All posts by ajlee

Great study space at Harvard

Great to see the new student common areas at Harvard with ideal places for quiet study and spontaneous conversations ….all enhanced by open space, natural lighting, views of trees/plants, and comfortable furniture.  Wish all study+academic spaces would prioritize lighting, ventilation, and furniture comfort as necessities for maximizing student productivity.

October student opportunities

Busy time for talented students!  Here are some exciting opportunities for students in October… get your calendar out and set aside time for events including: financial literacy, learning about opportunities (some potentially free) to study in Germany, and also opportunities for study at Virginia Commonwealth University.

October 1, Monday, at NVCC Alexandria campus, in the AM, with a break around lunch and through the PM, a full day of financial literacy basics.  From building a business to international student banking.  Drop by Bisdorf AA-158 to learn more.  Brought to you by the Financial Aid office.

On October 12, Thursday, in the afternoon (from 12:45-4pm), the Goethe Institute in Washington DC (easy Metro access, near “Gallery Place/Chinatown”), hosts “Career Booster Germany”.  Drop by and learn about opportunities for study in Germany for college students.  There are many graduate-level programs that seek American students and some are even fully funded by the German government.  The 12:45 arrival time includes lunch provided for students; though free, registration is required.  List of all events at:

Finally, investigate options for further study at Virginia Commonwealth Univ. at an informational seminar held at NVCC-Alexandra, in the AFA Room 118 on October 10, Wednesday, from 1-2pm.

Students, definitely keep me posted if you plan on attending any/all of these!

Strong Start to Semester

To maintain a strong start to the fall semester, consider attending the Loudoun campus’ Smart Start for Students sessions on Monday 9/10 and Tuesday 9/11 from 10am-1pm at the HEC building. 30 minute presentations on everything from study tips, library resources, and resume/CV writing. And oh yeah…free pizza from 12:20-1pm daily. Register for the presentations at:

NHGRI’s Short Course on Genomics

Great opportunity in early August to be invited back as an alumnus to the National Human Genome Research Institute’s annual Genomics Short Course teaching workshop on National Institute of Health’s (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Super chance to re-connect with staff and meet other instructors refining their teaching plans. Engaging workshops in sequencing and CRISPR-CAS9! Colleagues: plan to apply for next year’s session in mid-January 2019.

What happens when a Hollywood actor has a bad conversation with his dentist?…This book!

Actor Alan Alda writes a very good book highlighting the importance of effective conversation in science. Covering topics ranging from his interviewing scientists for PBS programs, to recent scientific research on communicating, to acting improv techniques to help build communication skills, to the habits of doctors talking to patients, this easy-to-read book will be worth your time. If you are in science and communicate in any way (that means all of us), this book is worth your time. For further information, information on the university center Alda helped found to promote improved science communication:

Summer school, for free?

Students in class (and office hours) will recall my mentioning inexpensive online classes to supplement college/university classes and as a useful way to build skills before transfer, grad school, or med school. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) feature leading international universities with two of the largest course sources being Coursera ( and EdX (  Whether you want to brush up on biostatistics, take a programming course, or learn about infectious disease, you will find it on either of these sites. and are 2 websites that gather listings of online courses as well as student reviews.

We’re Back!

Inexplicably, the blog was unavailable for the past few weeks. A big thanks to the tech gurus at NVCC’s TILT: Art Lin and Damon Green for getting things back up and running again. Without them, we can’t do our work. Thank you!!