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Graduate Student Spotlight: Letícia Costa

Categories: Students

Chemistry Graduate Student Letícia Costa describes her research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Letícia Costa is a third-year graduate student at MIT. As a member of Professor Jeremiah Johnson’s group, Letícia develops bottlebrushes and brush-arm star polymers with degradable moieties to enhance their application in the field of drug delivery and bio-imaging. She is also interested in the introduction of cleavable monomers for the synthesis of degradable networks.

As the subject of this month’s Graduate Student Spotlight, Letícia shares the best vacation she’s ever taken, what makes where she grew up so special, her favorite fictional characters, and more!

  1. Who are three of your favorite fictional characters?
    Frank Reynolds, Arya Stark, and Fleabag.
  2. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
    Unironically, Orlando. When I was 15, my friends and I went to Disney World. It was the first time I flew on an airplane and rode a rollercoaster.
  3. What are some small things that make your day better?
    Fresh coffee, clean sheets, sunny afternoons, petting a dog, and calling my family.
  4. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
    Different strategies to play Catan.
  5. What is special about the place you grew up?
    Knowing your neighbors, wearing flip flops everywhere, strong sense of community,  taking the subway to the beach, Carnaval, samba, and drinking outside.
  6. What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?
    The Sims.
  7. What irrational fear do you have?
  8. If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?
    Without a doubt, David Attenborough.
  9. If you could pick any career other than the one you’ve chosen, what would it be?
    Soccer journalist.
  10. What food do you crave most often?
    My grandma’s rice, beans, and farofa.
  11. What is your secret talent?
    Sleeping for very long hours.
  12. As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?
    Living by myself. Its not as fun to cook your meals and pay your own bills.
  13. What’s the funniest TV show you’ve ever seen?
    Chewing Gum.
  14. An epic feast is held in your honor, what’s on the table?
    All Ferrero chocolate products: Kinder Schokolade, Kinder Surprise, Kinder Bueno, Kinder joy, Ferrero Rocher, Rafaello and more!
  15. What’s something common from your childhood that will seem strange to future generations?
    MSN Messenger.
  16. What is on your bucket list?
    Visiting every country in South America, mastering Spanish, learning how to cartwheel, and doing a handstand.
  17. What skill would you like to master?
  18. What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
    Going to the beach or somewhere warm close to a body of water. If it’s not sunny, playing The Sims all day.
  19. Where was the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?
    Last summer in Lake Willoughby, Vermont. The sky looked like cotton candy and the lake reflected all colors. Stunning!
  20. What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. ​

Many thanks to Letícia for these thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for more Graduate Student Spotlights in the months to come!