I am currently between different worlds in areas that are very near to one another. I reside in the more rural area of Mazeppa while doing research at Mayo Clinic which is in a more urban/ suburban area of Rochester. In Mazeppa, the community is very tight-knit and many people either work in the local area or commute to the larger city of Rochester for work. In Mazeppa when it comes to solidarity and dealing with communal issues, they have community stakeholders which ranged from local business owners, involved parents, members of the fire department, and members of community service organizations that bring these issues up at their local city hall meetings. I was lucky to have an extended family member who is part of this city hall and brought me to one of these meetings. They are less formal than what I was used to seeing but much more productive than most formal city council meetings I have taken part in. These are people who are actively involved and deal with issues firsthand in their town and engage with their neighbors to come together to solve problems whether it be crowdfunding a new volleyball net, coming out on a Saturday afternoon to help replant a bank along the river, or neighbors with businesses sponsoring new lights for the basketball court.
At Mayo Clinic I work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers who amongst themselves have formed a family. The culture as a whole of the clinic is one of family and team building. Everyone has a mutual love and respect for one another and there is not a sense of hierarchy between M.Ds, Ph.Ds.’ and students. Each and everyone’s background is valued so when a problem does arise everyone is able to lend their perspective to help solve it. In fact there are weekly meetings and monthly mentor meetings where the team gathers to help one another solve problems and ask questions that can lead to new discoveries in science or as simple as helping to fix the office printer.