NANOKOREA 2021 was a success! All of the kits were sent to students on Monday so that they would have them in time for the seminar on Friday. Throughout the week we also did rehearsals of the livestreams to make sure everything would run smoothly.  

Pic1: looking at SEM images of samples to be shown during NanoKorea

Pic2: Shipping off kits

On the day of everyone was a bit nervous, but it went really well!  My mentor Kayla presented the TENG kits and I went along with her during the livestream.  The highschoolers were having a great time and they had the biggest smiles on their faces.  Kayla was able to keep them engaged for the full hour and they left with a knowledge of nanoelectronics very very little highschoolers can say they have. 

Our livestream setup 

This week we also celebrated the July birthdays! We all had different version of Maekong Stew.  It was pretty spicy and lots of noses were running (personally, I didn’t think it was THAT spicy lol). 

Lab birthday lunch celebration

With NanoKorea completed, my time in the lab will now be focused on understanding and manipulating anisotropic conductive films (ACFs).  

Communication workshop: 

This week Dr. Moser had us present an elevator pitch. I can’t lie, I was dreading this workshop because elevator speeches have always been my weakness.  Luckily, I got to present last and got to take some ideas from the others. Elizabeth’s pitch was clear and detailed, Matt’s was heartwarming, Nathan’s was strong and showed his great speaking skills, Kervin’s was full of confidence, and Ryoma’s took an interesting and captivating turn.  I tried to emulate these within mine, but it was definitely a challenge.  

When I finally presented my speech I had worked and reworked it so much that it came out really wordy and robotic.  Dr. Moser suggested I redo the speech without reading off my script so the 2nd time was A LOT harder, and of course I ended with “so yeah”.  While it was hard to do and nerve wracking, I’m glad he made us do the exercise because I could really see what points of retelling my life story and explaining my passions that are hardest for me.  


After work on Wednesday, Elizabeth Nadia and I went to Dongdaemun Market.  The architecture was so cool and futuristic.  Apart from that, with NanoKorea preparations I did not have much time to go out during the week.

A mall lit up in Dongdaemun

When the weekend finally hit, it was a pretty great one.  The entire cohort took this weekend to meet up again and explore Seoul.  We first went to Tosokchon Samgyetang Restaurant, recommended by Dr. Kim and formerly owned by the family of UF Physics Professor Dr. Lee.  It was absolutely DELICIOUS and I hope to go again.   

Pic 1: Delicious chicken stew at Tosokchon Samgyetang Restaurant

Pic 2: The tallest of the group, Matt Nathan and I cramped under the tiny tables 

We then were on our way to Changdeokgung Palace! It was beautiful and serene.  Matt, Nathan, and Kervin rented hanboks and looked like true Kings!   I also really enjoyed getting to read about the history of the grounds. 

The cohort + Nadia posing in front of the Palace

We also got to walk around the Secret Garden within the palace which was just gorgeous and had amazing views. There was also little ponds and waterfalls that I loved getting to listen to and see.

Enjoying the views at the Secret Garden

After visiting the palace we took a trip to Namsan Tower and enjoyed the views of all of Seoul.  There were lovelocks EVERYWHERE!  It was super cute, and kind of funny too.  The oldest lock I could find (and actually read) dated back to 2015! 

Panoramic at the top of Namsan Tower

Night view at the top of Namsan Tower

The day wasn’t over just yet.  We decided to end the night at Han river, where we had delicious cup noodles and enjoyed the scenery.  

Pic1: Ramen station in front of the Han River

Pic 2: views of a lit up bridge on the Han river 

Group photo in the “I SEOUL U” sign

The next day we went to eat at another recommendation by Dr. Kim, Bada restaurant, where we had Johnson stew.  It was delicious and very very hot.  After eating, Kervin suggested going to a huge Vinyl & CD store we saw next door.  This was definitely one of my favorite spots of the entire trip.  Their music selection was mind blowing, and they had all of Adele’s music in house (except for the extra 3 songs off of the Target exclusive CD but that’s okay). 

Pic1: Johnson stew from Bada Restaurant

Pic2: Adele CD in the music store

Our weekend ended in the most heartwarming way.  Since we were in Itaewon, the foreigner hub, we found a Nigerian restaurant!  The restaurant was called Happy Home and it really did make me feel at home.  We had egusi, ogbono, fufu, plantain and the world famous jollof rice! I couldn’t believe I was having such a spectacular meal right here in Korea. I also got to chat with the owner, and we talked about all things Nigeria.  He even knew who my grandpa was!  I loved it there and I will definitely be going back.  Here’s their instagram: Happyhome Restaurant (@happyhomerestaurant) • Instagram photos and videos

Pic1: our meal at Happy Home Restaurant

Pic2: Me and the owner!

Fun fact: Naomi Cambell ate there once!