Forum Posts

Naia Butler-Craig
May 23, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Summer research planning is underway 🚀 Questions I ask myself: 1. What are my expectations? Who is expecting what from me? This includes anyone from my advisor, internship supervisor, organization, or my own self-imposed research goals. It’s important to rank and prioritize these accordingly. 2. What is feasible? Follow up questions to this include: what else am I juggling during this time period that will take time away from research? What are my priorities for this quarter? Are my research goals feasible considering all my priorities? Don’t forget your YOU time when considering and ranking priorities! You can’t pour from an empty bucket. With the information above, you can then determine your SMART goals. Here is the SMART format: S - specific M - measurable A - attainable R - relevant T - time based/constricted This is just one facet of my summer planning! I also spend time planning my academic, and personal goals out for the summer period. Happy planning! Planned App: Success Wiz (testing it out)
Setting Summer Research Goals! content media
0
0
7
Naia Butler-Craig
Oct 24, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
For the personal statement: don’t tone it down just because it’s a technical fellowship! Make sure to try and grab their attention and show how you are unique as a candidate. For the proposal, make sure it’s as thorough as you can (for what makes sense at your current level). I made it clear what equipment I would even be using and let them know that it was available at my school. That way they can see the experiment is not only worth doing (base that off NASA Tabs) but also I have most of what I need to get it done. I would also talk about a specific NASA center for the visiting technologist aspect too. Talk about what center has core competence in your area and why going there would make sense!
0
0
28
Naia Butler-Craig
Oct 24, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
There are so many opportunities and resources being created for students ranging all the way from high-school to post-doctoral! Check some out below: STEAMid STEAMid is a web app of curated Internships, scholarships, and fellowships for high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in the United States. Founded by Roodolph and Rose St. Pierre! Click here for more info: https://mysteamid.org/ CUWiP The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics in January 2021 is going virtual this year! This is an awesome opportunity for women interested in physics to come together, build community, and share their love for the field. Applications close super soon on October 30th. All the details can be found on the website at aps.org/cuwip. Patti Grace Smith Fellowship The Patti Grace Smith is an official spin-off of the award-winning Brooke Owens Fellowship, and based closely on that successful model, our program provides extraordinary Black students with their first work experience in the aerospace industry, personalized mentorship, and a cohort of similarly driven and talented young Black people pursuing aerospace careers. Patti was a beloved leader in the aerospace industry, particularly in her role as the head of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. In addition to her incredible aerospace career, Patti's unbelievable personal story as one of the students who integrated the public schools in Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Era is all too relevant today. Patti was also a dear friend of and mentor to Brooke Owens, the namesake for our first Fellowship program. Patti and Brooke were both stolen from us by cancer within a few weeks of each other, a deeply cruel combination. Here's a great explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dZkp8eGzY8 Click here for additional details: https://www.pgsfellowship.org Stay tuned for more opportunities!
STEAMid, CUWIP, Patti Grace Smith Fellowship and MORE!  content media
0
0
18
Naia Butler-Craig
Sep 11, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Reaching out to Potential Advisors Here are a few methods I suggest for reaching out to potential advisors. Reach out yourself. Yes, it may be hard to get the attention of a professor considering how many emails they probably get on a daily basis but it is not impossible and I recommend you try. Subject: Prospective Student: Firstname Lastname Body: Informed questions about their research, reference one of their papers or research highlighted on their website, ask what they look for in a graduate student, *concisely* describe your research experience and interests Attach your CV
0
0
18
Naia Butler-Craig
Sep 08, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
I know firsthand what it’s like to be thrown head first into the deep end of reading publications filled with scientific jargon that continues to go over my head! Because of this, I decided to make a video about how I do my literature reviews. A literature review is: presents the current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. - Wikipedia Check out this video to see my process.
How to Read Scientific Articles content media
0
0
21
Naia Butler-Craig
Sep 05, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Twitter Moment: https://twitter.com/astronaia/status/1302335611337150465?s=20
0
0
11
Naia Butler-Craig
Sep 05, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
The amassing responsibilities on my plate are becoming more daunting. Esp considering that I’ve not given myself too much room to recover from my burnout. All of it is actually really exciting but bc of burnout, I’m seeing most of it as a chore. I get angry with myself for this. It’s impt I acknowledge I’m shouldering the weight of all that I’m balancing during a pandemic, increased social pressures as a Black woman during an important time in history for the fight for Black lives, with an (unfair) expectation placed on me to suck it up and work. In essence this is hard and for that, I need to practice compassion to myself for not being all the way there. My memory has gotten even worse due to stress and beating myself up for understandable feelings only amplified stress. Next is reprioritization. Somethings got to give. I can’t pour from an empty cup! We hear that all the time, but I’ve taken time to decide what my values are and what does and doesn’t need my immediate attention. I’ve also learned what I need to delegate and what requires me to request help. Doing this has lifted burdens for me and even created opportunities for others. This entire process is iterative. I’m learning that it’s necessary that I recalibrate myself every so often so I’m not working harder than I’m working smart. Especially when certain stresses and struggles can be avoided. I’m building this muscle. I hope sharing this helps someone Thread on Twitter: https://twitter.com/astronaia/status/1302367292253184001?s=20
0
0
7
Naia Butler-Craig
Aug 19, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
The world does not end because you failed a class! Don’t let anyone tell you different. You make the final decision of whether a certain major or career path is “for you”. Not some silly GPA, not a hating-a** professor, and certainly not anyone who doesn’t have a complete understanding of your situation. Grades aren’t always great indicators that you understand a subject. Mental health, family, finances and other extenuating circumstances all play a part. If you failed a class and you’re worried about how it will look on your graduate school application, take a look at the tips on my forum: https://www.naiabutlercraig.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/quick-tips-grad-school-applications I can only speak for what works for me but I do not personally believe a failed class (1,2 or 3) have to be the end of your passion and story.
Failed a Class? Don’t Fret. content media
0
0
7
Naia Butler-Craig
Aug 19, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Can’t believe I’m already a 2nd year PhD student. I realized how relevant my Washington post article about Katherine Johnson is for me right now. It’s already time for me to reach back to the new 1st years and be for them what I needed. You can read it along with my lessons learned from the Hidden Figures story here. Some big takeaways from my 1st year are the following: 1. Be patient with yourself as a grad student, researcher, and human being. Grad school is totally new for a number of reasons and it’s not just academic. The environment, financial situation, etc. you need time to adjust. 2. Establishing a working relationship with your advisor from early on is super helpful. I was given the great advice to schedule regular meetings with my advisor. This helped me gain comfort with talking to him in general (I’m a bit awkward). Hes way less intimidating to me now. Now when I have a research problem, I feel emboldened to go to him directly for guidance instead of tip toeing. Now I have a great advisor, not everyone does. Regular meetings can maybe help you identify whether they are the right fit too. 3. Get familiar with all of your resources. I struggled in silence my 1st year. I did not understand fully how PhDs work and didn’t ask enough questions. I had great people available that I didn’t use. Ask questions, if someone can’t answer ask them to direct you to who can. 4. Go to Office Hours if you need it. Don’t be intimidated by “you should have learned this in undergrad” I came from a different undergrad school to GT and things are taught different between the schools and also between undergrad and grad. You’re not behind. Just different. If a professors condescends toward you for not knowing something that’s their personal problem. Just get what you need. As long as you’re learning, you’re winning. Peers included. (If it gets disrespectful talk to someone). 5. I work in a very collaborative lab. So if yours is too, make sure to lean on your lab mates. If you feel they’re smarter than you, they’re probably not. They just know different things and that’s great because you learn! Try not to get caught up in comparison. Let’s think like scientists. If you had 2 data sets that had completely different constants could you compare them? No right? Well don’t compare yourself to people with completely different situations/backgrounds/etc. than yours! 6. Find your communities! This is major. Some times you have to look far and wide, sometimes you don’t. In this virtual Setting, it may be a bit harder or easier! Community doesn’t always have to be local (but that does have its benefits).
Quick Tips: First Year of Grad School!  content media
0
0
7
Naia Butler-Craig
Aug 10, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Feeling Imposter’s Syndrome? Try watching this video. Maybe it will help.
Feeling Imposter’s Syndrome? content media
0
0
4
Naia Butler-Craig
Aug 10, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
This is a question I got from someone via instagram DM. Here was my answer: First take inventory of who is discrediting your knowledge. Are they an authority in the subject or do they just have an unsolicited/rude opinion? The latter doesn’t deserve much energy if it's clear they are not trying to learn or inform but to belittle and condescend. If they are an authority, I try not to internalize it and take it as an insult of my intelligence (even though that may have been their intention). If I’m wrong that doesn’t make me stupid. I hear them out and learn something. However, if I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I’m right, I stand my ground.
0
0
12
Naia Butler-Craig
Aug 02, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Schools with Aerospace Engineering Programs: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University University of Notre Dame Ohio State University University of California, San Diego University of Michigan University of Washington Pennsylvania State University, University Park University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Virginia Tech Georgia Tech Cornell University University of California, Los Angeles University of Maryland, College Park Princeton University University of Colorado, Boulder University of Texas, Cockrell Texas A&M University, College Station University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Purdue University Stanford University California Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of West Michigan *This is not a complete list. My top considerations for choosing a PhD program were as follows (also see video <----) 1. Advisor 2. Research 3. Institution/Location a. Does this institute/location have the resources available for you? (e.g. Childcare, affordable living, etc.) I provide some graduate school application tips in this previous forum post. YOU SHOULD NEVER PAY FOR A GRADUATE STEM DEGREE Funding Resources GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistantship Given by your advisor/university You teach/grade papers to earn a stipend Sometimes this is required. This will vary school-by-school Usually 20 hours/week (depends) GRA (Graduate Research Assistantship Given by your advisor/lab You do research to earn a stipend Think of this like a part time internship Usually 20 hours/week (depends) 3. Fellowships. (See below) Fellowships Please review eligibility requirements for each of these fellowships. I listed whether they were government or private as that will affect whether non-US citizens may apply. GEM (Graduate Education for Minorities) Fellowship - Private NSF GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) - Government NSTGRO (NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunity) - Government Ford Foundation Fellowship - Private NDSEG (National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate) Fellowship - Government Your university may have internal fellowships available too! Please also check out this exhaustive list of fellowships courtesy of Therese Jones (theresejones0 on twitter)! I talk a little about the GEM fellowship and my experience applying and earning it in the video to the right. I also give out Fellowship application tips in this forum post here. You can also check out some quick tips below. What is the GRE? The GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. I, personally, think it is ****** but it is a standardized exam that many graduate programs require for their applicants. It is made up of a verbal reasoning section, quantitive reasoning section, and analytical writing. I would ask the institutions you are looking to apply to what score you should be aiming for. If you do not score well, I believe you can take it multiple times. However, remember that graduate programs are usually looking for a well-rounded student! So research experience, grades, GRE scores etc. can help make up for each other. How did you study for the GRE? I studied for the GRE during the school year with an 18 credit hour course load as well as 2 part time jobs. I would not recommend that at all. I recommend studying during the summer before you take it and doing review every weekend up until you take it. I also suggest working with a study buddy to 1. hold you accountable, and to compare answers to. I believe this test is about endurance. When you study, make sure you learn the types of questions they ask and how to answer them. I do not recommend trying to memorize anything. When you review on the weekend, time your self like you’re taking the test and get used to taking the test on a timer. Here are the study books I used: Official Guide to the GRE, and the Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems. However, bear in mind these books change each year so make sure this is up-to-date with the year you take. I was also able to receive 8-hour long GRE tutoring through the McNair's Scholar's program. I also received a free study book. If you are not eligible for the McNair's Scholar program or don't have one at your university, be sure to ask the research or graduate coordinator's department (any department that applies) at your university before paying out of pocket. There may be some resources you don't know about. The worst they can say is no! Research Experience Having “Skin in the Game” (research experience) always helps put you ahead of the game. Here are some ways to get research experience as an undergraduate student: Undergraduate Research If your university has an office dedicated to this, then go visit them and learn as much as you can. You may be able to start your own project! The McNair Scholars Program (limited eligibility) If your university doesn’t have this reach out to professors and ask if they need assistance that you can offer. If you don’t already know what research they do, then ask. You can also find out by searching up their names in google scholar or on your university’s website and reading some of the articles they’ve published. (Just read the intros and/or abstracts if its too confusing) Need help finding a topic you like? Think about what your favorite class is! Talk to professors, and graduate students. REUs (Research for Undergraduates) which are basically internships where you only do research and they typically take place at universities. NSF has a list of REUs. Internship experience Recreational Projects Stand Out Things that will help your graduate application stand out Reaching out to potential advisors ahead of time and establishing a relationship/connection/conversation surrounding your research interests and how you may fit in their lab Research Publications Technical/Research Presentations Poster Presentations included It is not the end of the world if you don't have any of these things (only the end of the world is the end of the world!). These are just helpful especially if you feel less competitive in other areas of the application package. In my case, my research publications/presentations supplemented my less-than-competitive GPA. I will not comment on an ideal GPA to get into grad school, because that is something that varies from program-to-program and situation-to-situation. My advice is only to make sure you explain any discrepancies within your application package (e.g. failed class, lower grades, etc.) in your general statement. Reaching out to Potential Advisors Here are a few methods I suggest for reaching out to potential advisors. Reach out yourself. Yes, it may be hard to get the attention of a professor considering how many emails they probably get on a daily basis but it is not impossible and I recommend you try. Subject: Prospective Student: Firstname Lastname Body: Informed questions about their research, reference one of their papers or research highlighted on their website, ask what they look for in a graduate student, *concisely* describe your research experience and interests Attach your CV Ask a trusted faculty mentor or advisor to reach out on your behalf. This just leverages their credibility as well as may increase the level of importance in the potential advisors inbox. Reach out to the graduate school coordinator or chair at the university and ask to be connected/introduced to the professor A way to find out who this is, is to search the university, school/department, and look at faculty Components of the Graduate Application Various programs have different application processes but at the very least they should all include these components: Address for information General/Personal Statement Academic History Program of Interest Scholarly Activities Work Experience Test Scores Request for Financial Support This publication goes into detail about the various components. The Princeton Review provides a good general timeline of events. See here. Masters vs. PhD Consideration Some universities offer the ability to get a Masters on the way to completing your PhD requirements. I find this valuable in the case you decide halfway that the PhD may not be for you! And that's totally OK. What is beneficial about these programs is that you can walk away from the program with a Masters should you decide against completing the PhD. Now, if that is not an option for the program you're considering, you're probably deciding whether you want a masters or a PhD. Here are the questions I would ask myself. What are my career goals? Research & Development jobs typically hire people with PhDs. (it's not impossible to be hired with a Masters) Some jobs may not hire a PhD because it would over qualify you and they may not be willing to pay you accordingly Do I want to work at a national lab? Very typical for these labs to hire PhDs Time Am I comfortable spending the next 5 years of my life doing this? These are just a few considerations. However, there are extra considerations for those with children, spouses, illnesses, dependent family etc. I hope this provides good insight into the process of applying to grad school. Please remember this is not a one-size-fits-all process and I can only provide input on my own experience. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments or add information.
Some Considerations for Getting a PhD in Aerospace Engineering content media
0
2
505
Naia Butler-Craig
Jun 25, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Wondering how I got started working for NASA? Check out this Tik Tok!
“How did you get your job at NASA?”  content media
0
0
21
Naia Butler-Craig
Jun 25, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Check out this brief Tik Tok I made about some things to add to your resume!
Quick Tips: Resume!  content media
0
0
7
Naia Butler-Craig
Jun 13, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Interested in learning about the Electric Propulsion technology of Hall-Effect Thrusters? Consider checking out my series on Tik Tok! Part 1: https://vm.tiktok.com/J12mPsc/ Part 2: https://vm.tiktok.com/J12DLx5/ Part 3: https://vm.tiktok.com/J12bPh5/ Part 4: https://vm.tiktok.com/J12kpCE/ Or you can watch the culmination of all 4 videos on my IGTV on instagram!
Tik Tok Hall-Effect Thruster Overview! content media
0
2
40
Naia Butler-Craig
Jun 13, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Want to learn a little about how model rockets work? Check out my video here.
Tik Tok Model Rocket Educational Video content media
0
0
57
Naia Butler-Craig
Jun 13, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
Photo credit: Engineering Gals Check out this great blog post written by Christina Macleod, a Mechanical Engineering student in Edinburgh and future aerospace engineer. She summarized the discussion from a webinar I participated in with 5 other women engineers called Engineering Gals x Space Gals. We discussed everything from our careers to maintaining mental health during a pandemic. We also raised $2000 for a single mother negatively affected by COVID-19 who was denied government assistance. You can watch the webinar here. Christina wrote an amazing blog post summarizing the lessons and key takeaways she gained from the webinar. Read her blog post here. Thank you, Christina, for watching and sharing your thoughts in such a great blog post!
Engineering Gals x Space Gals Seminar Blog Post content media
0
0
4
Naia Butler-Craig
May 25, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
I’m doing a little mini series on CubeSats on my TikTok (https://vm.tiktok.com/wnnF9x/)! I am also doing a Cardboard CubeSat giveaway on my Instagram (@astronaia_) to celebrate the Demo-2 NASA/SpaceX launch on Wednesday! 🛰🚀 Find out more about it here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAjOrKeguHC/?igshid=1jsyr1donhlfo! Check out the rest of the mini series: Part 1: https://vm.tiktok.com/wv74MT/ Part 2: https://vm.tiktok.com/wnVj4C/ Part 3a: https://vm.tiktok.com/wnbPDh/ Part 3b: https://vm.tiktok.com/wn3tSk/ Great CubeSat Literature: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/fi... More information about MarCo CubeSat: https://www.youtube.com/embed/dS_Q7BF... Lessons plans for teachers: https://learn.teachingchannel.com/cubesat-engineering-unit-boeing Want to print and build your own? Check this out: http://www.space.aau.dk/cubesat/kits.html Follow my tik tok for more educational content! 🚀🛰👩🏾‍🚀👩🏾‍🔬
Tik Tok CubeSat Mini Series! content media
0
0
43
Naia Butler-Craig
May 17, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
1. Explain any shortcomings/discrepancies in your application package. Whether that be grades, lack of research experience or etc. I personally had a rough semester and I explained some of the external circumstances that contributed to my performance and the reviewer took note of it. It’s best not to surprise the reviewer so explain what you feel could be a shortcoming. 2. Consult an advisor If you don’t already have a research, or graustes advisor, find a faculty member that is willing to help you with your proposal. Even better if they’re familiar with the specific fellowship and get their help in every aspect of your application: proposal and personal statement. For heavy research fellowships, it was important I knew what NASA was looking for research-wise. It’s important that the entity you’re submitting to, finds your research worthwhile. 3. Consult someone who has already won the fellowship. Take any and all advice from anyone who has already won the fellowship to which you’re applying. General rule. 4. Most important: start the application and apply. Sometimes that’s the hardest part :)
Quick Tips: Fellowship Applications  content media
1
4
70
Naia Butler-Craig
May 16, 2020
In Welcome to the Forum
As provided through a post by @EstOdek on twitter: https://twitter.com/estodek/status/1261630955216871424?s=21
0
0
6
Naia Butler-Craig
Admin
More actions