blog postsGrad School 101: Building Community in Graduate SchoolOct 18, 2018 4:30 pm1072 views By starting a graduate program at the University of Illinois, you have joined a large, vibrant community of people committed to exploring and understanding the world. You’re surrounded every day by tens of thousands of fascinating, dedicated, and creative people. Within such a large and dynamic community, though, it can sometimes be challenging to connect with others. You may be wondering how to find those connections and build relationships with people around you. Good news, though: everyone else is wondering the same thing.Day in the Life: Monica Chinea DilizFeb 6, 2017 11:30 am437 views Hi, my name is Monica and I am a third year PhD student in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. My research focus is molecular neuroscience and in particular my lab studies the RNA binding proteins involved in Fragile X Syndrome, the leading cause of inherited cognitive impairment. As a graduate student doing research in a laboratory, most days there is an ebb and flow that is primarily dictated by the experiments that are taking place. The stereotype of a scientist hunched over test tubes 24 hours a day does not represent the many ways that science actually unfolds. One of the most valuable things that I have learned thus far in my graduate career is that the time I spend thinking about science is nearly as critical as how much time I am putting in at the bench. It is also very important to cultivate habits that contribute to overall wellbeing outside of the lab. This is my first semester without taking any classes, which has freed up more time to focus on my research. Here is what a recent Monday looked like.