Monthly Archives

May 2016

Students

Jill Jermyn – From Concerts to Coding

We met Jill during her Microsoft internship last summer (gosh it’s been a while) – we were delighted that she’d taken the initiative to bring props to the shoot! Dona was (of course) instantly drawn to Jill because of her beautiful writing accessories.

Tell us a little about you.

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I am a violinist-turned-engineer from New York. My first career was in music, and I played lots of concerts in my lifetime. I decided to study something new for fun 5 years ago, and it unexpectedly turned into my second career. Now I’m working on my PhD in Computer Science at Columbia University, where I study network security.

Tell us about what you’re wearing.

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Computer Science has enabled me to travel to really fun places, and everything I’m wearing here is part of a collection of things that I obtained during my travels.

I bought the dress in a small shop I found in Florence, Italy. It was a special occasion for me because the man who made the dress was one of the first people I had a long conversation with in Italian during my trip. All of his clothing is designed and made by hand with Italian fabrics, one piece per design. It was really fascinating to hear about all of his ideas and inspirations for the styles. The dress I’m wearing is one of his modern designs.

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

IMG_8822I grew up in a family of artists and was always taught to make my appearance and lifestyle as artistic as my work. I believe that it is important to be surrounded at all times by objects that promote inspiration and artistic thought.

This is why I include many unique objects, in addition to my clothing, as part of my style. I always write with a fountain pen (this one is from Torino, Italy) on paper that I’ve collected from various cities (this pad holder is from Gubbio, Italy with paper from Alsace, France).

The mug was hand painted in a small city called Deruta in Umbria, Italy, where I met many fine artisans who inspire me every day. My shoes are from Spain, and the earrings are from a jewelry maker that I admire very much in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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I would strongly encourage it. I would also suggest that you speak to as many professionals in the field as possible to find out about what they do. I think a big part of the reason why I didn’t pursue a STEM field as my first career was that I didn’t know what type of career it could lead to.

What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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I can’t pick just one, but something that I feel happy with was a model of the LTE cellular network that I built for simulating attacks. I designed and implemented a scalable system of the network and ran some really cool large-scale attacks. I was proud of it because I built the whole thing myself and was pleased by the engineering and architecture of the final product.

Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?

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Remember to take other people’s advice as input, but your ultimate decisions should truly be your own.

What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?

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I’m not overly active on social media, but you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn.

It’s not every day you meet a violinist-turned-engineer, and we’re honored to have had the opportunity to interview such a fascinating young woman!

Have the best weekend you guys!

xoxo

Dona & Beth

Students

Cassie Bub’s Boots Were Meant For Walking

We had the pleasure of meeting Cassie Bub when she was an intern and immediately we knew what we were going to make her do for her photos…I mean, let’s be real, how often are you going to meet a computer scientist + musician + GYMNAST!  We managed to catch this feisty multi-hyphenate in a net and insisted she tell us all the things. 

Tell us a little about you.

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I am a rising junior at Texas A&M University majoring in Computer Science with Minors in Math and Neuroscience. I also spent last summer as an Explorer Intern at Microsoft working on Bing answers, and will be returning this summer. I fell in love with the uniqueness that is computer science in high school, and that feeling has only increased throughout my years in college. It continues to astound me just how complex and powerful computers are.

In my free time I play flute in the Wind Symphony at A&M, and have gotten some amazing opportunities to travel with them. Music is one of the few things that can reach out and transcend cultural differences so easily. We played in Ireland last summer! It’s an awesome feeling playing a concert in another country and watching the crowd really get into what you’re playing, despite the fact that you are of different nationalities.

Gymnastics is another big component in my life, as I have been involved in the sport since I was three. I stopped doing gymnastics right before high school, thinking I was done forever, but it kept calling out to me. In college I got back into it, and am now on the Texas A&M gymnastics team where I have met some of the loveliest people. It’s unreal competing again, and while it’s been tough, it is so worth it to do the sport that I love again.

Tell us about what you’re wearing.

I’m a little obsessed with lacy dresses and own way, way too many. This maroon dress is one of my favorites as I love how it is so simple and light. The earrings with this outfit compliment the simplicity of the dress as they are quite ornate. I found these in a tiny shop in Ireland last summer and couldn’t resist the lure of the gorgeous gold design with the tiny shining jewels.

Who doesn’t like leggings?! They are incredibly comfy and can be dressed way up or way down. I paired the tight leggings with a flowing top which is a bright and fun shade of teal. The earrings with this outfit are my go-to “fancy” earrings as they really catch light due to their smooth silver appearance.

The favorite thing about my closet though are my black combat boots. If you can’t tell by their worn out appearance I wear them all the time. They are incredibly sturdy but stylish at the same time! I love them!

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

In high school I was notorious for my lace cami under a plain v-neck top paired with jeans and Vans. I didn’t feel comfortable branching out at all. I found something I was used to and stuck with it.

Since then I have worked to expand my closet and find clothes that I wasn’t just comfortable in, but clothes that I loved and made me feel confident! I still like more of a classic, simple look, but it is a far cry from my days of basically the exact same outfit.

It’s scary to put yourself out there, whether that’s a new outfit or as simple as saying hi to someone new, but I believe that shouldn’t hold you back. Stay true to what you want to wear!

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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One of the cool things about the field as it is evolving now, is that is incredibly low-cost to you to get involved. There is still a learning curve to get started, but there are so many resources online that are free and make it easy to learn. If you really like something in the STEM field utilize these resources that people have created for you! There is so much information out there, and it’s never to late to start!

I was intimidated by the people who said they had been coding for years and knew so many languages already, but I also know a lot of people who are just like me and didn’t really know they wanted to get into the STEM field until college.

What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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This past summer I worked on Bing answers and was able to incorporate my love for music into something really cool! I created a guitar tuner, and so far it seems like people are really liking it!

What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?

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Twitter & Instagram :)

We so appreciated Cassie being willingness to do a whimsical photoshoot with us with some of her best gymnastics tricks. We also love her badass time-management skills! “Balancing” (haha) the A&M gymnastics team and the symphony WHILE nailing a CS degree? That’s skillz. 

Thank you Cassie for giving us a peek into your life.  

Love,

Dona & Beth

Students

Erin Winick Makes It Work

THERE IS ANOTHER ENGINEER/FASHION DESIGNER/WRITER in the world!  Beth had the pleasure of meeting Erin Winick during a talk she was invited to give in Florida as a guest of our former FibSeq star, Ming Yang.

Immediately, Beth realized she needed to profile this brilliantly creative maker on all of the things….

Tell us a little about you.

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I am a 4th year mechanical engineering student at the University of Florida and the founder of Sci Chic. At Sci Chic we used advanced technologies, like 3D printing and laser cutting, to make customizable science and engineering inspired jewelry and accessories. All of our products are also paired with science descriptions to help spread science literacy.

I love 3D printing, sewing and working with my hands (YES!!!!!). I even sew and create costumes in my free time (WHAT?!!!). I am a huge proponent of the maker revolution and love encouraging other to make as well. This is largely what inspired the creation of Sci Chic.

You can also find me hiking, reading, watching Project Runway (are you my soulmate, Erin?) or listening to Bruce Springsteen or musical cast albums. The Hamilton and In The Heights cast albums are currently on repeat on my phone

Tell us about what you’re wearing.

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I am definitely a budget shopper and snatch up deals where I can find them. My trench coat is a classic from Banana Republic, but I actually got it at Goodwill for $15. My black flower sweater is from Ann Taylor which I also got on sale. I love Ann Taylor and Loft because of how simple and elegant their pieces look. My skinny jeans and boots are from Target, where I am definitely a loyal shopper as well.

I actually designed and sewed my blue galaxy dress. The galaxy fabric is from Joann Fabrics and really inspired me when I saw it. I made the whole dress in one weekend (that’s some mad skills–geez) and originally wore it for the launch of Sci Chic. I love learning new sewing techniques and showing off the beauty of science in my clothes. The black heels paired with it are from Rack Room Shoes.

All of my jewelry is by Sci Chic. The DNA Necklace and Suspension Bridge Ring are 3D printed in bronze steel. It often surprises people that you can 3D print metal, but you can get some amazing results! The white Small Atom Necklace and Blue Moon Phase Earrings are both laser cut from acrylic on a CO2 laser. Sci Chic offers all of these pieces in a variety of options on our website so you can customize them to what you want.

How did your style evolve to what it is now?

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I used to not really pay much attention to my clothes and my fashion in high school, but as I started college I wanted to make a good impression on the people I meet and interact with and decided to step-up my fashion game a bit.

When I started watching Project Runway, I slowly felt more encouraged to branch out to new styles.I love doing more layering and finding really versatile pieces I can wear with a lot of outfits. My style has become a greater mix of fun with professional; I am not afraid to rock some bolder patterns and pieces like the DNA necklace or galaxy patterned shoes.

Additionally, sewing my own pieces has given me complete freedom to make exactly what I want to wear. This has really allowed me to express myself through my clothes like never before.

Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?

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I am a huge proponent of the maker movement (a 1000x YES!). I believe so much of what STEM consists of is creativity and problem solving. If you are considering on of the STEM fields, get as much experience having fun with it and getting involved as early as you can. Get hands on experience making things or solving problems.

If you enjoy this, STEM is definitely the field for you. STEM is so much more than just working on cars and building bridges; it can be the gateway into almost any industry.

Do not limit yourself or be afraid to pave your own path.

What is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?

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Taking the leap and actually starting Sci Chic is definitely the thing I am proudest of doing. It took a lot for me to actually take the huge step of forming this company – it’s honestly really scary putting yourself and your idea out there. You face a lot of judgement in addition to adulation and your success or failure is very public.

However, I am so happy to have done it. The past 6 months that Sci Chic has been operating have given me some incredible experiences that I couldn’t have gotten any other way. I am so excited to see where it goes from here as we expand into new designs, more precious metal and into the retail market.

Are there any misconceptions about STEM fields that you’d like to clear up?

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It always bothers me when people expect engineers and scientists to be antisocial. To be honest, most of the best scientists and engineers are fantastic communicators. Being able to express yourself, your ideas and your creations to others is an extremely valuable skill and allows you to do well in the STEM fields. Personally I love writing, meeting new people and connecting with different groups of people.

I hope more people embrace this side of them – I think this will create a better public understanding of what engineers really do.

How do you see fashion and the STEM fields combining in the future?

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With wearable technology on the forefront of everyone’s minds I think science and engineering and going to become and increasing part of the fashion industry.

Obviously I am a huge fan of 3D printing. As 3D printing gets faster and cheaper I think more companies are going to take advantage of it. I love using it because it allows me to make the same piece of jewelry in both plastic and 14k gold. This type of customization is not something easily available out there to jewelry makers right now without 3D printing. I am also really excited by Electroloom, a company working on 3D printing fabrics.

I think in the next 10 years the people in the fashion industry that fully embrace technology are going to be the ones that win out.

Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?

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Do not be afraid to take an untraditional path. I never thought in a million years I would be able to combine my loves of fashion, 3D printing, making, writing, communication and engineering into one project, but somehow it worked out. There is something perfect out there for you. Do not stop until you find it.

What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

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I’m most active on Sci Chic’s social media pages which you can find here:

Facebook/ Instagram / Twitter / Tumblr / Pinterest / Youtube

Snapchat: Scichic

You can also follow my personal social media: Twitter / Instagram

You tell ’em what’s up Erin! We, too, did not think there was a way to connect our loves for fashion, writing, communication and engineering together and yet…here we are, making friends everywhere we go and celebrating these amazing lives people are leading.   Go buy yourself some SciChic!

Love,

Dona & Beth