Farewell to IOS Science Assistant and IOS Blog Member Donaven McLaurin

IOS is sad to announce the departure of Donaven McLaurin, the science assistant for all of IOS. Donaven’s happy and chipper personality will be dearly missed within our community. His scientific knowledge during panels was greatly appreciated as it helped encourage and advance conversation between panelists. As an IOS blog member, Donaven’s bright ideas helped create interesting and creative posts for our audience. While working with IOS, he was also actively working to complete his Doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Donaven’s departure is surely sad but as a community, IOS knows that Donaven will continue to break boundaries and achieve great things! Below are some final thoughts he had to say about his time here at the National Science Foundation.

  • What was your favorite thing about working with the IOS blog group?

My favorite part about working with the IOS blog group was the team itself. The IOS Bloggers are a dynamic, creative, and enthusiastic group of individuals. As a team, the work we do help dissolve the communication barriers that sometimes exist between the scientific community and granting agencies. Knowing that I am a part of these efforts has been rewarding.

  • What experience did you love the most as a Science Assistant?

Being a Science Assistant allowed me to be a part of so many different projects and working groups. I enjoyed the diversity in the nature of my work and the ability to form collaborations across the agency. For example, I was able to work with OIA in coordinating the Summer Scholars Internship Program (SSIP). This was particularly   heartwarming for me because I participated in SSIP in 2013, so to see things come full circle – from intern to now being a part of the leadership team for the internship – was               nothing short of amazing.

  • Any advice for those that would like to be a future member of IOS?

IOS is the perfect place for those whose interests lie within the intersections of various disciplines, so the advice I would give is to be yourself and allow the multiplicities of your interests to show. There is a place for you here. The culture of IOS encourages one to develop new skills, so if you are a lifelong learner, this is a great place to be planted to further your individual professional development while still contributing to the scientific community at large.