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The More Sibyl Podcast

111 EpisodesProduced by Mo! SibylWebsite

The More Sibyl Podcast is hosted by Mo! Sibyl - a Nigerian-born, US-educated, Korean-speaking, Struggling Intellectual. The More Sibyl Podcast is a podcast about culture and culture nomads designed for Blacks and Asians and those who love them. On The More Sibyl Podcast, Mo! talks mostly with an inv… read more

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하바나, 하바나| The One with Dr. Planas - The Cubana-American Professor of Pharmacy: Episode 32 (2018)


Welcome back to another episode of the podcast! I have not been getting feedback about the show like I used to, so I am guessing things are either good with the show or I’ve been forgotten :-(. Guess all that was just to say, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email on or just say hello here :-D

Here is introducing Dr. Planas, Ph.D. -  an Associate Professor of Pharmacy, my senior colleague, and African sister! Her office is two doors away from mine, and she’s partly one of the main reasons I landed my academic position at the University (it began with a conference in 2015, listen to find out how). I met through my advisor while I was still in grad school.    

Dr. Planas or Lourdes as I call her is Cubana-American; her parents fled Cuba when she was just one month old. In this episode, we talked about life in the US and growing up in New Orleans instead of Miami (this has the largest concentration of Cubans). We also explored racial identity and how pharmacy helped her overcome racism and cultural identity issues, especially growing up in a time when it was certainly not cool to be Cuban.

You will also hear about the two clocks that are churning fast for fecund women in academia – the biological and tenure variety. And why Lourdes’ deliberate plan of putting her biological clock ahead of the tenure one is one she does not regret. Also, we talked about why women require more than just mentors to have a successful career.

Dr. Planas is married to Rick (also a pharmacist), and they have two adorable kids who I have had the pleasure of babysitting a couple of times. I am technically family :-D Lourdes also emphasized the importance of having a supportive spouse when on a tenure-track or in grad school while raising kids.

PS: After taping this episode, her mother’s DNA results were updated and linked with hers. She is 0.5% French, yayy her wishes finally came true. Only 0.5%, you say? C’est la vie!

Fun facts about Lourdes:
  • She waited 12-13 years to have kids.
  • She was recently promoted to Associate Professor.
  • She is really of mixed heritage; a small part of her is Asian, African, European, Native American.
  • She made me see Black Panther with her as a condition for coming on the show.
  • She has all the cutest tchotchkes; there’s almost nothing she doesn’t have in her office. 
  • We both serve as co-advisors to the organization - Student National Pharmaceutical Association #SNPhA.
Takeaway Points:
  • Go to conferences – it helps to build your social capital and network that could land you that job.
  • Find yourself a Lourdes at work or even better, be a Lourdes to someone.
  • Whether you put the biological or tenure clock first, make sure it is a decision you have given careful thoughts.
  • Women have been over-mentored and under-sponsored.
  • Try a Cuban sandwich but not outside of Miami or Tampa Bay, Florida.
Notable quotes: “I got the biological clock and the tenure clock, which one was going faster. I put the biological clock first, I really did, I don’t regret it. Sometimes, things happen in life, and everyone is different, but I wanted to be in a stable position, put down some roots.“
“Once I moved to Jacksonville because I was a Pharmacist and helping people, I felt more connected to that community, and I felt less threatened by them, and I felt empowered. Being educated, having a career, and being a pharmacist, helped empower me to rise above the tension I perceived between my culture and the society at large.” Recommended song:

Intro: “Big Chief Part 2” – Professor Longhair (1964) &n --- Support this podcast:

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