Introducing you to our newest Role Model and Brand Ambassador, Sarah Habibi! Sarah - also known as Science Bae on Instagram - is a PhD Candidate, TEDx Speaker, and Laboratory Professor.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF! TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION.
Hey! My name is Sarah Habibi and I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. I received my Bachelor of Science in 2015, and my Bachelor of Education in 2016 from UOIT. My research is in the area of biological sciences with a focus on pharmacology and parasitology.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OR SKILL YOU LEARNED INSIDE THE CLASSROOM OR LAB?
The most important skill that I learned inside the lab is how to think critically. When conducting scientific research we often encounter many problems along the road. This is where thinking critically really comes into play. In order to fix a problem, you first need to understand what the problem is and what you are trying to achieve with that particular experiment. I found troubleshooting experimental problems in the lab really helped me develop my critical thinking skills.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OR SKILL YOU LEARNED OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM OR LAB?
The most important lesson that I learned outside of the lab is to always smile and never judge a person without knowing their story. Everyone has a back story and everyone goes through rough times. It’s important not to jump to conclusions or judge someone based on their action made ones.
The most important lesson that I learned outside of the lab is to always smile and never judge a person without knowing their story.
WHO WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TEACHER?
My most memorable teacher would have to be Ms.Hollingsworth, who taught me grade 12 Biology. I believe it was taking this class with her that really helped me develop my study skills and persistence in biology. I learned that concepts were getting more difficult and so I needed to work even harder to get the grades I felt I “deserved”. I still think back today, that if it wasn't for her, I don't know if my study habits would have been as good in my first year of university as they were.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A PHD IN PHARMACOLOGY AND PARASITOLOGY? WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS WHEN YOU COMPLETE YOUR FORMAL STUDIES?
I was first inspired to pursue a PhD in pharmacology and parasitology when I took a course in my third year of university, titled “Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology”. One day in lecture our professor decided to share with us all of the research he was conducting in his lab. This is when I was first introduced to this research. Immediately I was hooked in and fascinated with the subject. Nonetheless, I am now pursuing a PhD in this same professor's lab, just as fascinated with the subject matter as I was when I was first introduced to it in 2014.
My plans after I complete my formal studies is to pursue a career in academia. Specifically, I would like to teach within the science faculty at a Canadian university. My ultimate dream would be to do both science communication and teaching, and finding a way to integrate both my passions into one career.
YOU USE YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT TO COMMUNICATE AND EDUCATE ABOUT A HUGE VARIETY OF SCIENTIFIC TOPICS (WHILE KEEPING IT FUN!). WHY IS SCIENCE COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Science communication is important to me because it allows me to break down very complex topics to a level where people understand and are able to take something away. There is so much “fake” science out there and I just hope that I can provide a platform where real (scientifically proven by research) information can be shared. I have always wanted to be a teacher (not to mention my dad is a high school science teacher), and I completed the education to become a high school teacher, so you can say it was always a passion of mine, and maybe even genetic. Science communication is the same as teaching, we are just using social media to get the message across.
WHAT IS ONE LESSON YOU YOU’VE LEARNED THAT YOU’D LIKE YOUNG GIRLS GROWING UP TODAY TO KNOW?
Work hard for what you want. Nothing will be given to you, as nothing should. You can’t expect opportunities or desirable outcomes if you don’t put in the initial work to receive them.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW (OR FAVOURITE BOOK)?
I hate to say this - but I actually dislike reading books. This may sound crazy, of course I need to read journal articles in research, but it isn’t my favorite thing to do. Rather, I have really been getting into podcasts lately. I love the podcast “Science for the People”. The information is great and comes at a level that is perfect for people with a background in science or not in science.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?
I learned that if you feel like you need a break, TAKE A BREAK. I have had quite the hectic week, and I can feel that I am at the tipping point. This is exactly when a break needs to be taken.
I learned that if you feel like you need a break, TAKE A BREAK.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?