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Fulbright-to-Fulbright: The End

All good things must come to an end. I will admit my “end” was bittersweet, open-ended, and odd. Guess what? That’s ok! Some of you may have ‘the next thing’ lined up all ready to go. Others may not. If you are in this latter category, not to worry, I’ve got you covered! And even if you do have ‘the next thing’ to go to, you may still find the advice relevant.   ONE: Warning: you may or may not finish your project. Another tough thing to deal with when you lean towards having a “Type-A personality” like myself, is dealing with the lack of closure. I tend to seek completeness or sense of conclusion. But you might not get the “typical” closure you expected or desired. You will soon realize you didn’t need it. You will evolve to recognize those small interactions, like engaging with strangers on the street, building relationships with new colleagues abroad, all add up to this larger experience called ‘The Fulbright’. What you gained from the experience is far more than one line on your CV.   TWO: Join the Alumni Association. Participate in the Fulbright Conference. Continue to grow your work, projects, and networks. Take initiative. This was the case before the Fulbright and it is the same case after the Fulbright. You will have to continue to take initiative, seek answers, and...

Fulbright-to-Fulbright: The Beginning

You made it! You made it this far. And for what its worth, I am proud of you! After a year of working on the proposal and statement, attending interviews, anticipating the announcement of semi-finalists and then surviving the anxiety-ridden months until finalists are revealed, I remember the day I received the notification. And so will you. Forever. But what I also remember is the one-day of pure serenity, of not having to wait in anticipation or respond just yet. Just to be. That sweet brief silence you experience. Savor it. Because after the silence broke, in flooded the paperwork, the visa applications, the immunization records, the travel insurance, the *fill in your list here*, till I was on the flight and we were ready for take off. Here are my 2 cents to help at the beginning of your journey. Indulge yourself at the pre-departure orientation with all of the scholarly energy in the room. Ask all the questions you can think of and be curious!   ONE: Pack some nice clothes. I know you are trying to be minimalist and realistic at the same time, but a few pieces won’t harm anyone. I ended up buying some formal clothes when I got there for various spontaneous occasions, which is another way to go. At the Fulbright pre-departure orientation, I remember someone suggested bringing perfume or cologne. I...

This Isn’t Your Average Toy – The Mine Kafon

Inspired by the makeshift wind-powered toys of his Afghan childhood, Massoud Hassani is on the verge of something special.   The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed. Check out his Kickstarter campaign. As a child living in war-torn Afghanistan, Massoud Hassani was well acquainted with the devastating nature of war and the long, perhaps endless road to recovery. Landmines concealed underground are a ubiquitous threat to countless communities in Afghanistan. A report from the Electronic Mine Information Network states that “over one million Afghans (3.7% of the total population) live within 500 meters of landmine contaminated areas.” Growing up, Hassani was a tinkerer; of particular interest to him was the creation of wind-powered toys, which he would race with other children in the windy, desert outskirts of Kabul. His interest in engineering led him to pursue a degree at the Design Academy Eindhoven.   Out of this tumultuous past sprung the idea for the Mine Kafon, a wind-powered mobile constructed from biodegradable plastic and bamboo. Hassani’s creation has caught the eyes and imaginations of many, and the prototype has been exhibited all across the globe. It was exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art in March of 2013.   Featured image is a screenshot from the video...

17 Reasons Why Many of Us Will Have A Mid-Life Crisis

1. You’re trying to live a lifestyle beyond your means. You’re always buying fancy things you can’t afford, like medicine or a bed. 2. You’ve come to the crushing realization that your current occupation isn’t just a temporary arrangement, but a career.Which isn’t exactly good news, since you’re unemployed. 3. You’re starting to look older. You get really depressed when you don’t get IDed at the club, so now you make sure the bouncer sees you getting dropped off in your mom’s Honda Odyssey. 4. You’re ridiculously over-critical of potential mates. You recently ended a first date before the main course came out, explaining, “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you.” 5. Everyone around you is making serious life decisions. Your friends have started to have babies and you really resent them for it. The babies, that is. “I wish you were never born,” you whisper into their little baby ears, cradling them while the parents exchange concerned glances. “Your existence makes me feel inadequate. Can you say ‘inadequate’?” 6. You can’t drink like you used to. You’re still hungover from New Year’s Eve 2014. 7. Weird old people things are happening to your body. Your back went out last weekend and you finally realized why your dad was such a dick all the time. 8. You’re single. And not like, “fun, no responsibilities” single. Like, “spinster” single. On your taxes, you tried...

All You Need to Know About Medical Uniforms

Medical uniforms, or scrubs, are essential if you are working in either a sterile or even a partial sterile environment. Selecting as a group to buy medical scrubs could actually show to be less expensive than purchasing these medical uniforms as independent trousers and tops. Yet another advantage of acquiring medical scrubs as a group is the fact that you usually have a related set when you are seeking to use them rather than when you have obtained them independently as surfaces and bottoms. Medical scrubs are used for two main things. First, these ensure that your normal clothes are secured from any organic fluids such as blood or vomit that you may come across while you are working.Another function of these medical uniforms is that they protect the individuals you tend to from getting infected with any contaminants that may be clinging to your block clothes. For these causes, medical scrubs are necessary for any individual who is employed in the healthcare sector. Although they’ reconsidered to be a common location for nurses, they’ re also adorned by doctors, orderlies and other medical care representatives. In certain facilities, even the secretaries and receptionists might be necessary to wear them in order to make certain that they don’t poison assessment rooms or areas when they’re ushering in people or using the patient’s details. Medical scrubs have been used in medical care sector...

The HIV Organ Policy Equity Act: Spreading HOPE

I pushed down on the edge of the worn fabric of the auditorium seat and felt the metal frame push back on my fingertips. The white foam of the cushion peeked through the red threads of the dusty seat. Scanning across the auditorium, my eyes took note of the press personnel and cameras pointed towards the stage. I sat in awe during the live media briefing where my mentors announced that the first HIV-to-HIV liver transplant in the world was just successfully performed at our transplant center. “In 2008, Dr. Elmi Muller was the first surgeon in the world to perform HIV positive-to-HIV positive deceased donor kidney transplantation.” In 2008, Dr. Elmi Muller was the first surgeon in the world to perform HIV positive-to-HIV positive (HIV-to-HIV) deceased donor kidney transplantation. Recognizing the tremendous impact this could have in the US, my research group (Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation, ERGOT) wrote the landmark HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act), which reversed a long outdated ban on HIV-to-HIV organ transplantation, created in the 1980s. ERGOT shepherded the passage of the HOPE Act through Congressional and Presidential approval in November 2013. “Signed into law November 2013 and implemented in November 2015, the HOPE Act opened the door for HIV-positive candidates to receive and donate organs.” Today, HOPE transplants are taking place in the US, UK, and South Africa. For World’s AIDS Day 2018,...

The Media & Medicine Movement

I was honored to be one of this year’s Donate Life Hollywood featured projects for my documentary film, In Absence of Evidence. But what I was even more privileged to be a part of was the media and medicine movement. Many in and outside of medicine enjoy watching medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, and ER, to name a few. But as they continue in their studies as medical professionals, they also begin to realize how inaccurate the shows can be. Donate Life Hollywood (DLH) is a national campaign serving as a liaison between the organ, eye, and tissue donation community and the entertainment industry. Their goal is to help Hollywood write authentic and positive donation and transplant storylines by simplifying access to expert consultation, spotlighting dramatic stories, and featuring medical breakthroughs in an accurate way. “Research shows that when television shows perpetuate myths about donation, they cost lives.” Research shows that when television shows perpetuate myths about donation, they cost lives. During its original tenure, Donate Life Hollywood built a partnership that led to a 6 percent increase in the public’s willingness to register as donors, the largest single-year increase the Donate Life community has ever seen. “An alliance between journalists and scientists should be about celebrating the creativity of the human mind. It should be about fostering critical thinking and valuing vetted knowledge.” A recent and...

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