New Blog, New Focus

This blog meant a lot to me and I would like to leave it as is. I have now created a new blog called Life, STEM and the pursuit of balance. It will chronicle my life now as a wife, mother, engineer, mentor and so many more things. If you are interested in the new journeys I will face, please follow me on my new blog (

Josa and the BEAR will remain focused on my time in the Netherlands. Thank you all who followed it and I hope you will follow me on  my next journey.


Life After Graduate School

I have been absent from the blogging for over two years now. Originally, my plan had been to do a post-doc in academia. Just like graduate school, I quickly learned that nothing goes as planned.

Since I graduated with my PhD in August 2015, I have been working at a medical device start-up company.

Besides my career, I have also expanded my family. My husband and I bought a house in July 2017 and we now have a daughter. She is almost a year old and I am still in awe of her.

I will be posting weekly updated on my professional and personal life, I am looking to transition this blog to more of a supportive site for others. The next blog post will focus on why it is important to network and how to do it.

The Return

It has been quite awhile since I have updated the blog.  The changes over the last 9 months have been numerous.  I moved back to the US, successfully defended my PhD, bought a house with my husband and started a new job.

In December, I started an NSF postdoc at a start-up company in Philadelphia.  This postdoctoral fellowship is allowing me to have experience in industry while still maintaining some ties to academia.

In the next few weeks, I will be updating the blog with new posts. I plan to focus on different aspects of industry, working at a start-up, academic and general life topics.

I look forward to sharing my personal and career journey! Please comment if you have suggestions for specific topics.

Lab Pranks = Goodbye Gifts

I am a little late with updating, but thought I should share this. A a goodbye gift, Kevin and I left several goodbye pranks from two roommates. I think they enjoyed it. Zip tie chairs together, mess with the screen/display cable and mess with chair settings.

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Zip tie everything, especially the scissors. That way they cant actually cut them off. Block keys on the keyboard or the mouse.

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Of course, put Rose tea in there papers so they smell fresh and flowerly.

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Anniversary Dinner

On March 22nd, it had been exactly one year since I married my best friend. Of course, we planned the dinner for the 21st as the 22nd we would be doing final packing and cleaning of my apartment. Near my apartment there is a restaurant called Beau. I had always wanted to go there. There was the option for a three course meal for around 38 euros.

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In Beau, the atmosphere is elegant, yet very comfortable. The music playing was a mixture of jazz and blues. Outside, the rain had started as the sun began to set.

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For the appetizer we had a seafood soup and pastrami/asparagus dish.  Kevin ordered the chicken and I had the steak. We ordered the creme brulee and the white chocolate/fruit for dessert.

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With the main course, they also served a salad and frijtes w/mayo. It was very Dutch to have the frijtes.

20150321_182946It was a nice and relaxing anniversary dinner.

The Last Day at Work

My last day of work was on Friday. I brought in the nice pie and even made Kevin join me. Everyone was really nice and I shared my reflections of my time in the Netherlands with my labmates. I will miss the work/life balance of my lab. People are efficient at their job and head home around 5 or 6. They work hard but know that having a personal life is critical. I also enjoyed the open conversations that I shared in the Netherlands and countries. Although, we may not agree upon the topic, whether it was politics, religions, etc, the conversations were always cordial. 20150320_113847

My lab also purchased me a few gifts. I have to say, by far the flag with sayings and drawings was my favorite present. So many amazing memories. I will miss my dutch lab and friends.

Nijmegen Train Station

One thing that I love about the Nijmegen train station is the lovely piano they put there. What a nice way to spend a few minutes while waiting for your train hearing some skilled pianist. Of course, I do not play, so I wait, hoping for something wonderful. On the way home a few days ago, a very skilled man was playing Claire de Lune by Debussy. It was beautiful.

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