Your name: Debbie Lee
Your home town: Little Neck, New York
Your major(s): Environmental Health Sciences
Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? No
What are your career plans? Academia
What is your favorite book or author and why? I cannot pick an all-time favorite but my favorite book from the past year is The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I was drawn to his exploration of duality in his identity.
What is your favorite word? Homunculus
Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer: Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer: To demonstrate the importance of quality scientific writing, one of my mentors once gave me an excerpt from a highly technical chemical research paper. At first glance, it was completely intimidating—I could not recognize a single chemical compound or process. Once I started reading though, it was amazingly clear what the researchers were trying to do and what they accomplished. All too often, scientists rely on a regurgitation of facts to prove a point and forget that ultimately, their goal is to communicate their ideas and findings to actual readers. It’s really helpful for me to think about that excerpt every time I write a grant proposal, an abstract, or a manuscript.