Welcome to GO-GIRL Central!

GG Central is the place to watch for GO-GIRL news and highlights. Check us out to see what's happening!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Volunteering In Undergrad

Volunteering and extracurricular activities tend to be very important in high school. Often times it can be stressful and hard to balance. I’ve found that the key is finding volunteering opportunities that you’re actually interested in and can be passionate about, so it no longer feels like something you have to do. Furthermore, it’s better to take on less opportunities that you can better commit to than volunteering everywhere and stretching yourself thin.

So what are some opportunities to volunteer during your undergraduate degree? If you’re thinking about medicine, volunteering at a hospital can be really cool. With the right program, you can get some amazing experience. In high school, I was able to watch a C-section and other surgeries within the OGBYN unit. In college, I volunteered at Henry Ford hospital and made rounds, seeing units ranging from nephrology (kidneys) to postnatal care (after the baby is born). The great thing about Wayne State being in the heart of Detroit is that there are so many opportunities – Henry Ford, the DMC, Karmanos, Children’s hospital, etc. – you just have to find the one right for you!

Another opportunity I found was volunteering at a Senior home, specifically with hospice patients. This experience has been unexpectedly rewarding and honestly, completely life changing. Every time I stop by I leave feeling reenergized and connected back to the big picture. It helps me stop and realize the important things, and has helped me grow as an individual in ways I was not expecting. While many may think that this kind of work might be depressing, it’s truly not. Seeing the patients’ faces light up when I walk in, and they tend to be so talkative and hilarious.

Finding volunteering that is rewarding will remind you of the essence of volunteering, and help you understand how to be better in your future career, whatever it is that you may choose.

- Mentor Maisha

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Doing Undergraduate Research

With any career field, a huge part goes into research! What exactly is research? Research is to explore a topic (anything your mind can possibly imagine), produce data, and come to new conclusions. It's investigating, questioning, and thinking for new, innovative ideas. Wayne State University is one of the main research institutions in Michigan. Research isn't always strictly science, but it can involve anything you want to study and learn more about. 

Many of the mentors at GO-GIRL research while completing their undergraduate research studies. I have found research to be an immense help both in and outside of the classroom. It can help your individual and collaborative work skills, how to present in front of large crowds, and of course, it helps you gain a better understanding of whatever it is that you are studying. 

I am currently researching at the Wayne State School of Medicine doing a project on how to understand the mobilization and metabolism of fat tissue in cells. This can help prevent and know more about diseases that are commonly prevalent such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

One of the hardest parts about research I first found, was having to do work with animal samples. However, after getting trained and knowing how to handle animals properly it wasn't so bad. It's interesting to see just how alike our bodies are to little mice. Of course there are different physiological aspects, but in general they share the same eukaryotic cell qualities that we have! 

Research opens your mind to finding new information about things you would have never thought about before. It really allows you to realize how there's so much work from the dedication of various individuals who study and do experiments day in and day out to make the world continue to advance and hopefully make it a better place!  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcoming The New School Year

Hi GO-GIRLS! I hope your summer has been going well! After all the fun we had at the academies, I wanted to fill you all in on what us mentors are doing now that the school year is beginning for a lot of us. Many of us juggle school, work, and extra curricular activities throughout the year, so we are looking forward to a busy year not only with that but also with upcoming GO-GIRL related events.

This week, Wayne State University welcomed the Fall 2014 semester. Over the weekend, students began to move into the dorms and buy their textbooks at the bookstore. The incoming freshman experienced orientation on Monday, exploring campus and meeting friends. The following Tuesday was the New Student Convocation, an official welcoming of the new students, and FestiFall, a fun picnic with food, games, and music. FestiFall is also an opportunity to explore student organizations and clubs.

While a lot of us mentors begin our school year, I hope all of you enjoy the last couple of days of summer and look forward to being one step closer to college! Throughout the school year, I want you all to think about all the exciting things we did over the academies and how you can apply that to the things you learn in school. Keep in touch and follow GO-GIRL on all of our social media sites to stay updated with us!

Mentor Pia

Wayne State welcomes incoming Warriors at FestiFall

New Student Convocation and Festifall fun in the middle of campus

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It’s Genetic! Wednesday: GMO Yes or No?

One of the last activities the Go Girls participated in this academy was the GMO debate. GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms – organisms whose genetic material has been engineered to achieve some desired product. The girls learned a little about GMOs and worked in pairs to make and present posters arguing either for or against GMOs.

Go Girl Lisa said, “Nature is doing the same things. Scientists are just doing it faster.”

On the other hand, Go Girl Erica argues, “You are what you eat. If you don’t know what you eat, you don’t know what you’ll become.”

After each presentation they were asked questions by the “FDA board” composed of mentors. Once all the presentations were finished, the girls then became the FDA board and brainstormed solutions. They suggested better labeling of GMO products, better regulations and more testing, and some even suggested that GMOs should be banned until companies are completely sure they are harmless. Overall, the girls did a wonderful job at coming together, brainstorming ideas, and making arguments.

- Mentor Maisha

It's Genetic! Day 3

Today in Biology Lab, the girls looked at how appetite is controlled by genes and the environment in C. elegans--little tiny worms! Did you know that these worms LOVE the smell of buttered popcorn?! That smell is actually a chemical called diacetyl. At first, the girls put worms at one side of their petri dishes and watched the worms wiggle their way towards the smell that was located at the other end of the dishes. They, then, were given two different samples of these worms in two other petri dishes: one wild (natural) sample and one mutated sample. The girls had to use their knowledge from the first sample and decide which sample was the wild sample and which was the mutated sample. Look at what the girls were looking at through their microscopes! 

- Mentor Sanjana

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's Genetic! Tuesday's Wrap Up

After dinner, the girls relaxed and finished up their lab questions. Unfortunately, outdoor crafts were cancelled due to the rainy weather - but that didn't stop our BRIGHT Go Girls from having fun!

Today's day was filled with learning - from talking to Genetic Counselors and role-playing a real life situation to doing an experiment involving worms (ask your girl about how much fun it was!). To balance it out, the night was filled with relaxing and fun activities that brought out the girls' more creative sides.The girls designed some more shirts with puffy paints and we were amazed by all of the inner artists! Some energy was then released in a Zumba class again as girls danced to the rhythm.

When the girls came back, they were ushered to the activity room in Towers where they had first checked in. But this time, the girls filled the room and the mentors presented the Go Girls awards! Each and every girl was celebrated for the reasons why they were all so special to us. Traits awarded ranged from being funny or talented to having great leadership skills. Ask your girl what she got celebrated for!

Better yet, the awards were all intricate handmade DNA strands made by the mentors. And of course to the girls, even better yet was the fact that the night ended with a pizza party and some music!

P.S. This post is being written as I listen to all the girls sing along to Stay With Me by Sam Smith. How precious!

- Mentor Mahpara

It's Genetic: Genes and your Health (Exploring Genetic Counseling)

It's Genetic: Genes and your Health (Exploring Genetic Counseling)

Today the girls headed over to the medical school to learn about genetic counseling and the heredity traits of common genetic illnesses. The course started with a lecture from Angela Trepanier, the program director for Wayne State's Genetic Counseling program. After this the girls learned about Genetic Counseling as a career through a series of "speed dates" with 8 Genetic Counselors. These volunteers varied from research specialists, practicing genetic counselors and even current genetic counseling students! The girls asked some great questions about the field, including what it means to be a genetic counselor and advice for pursuing a career in genetics. After the speed dating sessions, the girls put their own skills to the test in a mock genetic counseling session. The girls were divided into groups of three and assigned one of three roles: Genetic Counselor, Patient and Support Person. Check out Rachel and Ki-Jana as genetic counselors below!

-Mentor Gillian



The girls hanging out with "Chromi the Chromosome"

Alicia Salkowski, MS showing the girls a pedigree. She is also the creator and patent holder for Chromi the Chromosome

It's Genetic! DNA & Cancer Lab Activity

Today, we did an experiment regarding DNA & Cancer! First we extracted DNA from strawberries, and used the anti-cancer drug cis platin with gel agarose electrophoresis (we felt like real scientists!). It was an amazing learning experience and we learned about DNA, its function, and how DNA is replicated. With the help of Gayani, a PhD candidate in Biochemistry and her lab team, we were able to learn how to do our experiments. The DNA extraction lab consisted of a strawberry, an extraction solution composed of shampoo, H2O (water), and NaCl (salt), and isopropanol. First, we had to smoosh the strawberries, pour in the extraction solution and once we filtered it, we added the isopropanol and saw the DNA float to the top of the tube. We collected the DNA and it was so interesting to see how the DNA looked and that a tiny strawberry had so much! We then prepared gels for electrophoresis to see how the gels would show the difference between DNA and DNA with the cis-platin drug. It was a fun lab and to be able to learn so much about the DNA that makes our bodies and cells function every day was the best part of it all!

- Mentors Fariha & Sabrina

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Genetic! Monday Wrap-up

Today was a FULL day of labs for the girls - we extracted DNA from a strawberry (DO try this at home - it's super easy and really cool!), ran gels to see how cisplatin (an anticancer drug) works, and tried to figure out our very own genetics in hair follicles!

After all of those labs, we had "speed mentoring", where all of the girls got to meet different mentors and talk to them about their majors, extracurricular activities, and how to stand out in college applications. I had a great time talking with the girls about my experiences abroad and how to succeed in high school.

We had a great dinner and then a group of mentors and girls went to Zumba while another group of girls went to play volleyball - I went with the Zumba group, and it was so much fun! Here are a few photos I took in between dance moves:

If you want to see more photos from the academy (and a video from the Zumba class!), check out GO-GIRL on Instagram: wsugogirl.

I'm super excited to see how tomorrow goes: we're doing more work with the genes we found in our hair, and we're also going to the med school to learn about genetic counseling as a career.

-Mentor Jen

"It's Genetic!" Day 2: Biology Activities

Good evening everyone! Today, the GO-GIRLS began their mini courses exploring genetics and epigenetic information. With the help of Dr. Lori A. Pile, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at WSU, and her research assistant Ms. Ashlesha Chaubal, the girls learned about genes and how to replicate them using PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The girls covered various topics that deal with gene expression and DNA fingerprinting. After learning about the topic, the girls were able to extract their own DNA from their own hair strand. They had a lot of fun and loved to use new tools such as the centrifuge and pipette! After, they were able to build a model of chromatin to further understand DNA expression using colorful play dough as histones, tubing as DNA, and pipe cleaners and gumdrops as histone tails and chemical tags. Later in the day, the girls will be able to see their own DNA on agarose gel and find out if they are homozygous or heterozygous. To end the mini course activities, Dr. Lori Pile presented various career options in scientific research. The labs were very interactive and the girls were very eager to learn. Today was a very fun and productive day and the girls are eager to continue to explore genes through more mini courses tomorrow!

-Mentors Pia and Michelle

"It's Genetic!" Day 1

Good morning everyone! Yesterday was our first day of "It's Genetic!" We are all so excited to jump into the new academy and for the girls to learn a little bit about DNA and genetics. Girls and company arrived, and check-in/registration went smoothly. The girls were able to get a kick start on Arts & Crafts during check-in. Mentors paired up with their girls shortly after to get settled in the dorms. We had our first meal in the new cafeteria and headed over to the Education Building shortly after to complete a survey and a DNA pre-lab activity. Girls learned about different properties of DNA and how it functions using a puzzle piece demonstration packet. Dr. Sally then gave everyone a quick preview of what's to come this academy, and we ended the night watching "Frozen" and Twilight Yoga. We are pumped for the activity-filled day ahead!

Talk to you soon! :)

Mentor Jess

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Monday, June 30th

The “In a Heartbeat” fun continued as the girls prepared for G3N (GO-GIRLS Go Nursing). The girls made their way to the WSU College of Nursing were they were active participants in a presentation and discussion about the Heart and Heart Health lead by Dr. Rhonda Conner-Warren, an alumnus of Wayne State University and the Assistant Professor of Health Practice at MSU. During this presentation the girls learned about the anatomy of the heart, normal vs abnormal heart sounds, the risk factors for heart disease and how to identify the symptoms of both a heart attack and a stroke. All of these fun facts were later tested in a rousing game of jeopardy with categories like “The Heart of the Matter” and “In my Heart of Hearts”.  
  Dr. Cynethera McNeil, a certified Nurse Practitioner and full-time Clinical  faculty at the WSU College of Nursing,  kept the girls  moving and working out their hearts by having the girls perform various physical activities like dribbling a ball under one leg or performing 15 crossovers to demonstrate the flow of blood throughout the heart.  The girls were also able to see the affect that physical activity had on their heart rate by measuring and recording their pulse before and after power walking around the nursing building.  Dr. McNeil gave the girls the opportunity to act as real health care professionals by having the girls listen to  each other’s hearts with stethoscopes.
The simulation lab was one of the most interactive moments of this session. The girls were able to listen and identify the various types of heart sounds they had discussed during the lecture. The models that the girls worked with are actually used to teach actual nursing students! All in all  the girls learned a great deal about heart health and they were given valuable knowledge about the field of nursing and all of the required courses and duties needed to become a professional woman in the STEM field.

More fun to come !!
-Mentor, Rynita B.

Monday, June 30, 2014

In a Heartbeat- A Heartfelt Day

              Many of the mentees would call it a heartfelt day- literally! Early this morning the girls geared up to go to Wayne State's Science Hall for the Biology mini-course. After an informative and engaging lecture from Dr. Karen Myhr, a physiology professor at Wayne State, the girls got to put their newfound knowledge of the heart to the test. Dr. Myhr instructed the girls to role-play a simulation of the mechanism of the heart; Some girls acted as organs, exchanging gases and absorbing nutrients, while others acted as the blood itself, transporting oxygen and other molecules around the 'human body'. It was a great way for the girls to visualize the information. 
           Next we were off to the biology lab upstairs to visualize the heart in a much more realistic way. After a quick lesson on responsible conduct around cadavers, the girls were able to physically hold and observe real human hearts! The hearts were obtained from Wayne State University's School of Medicine. For many of the girls, this was their first experience observing real organs and it truly solidified how exciting the study of science can be. It may have even inspired a few young minds to consider a career in the sciences!

Stay tuned for all the fun to come! 

-Mentor Aamna 

IHB Monday Night Activities

After a long day of learning, we gave our brains a break and had some fun! Before dinner we tried a new activity called "Speed Mentoring" where the GO-GIRLs spent 2 minutes with each mentor with a particular question to be asked and answered. The girls and mentors had a ton of fun while covering important topics such as college applications, ACT prep, and AP classes. After dinner the whole group headed outside to Keast Commons to burn off some steam! We played volleyball, frisbee, played on the swings, and did some sidewalk chalk art. We definitely made our presence known on campus! We came back to the dorms to munch on some snacks while working on hearts and crafts. Now it's time for bed to get ready for a long day of learning about nutrition and exercise tomorrow!

-Mentor Kimmy
(Picture of Speed Mentoring below)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"In a Heartbeat"- Part 1!

We are finally here, GO-GIRL Summer Academy 1 for 2014! "In a Heartbeat" started out great today. Check-in went smoothly thanks to all of the wonderful parents who attended orientation, allowing us to get most of the paperwork out of the way early. The girls settled into the dorms and are now experiencing college life. After eating their first college meal, we headed over to the Education building for the first of many surveys and a quick overview from Mentors Jess and Anita. They talked to us about the USDA Food Plate guidelines and showed us how to use the pedometers to record our steps, simple ways we can keep our heart healthy. Next, we headed over to the beautiful Chemistry building for an introduction and overviewfrom Dr. Sally (pictured here). We finished out the night with a movie, Hearts and Crafts, and Twilight Yoga.

 More to come, it will be a busy day tomorrow with biology and nursing!

Thanks for reading,
Mentor Catherine

Saturday, May 31, 2014

GO-GIRLs do Zumba!!!

Today our GO-GIRLs spent some time getting a Zumba workout!!! We all had a lot of fun doing the fast-paced dance moves, getting our heart rates up! What other way would someone spend their Saturday morning??

Today really was a beautiful day for a GG gathering! 

After Zumba was over a few girls spotted some interesting film students. 
There is always something going on at Wayne State University!! 
Have you seen our FB page? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WayneStateGOGIRL
Is this your first time seeing GO-GIRL? Interested on how to apply at GG? Check out the calendar: http://gogirls.wayne.edu/apply.php