Our new blog post by #LINO70 young scientist Xiangkun Elvis Cao summarises an article of his that was recently published in Matter on how to navigate the way as an underrepresented minority in higher education.

Some two decades have passed since I attended primary school in my village in China, but I can still recall the moments of walking down a muddy road for around half an hour four times a day, crossing a railway line that separated home and school. If school finished late, I had to run in the dark and sometimes hold a burning straw torch since there are no street lights in my hometown until today. Born as a first-gen student in a small village, I was raised by my grandmother since I was five years old after my parents´ divorce. Inspired by my grandmother’s faith in education, I went on to earn two bachelor degrees, two master degrees in China, Canada, and the US. Today I am a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University.

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