Academic Success Story: Yalda Uhls, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Academic Success Story: Yalda Uhls, M.B.A., Ph.D.

I sometimes wonder whether Dr. Yalda Uhls is a descendant of King Midas, since everything she touches turns into (figurative) gold.

Dr. Uhls was a movie executive at MGM and Sony before we met during our first year of graduate school at UCLA in 2009. She has since published award-winning child psychology research and, most recently, a book titled, Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age, which was the #1 New Release in Popular Child Psychology on Amazon. Her book breaks down research on the complex issues surrounding the impact of technology on children in a friendly, accessible fashion.

Don’t take my word for Dr. Uhls’ expertise on how media affects children. Instead, check out her research featured on The New York Times and NPR.

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Academic Success Story: Jesse Brown, Ph.D.

Academic Success Story: Jesse Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Jesse Brown is somewhat of an enigma—equal parts laid-back San Diegan, intensely focused neuroscientist, deep philosopher, and incredibly kind friend.

I first met Jesse in 2009 during a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a neuroscience conference. A few miles into our drive, we stopped for gas in a strip mall in the San Fernando Valley (LA's version of the boonies), where Jesse asked, "Where in the world are we?" In response, I launched into an enthusiastic diatribe about the virtues of growing up there, to which he patiently listened. Despite (probably) thinking I was a weirdo, he made several trips with me to my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants there and took the time to mentor me on my Master’s thesis, all while making significant findings about Alzheimer’s disease risk and earning major fellowships like the National Research Service Award (NRSA) and his own grant.

Whereas Jesse may be a mystery, there is no secret as to why I like him so much, or why you should read his insights about pursuing a science Ph.D. and beyond. He’s a young wise old man, offering thoughtful bigger picture responses to seemingly simple questions without ever making you feel inferior. He proves my point in this interview.

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Academic Success Story: Varty Hindoyan, J.D.

Academic Success Story: Varty Hindoyan, J.D.

Today’s Academic Success Story profiles Varty Hindoyan, a brilliant lawyer who has always been far too accomplished and wise for her age ;) She’s been a very close friend since we met in 5th grade at the tiny C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School 19(!) years ago. 

Our educational paths diverged upon graduating from the 8th grade, and Varty eventually pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), where she (unsurprisingly) graduated magna cum laude (i.e., “with great honor”) in (amazingly) just three years. As if these achievements weren’t enough to make many of us awestruck, she then completed her J.D. at Berkeley Law.

If you’re ever worried about getting too comfortable with your accomplishments, I encourage you to get to know Varty. Be prepared, however, to be dazzled by how well-read, well-traveled, and persuasive she is (I unfortunately speak from experience).

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