UC Berkeley Senior and Dublin High School Grad Japna Kalra Awarded ASM Undergrad Research Fellowship
DUBLIN, CA–Our latest Life in College article is also a Women in STEM profile featuring Dublin High School Class of 2013 graduate and UC Berkeley Class of 2017 senior Japna Kalra. Japna was recently awarded an ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her proposal “Analyzing the Targets and Transcription of a HipA Toxin in Caulobacter crescentus”. This fellowship is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) in microbiology. Fellows have the opportunity to conduct full-time summer research at their home institution with an ASM mentor and present their research results at the 2017 ASM Microbe Meeting in New Orleans, LA if their abstract is accepted. Dr. Kathleen Ryan from University of California, Berkeley is Japna’s mentor.
We recently spoke with Japna to learn more about her UC Berkeley journey.
James Morehead: Describe microbiology to a layperson.
Japna Kalra: “Microbiology is the study of bacteria. It’s a fascinating field because bacteria are so diverse and there are such broad applications. Advances in medicine have come from microbiology, there are applications to biotechnology, biofuels and environmental remediation. if you don’t know where to go in biology it’s a great place to start.
“I also think microbiology is really cool! I’m interested in the study of host pathogens. Bacteria living on us is similar to the scale of us living on the Earth. It’s interesting to think about how bacteria living inside us help us out, and navigate the complex environment that is our body. Microbiology lets you think on a different scale and the biology gets really cool because all kinds of rules can be broken at that scale.”
DUBLIN, CA–The Dublin High School Engineering and Design Academy (DEDA), which began in the 2010 – 2011 school year to provide high school students with basic engineering knowledge and career exploration opportunities, has seen tremendous growth in recent years. In a span of just six years, it has expanded to include six Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses:
- Principles of Engineering (POE)
- Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
- Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE)
- Digital Electronics (DE)
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
- Computer Science Applications (CSA).
The program, which started with just 42 students, now serves approximately 420 students, with a total of around 14 hours of instruction time per day.
Any student who has taken an engineering elective is given the opportunity to join the Academy during the second semester of their freshman or sophomore year, under a specific pathway. There are two pathways currently offered at Dublin High: Engineering and Computer Science. A student’s chosen pathway determines the specialization courses they will take. All students must still complete two foundational courses and one specialization course to receive an Engineering Certificate upon graduation.
Since its founding OneDublin.org’s goal has been to celebrate education excellence by putting a spotlight on inspiring educators, students, parents and leaders. We’ve put a special focus on promoting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and in our series have interviewed over thirty amazing women in STEM fields.
When starting my undergrad degree in computer engineering back in 1985 my incoming class of 80 students had one woman. One. I was stunned at the time. It struck me at the time as unfair and unhealthy that my computer engineering class so poorly underrepresented women. How could the engineering profession solve the problems of the world, when only 50% of the world was represented? The statistics are even more stark when you look at ethnic diversity in STEM fields. As a tall, white male I could easily sit back and be neutral, passive, and complicit through my silence, but like other #HeForShe contributors I believe being neutral isn’t enough.
The extraordinary irony is that women, including women of color, have played a critical role in STEM fields. Yet from much our media and popular culture you’d be led to believe otherwise (as research fielded by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has shown). That’s why I was so excited to see the first trailer for Hidden Figures last year, and ecstatic after viewing the film with my family. We were cheering and crying, and are hopeful that the success of this #1 film could push Hollywood to put a spotlight on more untold stories.
So with that setup, here are our top 10 reasons to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a trip to see Hidden Figures:
DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School graduate Sabrina Tabaracci loves Dublin. However, with each passing day, she is discovering more reasons to love San Francisco. OneDublin.org recently sat down with this 2016 alumna to discuss her initial experiences as a student at San Francisco State University.
Sabrina has had a very full experience as a youth. She has participated in the Girl Scouts and has participated in multiple sports throughout the past +ten years. So, it may not be a surprise that she wished to cultivate a career that would mirror her interest in sports – specifically in physical therapy. With her high school graduation looming about a year ago, she would need to make specific decisions relative to college applications. Further, as a lettered athlete, Sabrina would need to determine how large of a role that soccer would continue to be in her life. She had to look no further than her mother, Kristine, who completed collegiately at CSU East Bay (Hayward).
We found her insights to be fascinating. Many of our finest education institutions are located in rural/suburban locations. SFSU is planted firmly with the urban confines of San Francisco. We share her story now.
OneDublin.org: When pursuing the study of Kinesiology, are there a wide or limited variety of college institutions to consider? How did you conclude that SFSU would be the best choice for you? Read more…
Youth in STEM: High School Senior Jacob Umans Leads the International Youth Neuroscience Association
In a pursuit to further my STEM knowledge, I have spent the last few months discussing various topics with other high school students from around the globe. It seems baffling to me that most, if not all, have developed an inexplicable fondness for the sciences, whether it be through optogenetics or mechanical engineering. However, only a few seem to follow through with their big ideas, and I have had the pleasure of speaking with one outstanding student about his path to STEM success.
I was inspired to write this article after reading Alyssa Arriaga’s recent publication in the ‘Life in College’ section of OneDublin; I, too, took the road less traveled and went to a community college after high school. The only difference is that I made a brief stop at a university first.
The most ironic thing about my current enrollment at Diablo Valley College, a community college nestled in Pleasant Hill right around the corner from an In-N-Out and across the street from a Safeway, is that I used to be somebody who looked down on junior colleges. I thought of it as a second high school, or a place that people went to when they couldn’t get into a four-year university. I was raised with the expectation of my eventual acceptance into a four-year university, an expectation that was met my senior year of high school. I had everything the colleges wanted: high test scores, a solid transcript, four years in a sport. I was the president of a club and a Girl Scout. I got into every school I applied to, much to my excitement. It felt like all of my hard work in those AP classes and those hours of sleep lost to make that last project excellent was worth it, because I had gotten a small pile of acceptance letters. I never thought of the cost of any school. I knew college was expensive, but it was what I had been working for, right? Why would I think about anything other than what was to come?
Our first Life in College Series article for 2017 profiles Dublin High School Class of 2013 alum and Brigham Young University senior Tori Shipp. Tori graduated with her triplet siblings Toni and Troy, in a Dublin High class that featured two sets of triplets and six sets of twins!
OneDublin.org: How did you settle on your major at Brigham Young University?
Tori Shipp: “I’m a geography major with a tourism emphasis and a business management minor. I started as a business major, when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and shifted to the pre-requisites for a recreation management major after my freshman year. It was important that I find a major and career I enjoyed, and where I could help people. I ultimately switched to geography because of my interests in tourism planning which includes destination marketing and working for tourism bureaus. I love to travel and helping people use their free time to have fun.
“Studying geography gave me a way to learn more about the world, its history and the relation between countries. It’s a terrific major to learn a little of everything about the world.”
OneDublin.org: It took a while for you to settle on a major, but you’ve stayed on track to graduate in four years. What is your advice for high school students who may not be sure what they’d like to get out of college?
Shipp: “I recommend paying attention to what your interests are in high school. I always knew I liked history, and organizing projects, but wasn’t sure how to connect the two. When you start in college in addition to general ed requirements take practical classes in a bunch of different subjects that you might be interested in. There is no harm in spending the first couple of years learning about different careers. Shop around and take many different types of classes when you arrive in college. There are lots of ways to satisfy your general ed requirements so take advantage of that flexibility to figure out what you really like.”
OneDublin.org: What attracted you to Brigham Young University?
Shipp: “My first choice was the University of Oregon, but for financial reasons Brigham Young was the better choice. BYU is a very affordable college considering how great the education is, and I knew I didn’t want to be dealing with a lot of student loan debt after graduation. Brigham Young is also in a terrific location: just a couple of hours from a national park and near ski resorts, and far enough from home to be independent but not so far that I couldn’t come home often. And the cost of living is great.
“I was also attracted to Brigham Young because there isn’t Greek life; I didn’t want to go to a school where the social life was focused on sororities and fraternities.”
OneDublin.org: How important is Mormon faith to attending BYU? Read more…