A different approach to writing a biography

A few times a year, I’m asked to submit a 1-2 paragraph biography of myself for a conference, website, or some other part of my professional work. I’ve gone through many iterations of my biography, not only because details like job and accomplishments change, but also because the types of things I consider relevant and important for my career have shifted. I’ve run the gamut from super serious bios to more tongue-in-cheek, flippant descriptions of my work, with none of them really feeling like they capture what it is I do.

My latest attempt to capture relevant details in a way that’s comfortable to me. The order of information includes: - describing my main professional identities (scientist, educator) - connecting these identities to my personal values most applicable to my professional work (DEI, accessibility, learning over knowing) - listing relevant educational and past professional benchmarks (degrees, previous jobs) - stating current title and role for my day job - documenting other affiliations with professionally-relevant non-profit organizations - highlighting a few personal interests (e.g., knitting, science fiction) - explicitly stating my pronouns (perceived, or anything goes)

The end result:

Kate Hertweck is a scientist and educator who endeavors to uphold core values like: diversity/equity/inclusion, accessibility of information, and learning over knowing. Kate’s graduate training at University of Missouri focused on genomic evolution of plants, and was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent, Duke University) where they began working exclusively in computational biology. Kate then spent four years as an assistant professor teaching bioinformatics, genomics, plant taxonomy, and scientific communication. Kate is currently bioinformatics training manager at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where they lead and implement training and community building to support the data-intensive biomedical research community. Kate is an instructor and trainer for The Carpentries (serving as a leader in community governance from 2016-2019), and is an advisor for Metadocencia. These non-profit groups support best practices in teaching for data/computational skills and Spanish-speaking educators, respectively. Kate likes to spend their time enjoying all things science fiction and knitting sweaters from handspun yarn for their tiny, grumpy, elderly rescue dog, Loki. Kate uses perceived pronouns, so any pronoun you think fits also works for them.

As of the time of writing, this bio is what appears on my About page. Your guess is as good as mine regarding how long it takes me to rewrite it!