Hello and welcome! My name is Lietsel (pronounced Lee-ZUHL) and I am a Mechanical Engineering PhD student at the University of Central Florida. I recently graduated with an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering specializing in biomechanics. My current doctoral research integrates lower limb tasks with interactive art media to determine whether engaging sensorimotor processes involved with creativity and self-exploration are a benefit to lower limb rehabilitation. This endeavor combines everything I love: art, creative expression, neuromechanics, and most importantly, helping others.
I am a lesbian, woman of color, and international student – because of these intersections, I feel it is important to share my perspective and experiences. In the last decade, my academic journey has been tumultuous and even though I am right where I was meant to be (a woman in STEM), I know I could have benefited from seeing more representation in my field. Because I feel so strongly about young women seeing someone that looks like them kicking butt in STEM careers, I have performed outreach in classrooms ranging from elementary to high school. But, I want to take it a bit further by branching into science communication! So here’s what you can expect from this blog:
- my PhD journey
- mental health advocacy
- a breakdown of experiences as a minority in STEM, mainly engineering
- topic reviews on neuromechanics, neurophysiology, biomechanics, and biomedical engineering
- research updates
My favorite TV show of ALL TIME is The Office, hence the name of the blog. In my free time, I love to read fantasy novels with a warm cup of tea in hand, obsess over my cat, play The Sims 4 (mostly because I love interior design and it’s the only way I can tap into that passion right now as a grad student), run races (did my first half marathon in December 2019, yay!), spend time and go on adventures with my partner, take care of my plant babies, and explore new places. Speaking of fantasy novels, my love for the genre extends to TV shows, so the origin of “Mother of Neurons” is indubitably from Game of Thrones (I refuse to comment on the show’s ending). I’m from the Dutch Caribbean, so although I grew up speaking both Dutch and English, I have been studying in the U.S.A. for so long that I can only understand/read Dutch now. Please, I beg you. Don’t ask me to say ____ in Dutch in-person 🙂 I will panic.