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Learning to speak 'the language of SEAS'

During the first-ever SpeakSEAS, a diverse group of faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students discussed their exciting projects and research endeavors. Each presenter gave a big picture, five-minute TED-style talk on a project or research topic, followed by panel-style Q&A after each session.

Renee Friedman, S.B. '19, a biomedical engineering concentrator, shares her research on 3D-printed implants for ear canal wall reconstruction. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Black)

Topics ranged from “Slug-inspired adhesives” to “Supporting diversity, inclusivity and belonging through food and beverage,” to “Body borders: Biomedicine as a dialectic.” The event, co-hosted by the SEAS Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) and the Harvard Society of Women Engineers, was designed to bring the school community together, and teach attendees to speak “the language of SEAS,” according to DIB Committee member Nicole Black, an engineering sciences Ph.D. candidate.

SpeakSEAS panelists share insights on topics ranging from sensors for disease diagnosis to the challenges of increasing diversity in STEM. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Black)

“The language of SEAS that we hope you learn most today is not specific terms or acronyms. Rather, it is an “accent” that we all should share when communicating amongst each other,” Black said during her introduction of the event. “It is a voice of understanding where we have all come from and where we have been. It is a tone of kindness that we should all use when interacting with each other-- whether it is a postdoc helping out an undergraduate in lab, a graduate student asking a staff member for help, or a faculty member reaching out to a researcher. It is an inflection of confidence we put on by knowing whom to go to for advice or collaborations. It is an appreciation for everyone’s unique skills and contributions. It is an enthusiasm that we exhibit when finding areas where our expertise can help others.”

The first-ever SpeakSEAS brought together a diverse group of faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students, to highlight research and foster a sense of community. (Photo by Cathy Wang)

Topics: Events