Defending a 120-page dissertation on immunology and biomaterials may be a daunting task for most on its own, but in the final year of her biomedical engineering Ph.D. program, Midori Wasielewski’s mornings began when her daughter woke up and ended in the late hours of the evening, with a full day’s work at the lab in between.
While the challenges of being a new mom and the interruption of a pandemic may have presented obstacles, Wasielewski never wavered on her path to graduation. Reflecting on a piece of advice that stuck with her throughout her time on campus, she chose actor and author Sean Patrick Flanery’s message to “do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
When her daughter was born in 2021, Wasielewski knew that the hard work was not only for her future self but also for her growing family. “Even though it was extremely hard working around the clock and not getting a lot of sleep, I was very driven to complete the program at that point and also to set a good example for my baby,” she said.