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Chapter 6 - Balancing Graduate School and Family

Joseph Chaney
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Joseph Chaney is a graduate student at Purdue University starting his fifth year in biochemistry. He is married to the love of his life and has two beautiful children. Mr. Chaney worked in industry for four years before going back to school for his PhD with the support of his boss/mentor. He had been considering going back to school since he had started his career in industry, and it had always been his dream to be a research scientist. The catalyst that got the ball rolling was his experience with Hurricane Katrina, which taught him how precious the time we have in this life is, and that it is not good to put off one’s hopes and dreams to a later date when tomorrow is not promised.

Andrew Fiss, PhD
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Andrew Fiss, While a senior at Vassar College, applied to a wide variety of graduate programs in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and history of science. After many conversations with his academic mentors, he decided to pursue an MA/PhD in history and philosophy of science at a university hundreds of miles away from his friends and relatives. This made his transition to graduate school difficult, because in addition to feeling geographically isolated, he was also unfamiliar with some of the material that formed the core of his graduate training. However, he slowly became more comfortable in both his studies and in the broader university community. Dr. Fiss defended his dissertation in 2011 and subsequently has held postdoctoral positions at Vassar College and Davidson College.

Francisco Iacobelli, PhD
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Dr. Iacobelli earned his PhD in computer science from Northwestern University.He got married right before he started graduate school and had three children during his PhD program. Dr. Iacobelli graduated from college in Chile, South America, and gained ten years of experience in consulting and computer systems both in Chile and the United States before going on to his graduate studies. He first earned a master’s degree in computer science while still working. This changed his views on his vocation. Although he liked consulting, he found himself contemplating the possibility of entering academia full time and started his PhD program shortly thereafter. Dr. Iacobelli currently teaches in Chicago, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Paul E. Carey Jr.
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Paul E. Carey Jr. is in his last semester as a graduate student at Indiana University, majoring in physical chemistry. He is originally from Indianapolis and is involved in various organizations, including the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and he is a mentor for the IU-Groups STEM Initiative. He is also a board member for the Ian Smith Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis that focuses on giving back to inner city youth. Mr. Carey is married to a lovely young woman whom he has known since high school and enjoys participating in various intra-collegiate activities, such as intramural basketball, kickball, and football.