam! And I can’t even begin to explain what a weight off my shoulders this will be. Let’s just say I’m not the best test-taker. Never have been, never will be. Honestly, I don’t agree with the current American education system as a whole, but that’s another story on another website.
Personally, taking midterms, finals, or standardized tests has always been something I’ve always struggled with throughout school. Sometimes I'd have easy classes where everything is fine, but for exams that needs extensive studying, this my process:
1. Set aside plenty of study time
2. Study what we were told to review (if we’re told the specifics)
3. Get scared of potential trick questions so try to study everything else
4. Realize that’s too much, get frustrated, give up
5. During test realize I should’ve spent more time on what I was told to study but MY DUMB WHISHY-WASHY BRAIN WAS ALL “BUT WHAT IF...”
6. Finish, leave, then go to my room and cry…even if I do well because the stress was too much T_T
1. Study what I’m told
2. On the test are trick questions I would’ve known if I studied everything else
3. Die inside
You know that old Spongebob episode where Spongebob can't pass his drving test even though he knows all the answers so Patrick tells him what to do through a walkie-talkie in his head? That's the epitome of me...except the walkie-talkie thing. You would think being in 20th grade I would have grasped the test-taking process by now, but to no prevail. But one thing that did help this past year was my anxiety medication, which made me realize how psychological this problem was rather than my actual ability to convey the material. I’m thoroughly grateful to my OU professors for prioritizing my comprehension of the lessons over the effectiveness of my short-term memory. If my success in this program was based solely on how well I did on exams, there’s no way I could go to grad school. I just couldn’t do it to myself. And what a bummer that would have been when my desire to learn all things meteorology is strong (maybe the fact that I put myself through all these tests so far is an indication of my passion for this field).
But my current professor is a great example of removing the stress from understanding the class. I just finished a take-home midterm, which was open-note and not too horrible (shout out to you, Dr. Scott Salesky). There’s no final, just an end-of-the-year project, and that’s where I shine. Research, volunteer work, networking, internships - that’s how I got where I am. Test scores…not so much. So, if you want to continue learning in your field but feel held back by test anxiety, or anxiety in general, there is a light at the tunnel! Especially in grad school, where usually research > grades. Once my current course ends this semester, it will be the last class of my academic career, and my first completed milestone of my Ph.D. Wild.
February 19th, 2022
Thank you to OU's College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences for featuring what I have to say as we celebrate Black History Month! Check out the link in the Twitter post to see some amazing people of black descent in the college who have been spotlighted.
January 23rd, 2022
Welp, I'm bummed that I can't attend AMS in person, but at least I still had the opportunity to share my poster at the student conference. Check it out
If you're itching to know more about different methods to estimate boundary layer depth, I'm your girl.
January 9th, 2022
So this isn't really news as much as a general update of my life as I head into 2022. As one would expect for a PhD student, I spend most of my time on classwork and research, all of which you can keep up with in my 'Research and Class Projects' tab (wink wink, nudge nudge). However, in the midst of working hard to fulfill my passion of becoming a meteorologist, I recognize the importance of keeping a balanced lifestyle. That's why I'd like to post about my progress (or lack thereof :P) in other parts of my life, whether they relate to meteorology or not. Starting...now!
I gotta say, I'm super surprised with how social I've been with other students in the program. I tend do fairly well gravitating towards people I know I want to build relationships with, but my shyness throughout the years has probably prevented me from meeting really great people. My life at OU has not presented that problem...well, at least not as much. I'm still very much an introvert (INFP to be exact :D), and I enjoy embracing time to myself when I need it. But it's been so nice not to be burdened by the crippling anxiety I've felt in the past. I'll be open in saying I'm taking anxiety medication for the first time in my life, and I'm perfectly comfortable in admitting that it has helped a TON. If it's something you've ever thought about, I'd highly recommend talking to a doctor to see if it's for you, especially in you're in college. After all, mental health should take precedence above all else!
There's a few things my OU friends and I enjoy doing when we're not working. To my pleasant surprise, Oklahoma has quite a few nice hiking spots around, such as the Wichita Mountains and Roman Nose State Park. And thank goodness...the Californian in me would've died! Hiking, camping, or just being outdoors has always been something I've loved ever since I was little. I'm so glad my mental image of Oklahoma being flat as a board isn't all true. But that's not all I'm finding myself involved in: for the first time ever I've been introduced to the glorious activities of rock climbing and volleyball. These are hobbies I've never seen myself partaking in (somehow Quidditch is an easier sport to see myself playing???), but the welcoming environments towards newcomers and improvements in my physical strength keep me coming back!
In addition to working for the National Weather Museum and Science Center (see 'Community Outreach' tab), I've also been getting really involved in pet-sitting. Now, if you know me, you know I LOVE animals, and dogs and cats are no exception. I used to work for the app Rover in which I would get bookings to watch pets. But so many people in OU's School of Meteorology already have pets that I don't even need the app anymore! So along with my human friends pictured below, I had to add my furry friends too. My phone pictures are basically weather, Spongebob memes, and other people's pets lol.
I've also done a lot of growing this year in terms of what type of meteorologist I want to be. For one thing, living in Tornado Alley has helped me develop empathy towards those impacted by destructive weather. I mean, my goal has always been to understand as much as possible about the atmosphere and make discoveries that can potentially help people. However, nowadays it's a little less about taking pretty pictures and more about strengthening the actual science. My window got damaged from April's hailstorm last year and still has yet to be patched up, which SUCKS. But it doesn't hold a candle to the devastation that many have faced with some terrifying storms this year. Worrying if your home and precious belongings are going to be blown away every spring (or winter now..?) is not fun to have in the back of your head.
I'm also getting closer to solidifying the career path I want to take. In the past, I've fluctuated endlessly between if I want to stick with my original plan of operational National Weather Service (NWS) work, or scurry on down the research route. I've always admired the mission of the NWS, so it used to be easier envisioning myself forecasting in one of the regional offices. However, I finished my master's and still felt...incomplete. So I continued school to give me more time to decide and have more experience with research. As I move forward in my PhD, which is strongly based on observational data collections, I'm becoming increasingly interested in the up-keep of instruments retrieving such data. Modeling has started getting really popular in the meteorology community, and it has amazing capabilities that isn't available with mere observations. That said, I feel observational work is still very important and should not be abandoned as we move into the future. This is the first time I've had this kind of clarity for a specific career path, even if I've always been certain it would be meteorology-based. I think my main hesitation with the research route stems from lack of confidence in necessary research skills, e.g. coding, writing papers, presenting. But, hey, I've made it this far, so someone thinks I'm doing something right. Somehow, I always find myself right where I'm supposed to be, so I'll just keep going with the flow and see where I end up! One thing I know for sure is I'm finding myself loving Norman more and more. A career at the National Weather Center is becoming all the more appealing. A year ago, I never would have thought of Oklahoma as a permanent location, but I've been welcomed with open arms and have made what I know are going to be life-long friendships. Of course, being one of the few minorities in the School of Meteorology can be isolating, and other POC may not be having as wonderful of an experience I am. I feel that this can only be mitigated with more diversity in the program (and the meteorology field, in general), so me staying and promoting change would be a step in this direction. If you are a POC coming into the School of Meteorology, feel free to reach out and I'm happy to share my experience!
That's about it for now, so enjoy these various pictures from the past year :)
November 16th, 2021
I just finished presenting my first seminar titled,
"A Sneak Peek into Techniques for Improving Boundary Layer Height Measurements."
I will also present a poster at AMS with the same name, so if you'll be at the conference make sure to stop by!
May 1st, 2021
Recently, I received a nomination for outstanding teaching assistant, referring to to when I served as a teacher's assistant (TA) last semester. I didn't win, but it was honestly just such a privilege to be nominated by the School of Meteorology. My primary job was grading, but I sat in on in-class lectures in case anyone had questions I could answer. However, I never directly contributed to lecturing, and even though the instructor and I agreed this would be the case, I worried I wasn't able to contribute more to the learning of the students. I'm not sure if its students or faculty that can nominate, but the fact that I was in the running means someone thought I did a good job, which is very much empowering!
February 8th, 2021
I got to be showcased as a NASA MIRO intern on their social media! I should note they got my school name wrong (should be "University of Oklahoma"), and there should be past tense with the research since it's not the work I'm currently doing. Still, it's really cool to see myself on NASA's social media. Thank you, NASA!!! You can view them at the following links:
June 19th, 2020
I just defended my master's thesis today...AND PASSED. For the cost of no sleep, that is. It is June - a little later than I had planned to be done - but when a crazy pandemic plagues the world some things just don't go as planned.. So I'm going to bask in the joy of actually making it! If you look back at the previous dates on this page, you'll see that I was terrified when I first got accepted to Howard. Well, I'm feeling the same emotions about University of Oklahoma, but if I can finish with the same thrill that I'm experiencing now, then I will power through. Besides, tornadoes happen in Oklahoma. 'Nuff said.
May 14th, 2020
Got accepted at University of Oklahoma to obtain my Ph.D. fully-funded!!! Next stop...Dr. Jordan ;)
August 10th, 2019
I just finished my internship at the National Severe Storms Laboratory! I met a ton of amazing people, learned a lot about verification techniques for models, and got to sit in for one of the annual forecasting experiments. I ended the summer by presenting my research for NSSL personnel, and I was the most nervous I've ever been in my life...and I think it showed. But I'm glad to have done it and to have an awesome topic for my master's thesis.
November 5th, 2018
As part of the requirements of my grad program, I get to pick a NOAA facility and mentor(s) at said facility to complete a 12-week paid internship of what will eventually become my master's thesis. As luck would have it, I attended a site visit at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) where I met several forecasters, researchers, and faculty of the University of Oklahoma. I probably would have picked this location merely due to my unwavering love for studying severe weather, but getting to see it in person solidified my choice. Looks like I'll be back in Oklahoma this coming summer analyzing probabilistic models!
April 15th, 2018
Today, I found out I was accepted to Howard University's Atmospheric Sciences Program. It will be a fully-funded fellowship as apart of the same NCAS-M program that I participated in during undergrad. Words cannot describe how ecstatic and nervous I am. I didn't feel entirely confident that I was smart enough for graduate school, and to be honest, I'm scared it will be too rigourous for me. But they wouldn't accept me if they didn't think I can do it, so, as the cliche goes, I'll just try my best!
June 1st, 2017
I received a one-year undergraduate fellowship from the NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M)! This award will fund my final year of college so I can focus on research and classes instead of balancing a job ontop of it all.
August 23rd, 2017
The Great American Solar Eclipse occured this day, and I got to be apart of the experiment! Radiosondes were launched, data was collected, and I got to see this once-in-a-lifetime event in complete totality. 11 students and faculty from San Jose State's Meteorology and Climate Sciences department took part in collecting radiosonde data before, during, and after totality of the eclipse in Newport, Oregon with researchers from other institutions. To add to the excitement, several news outlets were curious about the work we were doing. I listed them all below, and being on the news was rad (even though I felt cringe). Check out some of the links below, and some of the pictures
taken along the way!
NBC Bay Area News
Bay City News/SF Gate
Bay City News/The Patch
Today, I was notified of receiving two scholarships for the upcoming year. The first is the National Science Foundation-STEM College of Science Research and Teaching (NSF-STEM CoSRaTS), which is awarded for students with goals of continuing on to a higher-level degree. The second is the California State University Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU LSAMP), which is provided for underrepresented students in science and engineering. Both these scholarships will help immensily financially, and motivate me to pursue degrees after finishing undergrad.
August 10th, 2016
This day marks the end of my 10 weeks interning at NASA. What a ride! Through the help of my amazing peers and mentors, I was able to crank out my very first research project. Over this time, I analyzed the urban heat island effect on thunder day frequency (more info about it can be found
The last day of the internship consisted of a poster session where all interns presented their findings over the summer. Among all the incredible projects, I managed to place first in the science category, and hearing my name called up was one of the most exhilirating moments I've ever experienced. I'm often plagued with imposter sydrome, but this was confirmation to myself that I do belong in a difficult field like meteorology. I will make sure to remember this when things get stressful!