I am an associate professor of genetics and molecular biology at California State University Monterey Bay. I am also a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication program and a freelance science writer. My love of writing began after I read EB White’s books: Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. The boy in the TOTS wrote in a journal, and at the end, always wrote a thought question to start his dreams, “why does a fox bark?” This started my journaling trend, which then moved into poetry writing. My first published poem, in a Santa Cruz journal, made me realize that my dreams of being a writer could be realized.
After my doctorate in molecular, cell and developmental biology I was accepted into the science communication program at UC Santa Cruz. That program, a gem in the world of writing instruction, turns out some of the best science writers in the world. After working with some amazing colleagues, the program sent me to Antarctica as a science writer for the National Science Foundation. As a lab rat, who is really interested in cell division, a trip to Antarctica was completely out of my comfort zone. I was able to write about “cold science” and learn so much about oceanography and marine science during that trip. Not to mention the sighting the Southern Cross (yes I sang the song), and the magic that is Antarctica.
Photo Credit: Mark Christmas, National Geographic Photographer
After my excursion I spent about five years writing small pieces for ScienceNOW, The Scientist, Science online, and book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. During that time I also worked at a plaintiff’s class action law firm in San Francisco called Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, and Bernstein, as their scientific analyst. Around 2002, (when my husband FINALLY asked me to marry him) I moved to Pacific Grove and began teaching as a lecturer at CSU Monterey Bay. After five years as a lecturer, I was phenomenally lucky to meet another major milestone and career aspiration, I was hired as a tenure track faculty member in the new Biology major at CSU Monterey Bay. Last year, I received tenure, and am now an associate professor.
I also write a blog called genetictalk.org. That blog is more focused on science tidbits that I’m interested in. Indiangirlamericanworld is an outlet for stories that have percolated in my system for the past 40 years or so – stories about being Indian in America. Some are focused on the experiences that I have had with people all over the globe, while others are just bits and pieces of how I’ve always felt pulled by two cultures – the American one that I was born into, and the Indian one that I identify with. I hope you enjoy the writing and the stories. My first story, written for Sulekha.com (http://creative.sulekha.com/standing-on-the-porch-in-a-blizzard_99463_blog) years ago is the true beginning to this blog.