Category Archives: Education

White Coat Ceremony

I can hardly believe that a week has gone by since we visited our daughter Joelle over the Labor Day weekend to witness The Johns Hopkins White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat Ceremony is practiced by approximately 100 medical schools in the US, recognizing students’ achievements in graduate studies, successful completion of their Doctoral Board Examinations and marking their new path as the clinician and researcher.

white coat ceremony

White coat ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony – why The White Laboratory Coat?

The white laboratory coat is an international symbol of the biomedical community. A century ago the medical profession shifted dramatically (as we are seeing, NOW another shift in the medical profession) and physicians were expected to conduct both research and science. The white coat was adopted symbolically to reinforce the notion of “cleanliness and professionalism.” At the heart of the White Coat Ceremony is the recitation of the student oath, a pledge to uphold the same values of integrity, professionalism, and scholarship that inspired the white coat 100 years ago.

white coat ceremony

white coat ceremony

White Coat Ceremony marks the transition to a Ph.D. Candidate

Joelle’s  curiosity and determination will guide her into uncharted areas as she pushes forward with her thesis as a Ph.D. Candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. The research uses microscopy and she speaks a scientific language I barely understand. Fortunately, Joelle is also a medical writer for the “Johns Hopkins Medicine Biomedical Odyssey” and adheres to the importance of her oath: To acknowledge my role as an ambassador of science to the public.” She recently authored an article that discusses this issue of how to explain science and her work.

“Science is a complex language. It has its own vocabulary and corresponding slang, both of which take time to learn and understand. In the lab we speak this language as fluidly and comfortably as if we were raised with it as our native tongue. For some students with parents who work in science, this may very well be the case too. However, I grew up in a family of artists. The science they recall is what they learned in school or read in novels. When I check in and they ask how work is, I often hesitate. How do I explain how my experiment went or the progress of my thesis project to someone who doesn’t speak this language? I can tell they are truly interested, but the words “neuron” and “confocal microscopy” don’t give them a true mental image of a day in my life.”

To read more: “Mystery behind the Jargon” – Joelle Dorskind, 08/03/2017 (

Join me in congratulating Joelle. 

white coat ceremony


















Cheryl Machat Dorskind teaches photography and Mentors people of all ages.

Contact-Cheryl Machat Dorskind


Contact me ( if you want to talk about photography, a mentoring program for yourself or your child. Photography is a terrific medium to combine the learning of Science and Technology while encouraging communication and self-expression.

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TWiP Guest

I  joined Frederick Van Johnson as a TWiP guest on his podcast, “This Week In Photo, episode #484” –  along with portrait photographer Joseph Linaschke.

Cheryl Machat Dorskind Guest Twip photo

Topics Discussed

  • DJI’s new Mavic Pro drone folds up and fits in your hand
  • Flickr remains relevant while Yahoo circles the drain
  • Panasonic’s GH5 to arrive in 2017 with 4K video at 60 fps & 6K video
  • Using clarity and flash to emphasize blemishes

Click here to access the podcast

At the end of the podcast I recommended two inspiring books

M Train by Patti Smith

TWiP Guest book suggestion

Patti Smith is a writer, a performer, and visual artist.  Winner of the National Book Award for Just Kids, M Train is a memoir discussing Smith’s photographic muses; the how, where and why of the photographs, as well as other captivating ruminations.

“Some months before our first wedding anniversary Fred told me that if I promised to give him a child he would first take me anywhere in in the world. Without hesitation I chose Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, a border town in northwest French Guiana, on the North Atlantic coast of South America….

A letter arrived. It was from the director of Casa Azul, home and resting place of Frida Kahlo, requesting I give a talk centering on the artist’s revolutionary life and work. In return I would be granted permission to photograph her belongings, the talismans of her life. Time to travel, to acquiesce to fate. For although I craved solitude, I decided I could not pass on an opportunity to speak in the same garden that I had longed to enter as a young girl. I would enter the house inhabited by Frida and Diego Rivera, and walk through rooms I had only seen in books. I would be back in Mexico.”

~Patti Smith

Hold Still by Sally Mann

TWiP Guest book sugggestion
Sally Mann is one of contemporary’s most renown photographers, having received NEA, NEH, and Guggenheim Grants and her photography is held in major institutions internationally. In this memoir, Sally Mann includes both narrative and images. It is a page-turner!

“These are not my children at all,” she writes. “These are children in a photograph. They represent my children at a fraction of a second on one particular afternoon with infinite variables of light, expression, posture, muscle tension, mood, wind and shade.”

“…the kids were visually sophisticated, involved in setting the scene, in producing the desired effects for the images and in editing them. When I was putting together ‘Immediate Family,’ I gave each child the pictures of themselves and asked them to remove those they didn’t want published.”

~Sally Mann

Click here to access the podcast




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