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Managing Your Life in Academia

Undergraduate Career

Starting college is a big deal, especially for first-generation and international students who might find it tough at first. But every challenge you face is a chance to learn and grow. We’re here to help you with advice, support, and cheering you on, so you can succeed in school and beyond.

Tips for Undergraduate Students


Surviving your PhD

Starting your Ph.D. journey is a big step filled with learning and discovery. While you tackle research and academic obstacles, remember that each challenge helps you grow. We’re here to support you with guidance and resources so you can succeed and make a difference in your field.

Tips for Graduate Students


Postdoc Life

Entering postdoctoral life is a major step in your academic and professional journey. While you navigate the complexities of advancing your research, forming collaborations, and planning your career path, rest assured that we’re here to provide tailored support and resources to help you thrive in this new phase of your career.


Independent Career

Becoming an assistant professor is a big achievement in your academic journey, especially as you aim for tenure. Juggling research, teaching, and service while working toward this goal can be tough. But don’t worry, we’re here to support you every step of the way with guidance and resources, helping you succeed in academia for years to come.

Meet Melanie

Dr. Melanie Ecker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Texas and the Director of the Smart Polymers for Biomedical Research Lab. She is originally from Germany, a first-generation student, and a woman in STEM.

Melanie Ecker

As someone who has successfully navigated her way through academia, she is eager to share her experiences from all stages to help you thrive in this (sometimes hostile) environment.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Albert Einstein