In this Deutsche Welle program of ExactaMente on the theory and observations of black holes, I talk about how JWST is already sheding light on black holes and their host galaxies, like in this look at Stephan's Quintet.
I participated in a panel talking about the future with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Hosted by the Orígenes Seminar of the Astronomy Department at the Antioquia University, Colombia. We are all Colombian experts on the JWST mission who tell you a bit more about the observatory and hope the Colombian community participates on many JWST projects!
Interview with Impacto TIC about my career path in astronomy and the future in science and astronomy for the new generation of Colombians.
Contirbuted to the making of this video for the ExactaMente (DW) series where we talk about the new 'cosmic eye', JWST.
Giving a talk at the Orígenes Seminar of the Astronomy Department at the Antioquia University, Colombia. I talked about my most recent work on the radio-loud quasar P352-15, and motivated students to take part of our projects from the Network of Colombian Astronomy Students (RECA).
The Colombian Association of Astronomical Studies (ACDA) invited me to talk about my research on "Finding Distant Galaxies with the James Webb Space Telescope" where I discuss the galaxy candidates we found with the Hubble Space Telescope, and how we will follow-up some of them with the JWST.
Interview with BluRadio Colombia where we talked about my career in astronomy from my beginnings in Colombia to winning time to work with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This telescope is going to be the most incredible observatory of the next decade! We will be able to do cutting-edge observations at the most beautiful resolution.
Maloka and the National University of Colombia organize a series of talks called Cine y Ciencia where they discuss the science in movies. In this occasion I talked about Hidden Figures!
A new generation of scientists gets ready to commandeer the James Webb Space Telescope LA Times (25/07/22)
This article highligths graduate students who will be leading research projects with observations from JWST. Read more about our stories preparing to use this telescope and all the cool science that will be done.
Exploring The Time The Universe Lit Up... With A Space Telescope! Forbes (08/05/22)
Forbes Science highlights the stories and scientific contributions of researchers from the Global South. This article features my work in astronomy and in support of the Colombian Astronomy community.
Dos colombianas lideran investigaciones para detectar nuevas galaxias y registrar lugares de formación de estrellas y planetas Semana (13/04/21)
The Colombian magazine Semana tells the stories of Astronomer María Claudia Ramirez and I. Learn about our beginnings in Colombia and the path to becoming leaders of JWST proposals for Cycle 1.
Las colombianas que observarán por el telescopio espacial del futuro El Tiempo (13/04/21)
The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo writes about the science María Claudia and I will develop with JWST during the next two years.
Dos colombianas entre las científicas que analizarán las primeras observaciones del telescopio espacial James Webb El Espectador (09/04/21)
Our colleague and Colombian Astronomer Juan Diego Soler wrote a lovely note for the newspaper El Espectador. Here is described the importance of astronomy exploration, space telescopes, and how María Claudia and I will be using the JWST to solve mysteries about planet formation and properties of galaxies at the beginning of the universe.
Experiencias, retos y desafíos para las científicas en el trabajo en Astrociencias en Colombia Revista Digital Fulica (13/02/21)
We wrote an article about the role of women in astronomy throughout time, highlighting Latinamerican and Colombian exemplary figures. We also present the challenges in our current academic status and the panorama for the future generations of women in science in our country.
Listen to this podcast in "El Arranque" to learn cool facts about about astronomy, the first images from the JWST and all the science we are already learning or are about to learn with the help of this observatory.
Impacto TIC is a new digital media platform dedicated to journalism in technology, innovation and science. In the podcast Contra TIC, we chat with my colleague astronomers María Claudia Ramirez-Tannus and Andrea Guzmán about our efforts opening opportunities for Colombian women in astronomy.
A friend from my undergrad at UT Austin, Anjana Kaushik Talluri, began this podcast about inspiring stories of women in science. Here we chat about my career and also share some experience we had as international students in our university. Listen up for the whole story!
Making an excel list is a good idea. Keep it organized and dream big! It is wise to keep your options open and apply to your favorite universities and your 'plan-B' also taking into account your budget/scholarship opportunities. Instead of looking for 'best-ranked' universities, go to the department websites and read the syllabus of a few classes and research opportunities the program has to offer. This university department will be your home and support for a good amount of years. You can even contact them and ask for more information, don't be shy! Depending on the country, the application process varies but here I focus on a few factors to keep in mind...
Try your best to have good grades, this gives you more scholarship options. For undergraduate applications, it's good to talk about your extracurriculars and volunteering activities in high-school. For graduate school is very important to showcase your undergraduate research. In Colombia, a few universities have an astronomer or a contact with whom you can do a bachelor's thesis in astronomy. You can also apply to a couple of internships abroad like at STScI or MPIA. In RECA we offer 10-week summer internships to give Colombian undergrads the opportunity to do cutting-edge research with astronomers worldwide! At the moment, we don't have financial resources to reward students for their hard work. Contact me or RECA if you might have ideas to help us!
We all want them, and many of us live from them.
In Colombia there is no private or governmental
institution offering scholarships
to study abroad. There are only loans and are not great.
Your Ph.D. tends to be easier to finance in both the U.S. and Europe. Your research supervisor can fully or partially fund your studies and pay you
a salary. In the U.S. the master's and Ph.D. pograms are joint together into one program for 'Graduate Education'
so there are rarely problems with funding both. However, in Europe there are scholarships for foreigners to do the Master's Degree
neither there are funds for your daily expenses. Proof of European ancestry might really help you to study in some countries like Italy.
For the Ph.D. in Europe, you get a nice salary with social benefits like pension, medical and social insurances.
This balance can vary per country and institution but definitely you would not have to take a side job or use up your savings to pay for your Ph.D.,
like it is the case in Colombia.
For undergraduate education, it's very expensive in the U.S. However, you can look at scholarship opprotunities at the universities where you are planning to apply. Do not be shy and shoot an email to the international office, they will guide you in the right direction! We also have a few tips in the RECA mentorship program. I was able to do my whole undergrad based on scholarships, and now get paid during my Ph.D. and so can you!
Science communications around the world is now mainly dominated by English. Any university program outside of Latin America will ask you for the TOEFL / IELTS test. Find practice questions online, or buy a book to get familiarized with the format of the exam. Even native speakers would perform poorly when going in to the exam with no information or preparation. The issue with these standarized tests is that they grade how well you can answer this exam rather than your true level of English. There is no other solution to prove your language skill for the university, so we all have to go through this process. For some summer internships or mi Ph.D. program IMPRS-HD., you might not be required this test because instead they will have an interview in English with you. Remember the TOEFL or IELTS scores are valid for three years and you can always present the exam as many times as you need and submit your best score. Break the language barrier and don't stop there, learn to communicate with people in other languages, it's fun!
Writing in general is an important skill in science. You want to be able to explain your research, motivations, and proposals clearly. Usually essays or a letter of statement are required by universities so that they get to know more about you besides the grades. This is similarly required when applying for research internships. In Colombia this essay format is not widely taught in school, so we offer a few RECA tips. I have way more advice and don't mind proof-reading your statement. Contact me here!
Standarized tests like the SAT / ACT are required by universities in the U.S. for undergraduate education. For graduate education the GRE is required in the U.S. Also, the GRE-Physics test might be required as well in a few universities in the U.S., Europe or Australia but is definitely less common. Similarly, do the practice tests. These exams are definitely expensive, so the more you prepare for it the better you will score and won't have to retake the exam many more times. I would advice registering for a course that prepares you for these exams.