This past November we traveled to Seattle so that I can mentor undergraduate students of color in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) from all over the country, as they present their research projects at the 15th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Tai had never been this far up in the Pacific Northwest, while I’ve been twice but during the summer when it was all sunshine. I guess I was expecting sunshine in November, because I was surprised when we arrived in the Emerald City, greeted by gray skies and cold rain. Despite the foggy welcome, however, we happily strolled the streets of Seattle like a pair of gay munchkins!
On this particular six-day trip, Tai and I explored Capitol Hill–the queer mecca of the city–and Downtown. She also ventured to UWash to check out the Japanese Garden at the aboretum while I attend the conference. We thoroughly enjoyed dining with a local Seattleite friend, a semi-newly transplanted UW public health doctoral student friend and her significant other, a visiting friend who was interviewing for a medical residency program, a former Rhodes Scholar turned Caltech bioengineer, and my brother, who after learning we were there spontaneously flew in from Las Vegas for a quick day trip. ABRCMS is such a unique opportunity because, aside from meeting numerous students and academics of color, I also had the opportunity to spend time with my co-mentors in our NIH-funded organization. I also met up with mentors and friends from STEM pipeline programs that I am affiliated with as an alumna. It’s a great opportunity for students of color in the STEM fields to network with other students, professors, and professionals in their field.
The conference is non-stop; you hit the ground running when you attend and don’t slow down until you’re back home. In spite of this hectic schedule, though, we loved Seattle in November! Emerald City provided us the stark contrast of rain, dark clouds, and 30-degree weather–we were definitely not in LA anymore, Toto! I would love to take Tai back during the summer, so that she can also share my sunnier sentiments of Seattle–memories I would have to reminisce about in a separate post. In the meantime, be sure to check out our photo gallery. We’ve compiled some images of our favorite moments in Seattle!