Girl Genius Magazine | Issue 8

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g e n l i u r i s g


h t e 8 • grow Art by Tara Ayer


welcome to our


@Girl Genius Magazine

our passion for ST y g n i EAM har s wo in rld d te wi s e de r e t ? In


girl genius

Girl Genius fosters an inclusive community where everyone is given a voice to empower the next generation of female and non-binary leaders in STEAM. We are confident that anyone can pursue careers in STEAM and challenge conventional gender standards. Art • Blog • Creative Writing • Editing • Finance • Layout Design Partnerships & Events • Social Media • Writing • Video

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Meet the Team Girl Genius Team

the stems of growth Aditi Vishnubhatla



Yesterday, today, tomorrow Hannah Rashid

Brain burnouts

Neera Patel



the pandemic flowers activists Georgia McLenaghan

ents looking up Humairah Chowdhury



how to grow inside and outside of the classroom Morgan Lin

twisted journeys of growth


Rebecca Chang


version Luna Yin

MEET TH shivali gulati

Kriti KritiSundaresa Sundaresa

Founder & Advisor

Emily EmilyHue HueLuu Luu Kandyce KandyceDiep Diep Kendehl KendehlTaylor Taylor Emma Benyaminy Lakshmi Sahithi Lakshmi SahithiPathi Pathi

Sarah Mirsaidi

Chloe yan

Editing Blogging

Lead Sofia Ruiz

Sofia Ruiz

Christina Moon Christina Shrida Bhat Moon Bhat TaraShrida Ayer yazmin rodriguez Tara Ayer

Art Art

Sarah Mirsaidi Emma Benyaminy


Julianne JulianneTenorio Tenorio

Firmiana FirmianaWang Wang

Finance Finance 1

Hannah HannahRashid Rashid Humairah Chowdhury Humairah Chowdhury Luna LunaYin Yin Shrinithi Sathiyaseela Shrinithi Sathiyaseela Tiffany TiffanyYang Yang

Creative CreativeWriting Writing

HE TEAM Aneeta Thokkadam Ashlyn Roice


Christina Moon Julianne Tenorio Neera Patel Fara Yan

Community Engagement Fara Yan Nina Shenoy Zira

Partnerships & Events

Aastha VISHWAKARMA Anna Ly Lyla Ibrahim

Social Media Rumeysa YilmaZ Aditi Vishnubhatla Georgia McLenaghan Morgan Lin Neera Patel Rebecca Chang


Cynthia Zhang Firmiana Wang

Layout Design Layout by Firmiana Wang 2

THE STEMS OF growth In literal terms, growth is an increase in size or maturity over time. For a plant, we can measure its growth by counting how many leaves it has or how many flowers it has sprouted, but we know little about the complex inner functions that lie beneath the surface.

The Seed A seed is a plant that is enclosed and protected by a hard outer covering. When we are first introduced to the vast world of education, we are automatically watered and given the tasks we must do and learn. Our young, bright minds are shielded from the harsh criticism and blistering reality. These young experiences are needed and create our first roots of knowledge. 3

The Roots Though some of our roots began in our first, enjoyable experiences of education, many of our strongest and deepest roots come from personal experiences. As a young girl plays around with a parent’s old science books, she begins forming interest. Isn’t that how we learn? Accidentally stumbling upon a fascinating page of colors and numbers that we happen to want to know more about? These roots continue to thrive as they yearn for more knowledge, just as a young plant does when watered. With this new information the seed is strong enough to grow stems, and finally, emerge into the outside world.


The STEM The stem is the main body or stalk of a plant. As our roots continue to grow, they feed the stem. Our education and increasing interest aids us to reach our ambitions and goals. When this young girl starts to play around with her first telescope, her first coding project, she is initially enlightened. This enlightenment turns into a fascination and a hunger for more. She may experience discouragement when she notices the gender inequities in her chosen field, however she grows every step she takes towards pursuing her interests. With this endeavor she takes up her next challenge to becoming a woman in STEM by finding research opportunities, coding in Java, and chasing after her teachers for more resources to learn from.

The Leaves The leaves on a plant are crucial for further growth and to “feed” the plant. With these stems of interest and persistence in STEM, she is able to reach her goals. With each leaf she grows, there is a new accomplishment that she has obtained. These experiences are something that she can grow from and learn in her new goals, pushing her to pursue more.


The Flowers Lastly, when the flowers on a plant grow, the plant is seen as beautiful and fully matured. People around may not be able to see the struggles and small growths in a plant. However, when this plant is fully grown and has finally reaped the flowers, they are able to see the beautiful results that the plant has produced. Just as the plant, many are unable to see the pains, struggles, and small accomplishments the girl in STEM has. Whether it be overcoming criticism from a teacher, being one of the only girls in her classes, or simply fixing a compiler error in her program, through her long process she has become a girl who has fully matured in her interests and become more confident about her decisions in her career.

The process of growth isn’t pretty and is oftentimes overlooked. It is important to acknowledge the steps you have taken, regardless of whether others recognize the growth you have made.

Written by Aditi Vishnubhatla Edited by Kendehl Taylor Art by Yazmin Rodriguez Layout by Firmiana Wang


Yesterday, today, tomorrow Birth—the most important event of life, For a butterfly, it starts with an egg, It grows and grows until it ends, A crawling string of life pops out, They look in the mirror, Acknowledge that they are not the same, Yet knows that the process will come with change, But will lead to a destination far greater than today Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. For a flower, it starts with a seed, A little water, A little laughter, A little sun, And then it’s done, A sprout pops up, But it’s different for each kind, Some are slow, Some are fast, Others need love, And some need time Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow A caterpillar needs time to grow, A flower cannot bloom in the snow, Nature does not skip steps, It let’s life lead on the rest 7

Yesterday, Today, Trust in tomorrow The caterpillar hides, Ironic because they do not fear change, The trust in the process is not lacking, They cling to hope rather than fear, Of the beauty that will later appear Yesterday, Find hope today, Trust tomorrow, The flower grows, But it finds that it cannot flourish in the cold, It’s not that the flower isn’t bold, Their acceptance of a break Is what gives them strength Forgive yesterday, Find hope today, Trust tomorrow A butterfly flourishes with time, A flower trusts the process, The second most important moment in life, Is realizing that change is not against us, But it’s rather hope for what there is to come, Accept the process, For tomorrow will be brighter than today and yesterday

Written by Hannah Rashid Edited by Kandyce Diep Art by Tara Ayer Layout by Cynthia Zhang


Written by Neera Patel | Edited by Emily Luu Art by Christina Moon | Layout by Firmiana Wang

After a long and tiring week of work, you may feel drained of energy and mentally unable to do anything else, despite the fact that you have more to get done. This is known as burnout - a mental state of extreme exhaustion after a prolonged amount of stress or tire that was not properly dealt with. In fact, over 75% of respondents from a recent survey agree that workplace stress affects their mental health. If you are experiencing burnout, it may feel like you are no longer able to continue with your tasks and feel overwhelmed by everything on the to-do list. However, burnout is, in fact, the opposite of stress; instead of feeling burdened, you may feel as if you lack the strength or motivation to get your work done. It’s important to look out for the warning signs, which could range from feeling like you must get everything done to feeling irritable towards family and friends. 9

While burnout does have many symptoms, some of the most severe could be depersonalization or even effects on the body. After prolonged exhaustion, you may become numb or withdrawn from your work and may lose touch with your close relationships. Furthermore, burnout could take a toll on your health, manifesting in muscle aches, loss of sleep, brain fog, or even a change in appetite.

Two years after starting The Huffington Post, co-founder Arianna Huffington collapsed on her desk due to extreme burnout. The writer broke her cheekbone and knew that it was time to address her issue. Her best advice is to take 60-90 second “micro-steps”, which include taking a step away from your work, taking a deep breath, and reexamining the situation to prevent a wave of stress. Additionally, repeating these steps after waking up or before sleeping is a great way to relax the mind and relieve the stress of the day. As Huffington says, “[It’s] through the small moments in our day we can really change our lives.”

In addition, negative criticism is also one of the biggest faults of people who experience burnout. Huffington describes this in an interview: “Stop worrying so much and stop judging myself so much. So many of the worst things we do in our lives are based on not loving ourselves enough, not forgiving ourselves, and judging ourselves.” As the writer said, constantly putting yourself down can lead to self-esteem issues and may contribute to feeling as if you lack the power to get things done.


Recognizing burnout and being honest with yourself is the first step to overcoming it. In addition to Huffington’s “micro-steps”, there are a couple of other ways to overcome burnout. This can simply start with just changing your mindset to becoming more positive and allowing yourself to make mistakes. Taking breaks and giving your body rest is crucial, especially when you have a load of work and feel as though you cannot complete it. Additionally, talking to someone—whether that is your family or a therapist—is a great way to decompress and relieve stress. Maybe even a vacation may help you relieve some stress too!


ActivistS our blossoming ActivistS of the pandemic ActivistS flowers ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS ActivistS 12







AS A as a Tool TOOL



u g p n i k o o L I

had no one to see. No girl who was gracefully wrapping her head in a fabric to cover her beauty. No girl who seemed to care about her studies the way I did. Looking up, there was no one like me. In a world alone, I felt isolated.

It felt as if I was the only girl looking up, looking up, with a wish to see someone who looked like me.


Looking up,

I never met someone who cared about school and her faith. No one who did her homework after day and prayed her 5 prayers daily. Looking up, I decided to become that person for myself.

Looking up,

I’ve learnt that the world we live in is unfair. A world which discriminated and persecuted from baseless accusations of religion or gender.

Looking up, I’ve aspired to create a better world by embodying a change within myself first.

Written by Humairah Chowdhury Edited by Emily Luu & Sahithi Pathi Art by Yazmin Rodriguez Layout by Cynthia Zhang 18


How To Inside and OutsiDE

of the Classroom


rowing is the act of developing in a multitude of ways. However, as fulltime students, we tend to focus on developing more intellectually and often ignore the importance of growing mentally, physically, and professionally as well. Maintaining high grades is important, but taking care of ourselves should also be a priority. This article will share simple, easy-to-do approaches that can help you incorporate the important task of self-care into your daily life. Plus, what better time for us to take some time to grow as individuals than spring, now that the beautiful plants are growing too!


growing mentally What does it mean to grow mentally? And how is it different from growing intellectually? Growing intellectually speaks to learning new things and absorbing knowledge. Growing mentally can make intellectual growth sustainable by helping us build a positive and kind mindset.

One way we can increase our mental strength is by simply taking a few minutes to reflect on the highs and lows of the day and set goals for the next to be even better. Some forms of reflection you could try are journaling, thinking mindfully, or talking to a loved one. Another way we can grow mentally is by taking a break from working, especially when we have encountered a challenge. By stepping away from our work and relaxing, we can come back refreshed with a clearer mind to face the task before us. Another approach that could help you face challenges with a positive mindset is self-talk. Now, you might be wondering, “Why should I talk to myself? How is that going to help the situation?” Well, when the grass is not greener, you might find it helpful to focus on the present moment, be grateful towards the good, and respond with a positive outlook. Finally, my last tip is to go outside and breathe in the fresh, crisp air. Especially in the nice spring weather!


growing physically

While we can take part in numerous sports or lift weights three times a day, we do not necessarily have to do all of these things to grow physically. The most important aspect about growing physically is movement and making sure all of our body parts (that are able to be) are engaged in some way. We can do this by taking up one sport or even just taking fifteen minutes out of our busy schedules to do simple exercises like jumping jacks, squats, and push-ups. We can also add movement into our schedules by going outside for a quick walk or jog.

Lastly, we can’t forget to get an adequate amount of rest by sleeping for at least 6-7 hours a day. Sleep plays a crucial role in recharging our bodies and minds, helping our brain function and reducing risk of disease.


growing professionally

One way to grow professionally is by taking a step back and considering what you want to pursue in life. Feel free to enter a quiet environment to peruse this in deeper thought and create a visual map of your interests.

After pondering our goals and futures, we can network with other individuals in our field who may be able to offer advice or share opportunities like internships or educational programs. A great way to connect with other individuals and be up-to-date on professional news and opportunities is by creating a LinkedIn account. By looking ahead and becoming more aware of our futures, we can embark on our journey of professional growth.

Although this advice can seem overwhelming, the truth is that we do not need to tackle everything at once. We can take tiny steps to enforce better habits into our schedules that will allow us to grow mentally, physically, and professionally inside and outside the classroom. And again, what better time to do so than spring – the season of growth! 22

T W I s ted journeys of

GROWTH GROWTH Written by Rebecca Chang Edited by Emily Luu, Sahithi Pathi, Kriti Sundaresa Layout by Chloe Yan


rowth is a difficult concept to quantify. An intangible idea. Yet somehow, every person has something in common in terms of growth.

No one has linear growth. It’s more like a roller coaster – there are unexpected ups and downs to every story.

When you learn about the contributions of women to various STEAM fields, you often hear about the final products, the achievements. Maryam Mirzakhani’s Fields Medal, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Sally Ride’s space flights. Though these are, without a doubt, extraordinary achievements, the twisting paths they took to arrive there and their countless hours of hard work are often overlooked or omitted in history books. 23

melanie perkins Co-founder & CEO of Canva

Take the tech company Canva, once a small startup, and now a household name in graphic design. Canva was founded in Australia by young entrepreneur Melanie Perkins. At first, she was rejected by over a hundred possible investors, but she persevered, taking risks and pushing through her struggles. Eventually, she found an “up” in a surprising place: she joined a group of venture capitalists in their kitesurfing hobby and pitched her startup. You would never imagine that taking the enormous physical and mental challenges that come with learning an entirely new sport would land you business deals, but this risk paid off. Today, less than a

decade later, not only is Canva a popular, globally used graphic design tool, but it is also efficient to use and mostly free to the general public.

Perkins’ story reflects the idea that growth can come out of any beginning

Canva didn’t start in Silicon Valley, or even in America. It was founded by a young, female entrepreneur who had a dream and grew from every rejection.


marie klawe

President of Harvey Mudd College

Growing up loving math, Professor Maria Klawe earned her Ph.D. in mathematics. However, she became greatly interested in computer science despite the lack of entry-level classes available to her. After years of hard work selfstudying computer science coursework in conjunction with her mathematical interests, she eventually held faculty leadership roles in the Computer Science Department of the University of British Columbia and in industry, as a manager at IBM. Throughout

each of these experiences, she noticed she was always the lone woman (or one of a small handful of women) in her departments, so she dedicated her teaching to making mathematics more accessible to everyone, particularly groups historically underrepresented in STEAM. Since becoming President of Harvey Mudd, she has advocated for inclusivity and transformed HMC into the model of gender and racial inclusivity in STEAM she’d grown up hoping to see.

Most now-successful women in STEAM have faced difficult beginnings as well as rejections, discrimination, and other hurdles throughout their careers. However, getting across each of these barriers becomes a source of learning and progresses personal and societal growth. 25

what's what's your your T W I s ted journey of



Written by Luna Yin Edited by Kendehl Taylor & Kandyce Diep Layout by Chloe Yan

LANGUAGE: C (DEVELOPED IN 1972) #include <misogyny.h> typedef struct Girl { char name[]; /* forgotten */ int potential; /* ignored */ int ability; /* underestimated */ char life[]; /* erased */ } Person;

LANGUAGE: SQL (DEVELOPED IN 1978) DELETE FROM history WHERE innovator = 'woman' && accomplishment = true;

LANGUAGE: PYTHON (DEVELOPED IN 1990) import societalExpectations def educationOf(student): try: acquireEducation(student) except student.gender != 'male': student.barriers = student.barriers + 1 student.opportunity = student.opportunity - 1 else: student.educated = true


LANGUAGE: JAVA (DEVELOPED IN 1995) public class Girl { public static void main(String[] args) { if (barriers > 0) { girl.breakBarriers(); } else if (hardship > expected) { girl.determination++; } else if (sexism.equals("ongoing")) { girl.keepFighting(); } } }

LANGUAGE: SWIFT (DEVELOPED IN 2014) import growingWorld let girl.hopeful = true override func sexistSociety() { equality++ opportunities++ var STEM = ["science", "technology", "engineering", "math"] for field in STEM { careersWomenBelongIn.append(field) } let reminder = "there is a place for you here" return reminder }


Thank you to 29

our Partners Art by Laura Ortiz Layout by Cynthia Zhang


k Art by Shrida Bhat


r o g w in ee p

end of issue 8

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