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Creating a Medium to Normalize Grad School Experiences

Meet this week's Grad Chat guest, Monica Molinaro, PhD:

Promotional Graphic, text reads Creating a Medium to Normalize Grad School Experiences, # Grad Chat by PhD Balance. There are two headshots one of Linda, the host & one of Monica, the guest

Monica is just about to finish her PhD at Western University (and, by the time she comes to chat with us, may be a newly minted PhD) critically examining the caregiving narratives of pediatric oncology nurses. Through her dissertation research, Monica came to understand the importance of stories – how accessible they are, how powerful they can be, and how some stories hold more power than others.

One of the stories that has become well known throughout the pandemic is that individuals experiencing social inequities are not receiving the health care they need or deserve. Knowing this, and using her expertise in narrative methodologies, Monica has been named a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University (starting in September) working on understanding the moral distress stories of primary care providers caring for patients experiencing social inequities, and the health care experiences of individuals experiencing social inequities.

These are not the only stories Monica has ever studied or discussed; throughout her time as a graduate student, Monica also saw that graduate students all had stories about their experiences with their research, their graduate studies, as well as their lives outside of graduate school. She started two podcasts – first, the #Gradlife podcast on Gradcast, which is a medium for graduate students to talk about their experiences in the academy, and her own podcast, Humans of Grad School, where she talks with students who have been or are in graduate school about who they are, how they ended up where they are, and where they’d like to be.


You can find out more about Monica on her Twitter (@MonicaLMolinaro) and Instagram (@monmolinaro) and be sure to check out her podcast Humans of Grad School. You can Find humans of Grad School on Twitter (@humansofgs) and Instagram (@humansofgspodcast) too!

Monica will be taking over our Instagram account today, before being our Grad Chat guest tomorrow with host Linda! You can join the Youtube Livestream Saturday (08/21) at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific using this link!

Alternatively, you'll be able to catch up on the episode on Grad Chat, The Podcast published next Tuesday (08/24) here!


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