Photograph of Yeimy Rivera

Yeimy Rivera – RUA Community Engagement Board Member

Yeimy Rivera, Postdoc, Harvard University

Field of Study: Solar and Heliophysics

RUA Connection: I am part of the Community Engagement Board and participated in the Research Exchange as a PhD student at the University of Michigan.

Why did you chose your field of study?

My interest in solar and heliophysics began after learning about a near century-long open question in the field called the ‘coronal heating problem’. The coronal heating problem describes the puzzling circumstance where the Sun’s surface is cooler than its atmosphere which directly violates the laws of thermodynamics. This scenario would be similar to walking away from a lit candle and feeling warmer instead of cooler. Since learning about the coronal heating problem as an undergraduate student, I became fascinated with the Sun which sparked my interest in solar and heliophysics research.

Why did you choose to participate in RUA activities?

As a graduate student, I decided to apply to the Research Exchange (RE) because it provided a unique opportunity to network with research groups outside of the university. This came at a time when I was preparing to graduate from my doctoral program and was looking for a postdoctoral position. The RE enabled me to expand my professional network and build research collaborations that supported me in this next step in my career. Additionally, as a postdoc I became part of the Community Engagement Board (CEB) because I wanted to support and expand RUA initiatives. I found that my experience with the RE was incredibly beneficial to my career and, as a part of the CEB, I hope to support the work of RUA to facilitate the academic career paths of others as well.

What is a highlight of your RUA participation? 

The most beneficial aspect of my participation in RUA is the community that I became a part of. Through the Research Exchange, the RUA retreat, and the Community Engagement Board, I have met folks at all career stages that inspire me to keep moving forward. The RUA community has been incredibly supportive and key to reaching several of my career goals.

What advice do you have for graduate students or postdocs?

My academic advice to graduate students and postdocs is to find mentors at different stages of their career. I find that receiving career and life advice from a range of early career to senior scientists in the field can provide valuable insight to establishing short and long-term goals.