The Sparks lab turned THREE this summer, and time has flown by. While we were not able to celebrate in person due to the covid-19 pandemic, we still virtually celebrate this milestone and cannot wait to be back together for a belated celebration.
The lab has been shuttered since early March, and we are slowly returning to research. The first step has been - moving! We are still in the process, but the bulk of our lab moved to the STAR campus this past week. We are still waiting for chemicals and cold storage to move, but hopefully we can resume some research in mid-July (as long as we can ensure that we do this safely).
Other news includes the migration of our lab website to braceroots.com! It has been a labor of love to migrate our website and it is finally ready for release. We hope you visit our site often, as we promise to continue updating content.
A fantastic undergraduate, Nick Insley, was also awarded a Delaware Space Grant NASA summer internship! While not exactly the project we had originally planned, we were able to pivot Nick to a virtual summer project! Sarah Blizard successfully defended her MS thesis in June, but will stay on for another semester to finish experiments that were cancelled due to the pandemic. Huge congratulations to both Nick and Sarah!!!
Last, but certainly not least, we have been reflecting on diversity and inclusion. This includes additional discussions about how we can ensure the lab is an inclusive place, and educating ourselves about systemic racism and how the academy contributes to these problems. We believe that
Black Lives Matter
No Human is Illegal
Love is Love
Science is Real
Women's Rights are Human Rights
and pledge to become better allies by uplifting and amplifying under-represented voices, continuing our education on racism, diversity and inclusion, and speaking out when we see or experience injustices.