Orientation 2017 Round-up

Assistant Dean of Recruiting and Diversity Jane Seibel, organized the 3-day orientation events with the support of GRAD Dean Jon Kull and Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs, Kerry Landers. Other offices and organizations at Dartmouth also helped organize and host sessions, in addition to community events to which everyone was welcome.

The Lab Safety mandatory session on Sept. 6 at Dartmouth Hall, pertained to students in life sciences programs, such as Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), Psychology and Brain Sciences (PBS), and the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM). Students in natural sciences programs, like Chemistry and Physics, were presented a separate safety session that day. GRAD cooperates with the college’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) office to ensure all students working in a laboratory are not only aware of potential hazards in their labs, but also understand how a their work can be hazardous and what one can do to eliminate risks. Students can prepare for hazardous situations with the advice of a lab leader or PI, senior graduate students, as well as EHS, to ensure the safety of everyone.

Associate Professor of Government and Director of Ethics Institute, Sonu Bedi moderated the Ethics in GRAD Panel on Sept. 7. This panel comprised of Assistant Dean Landers, who also teaches in the MALS program, Dean Kull, Professor of Biological Sciences Robertson McClung, Director of Quantitative Biomedical Sciences Michael Whitfield, and Kyla Rogers, 5th year PhD candidate in PEMM and former president of the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Prior to the panel discussion, students were asked to view PBS NOVA program titled “Secret of Photo 51” to drive the discussion about ethics in research, moral judgement, integrity, and respect as a research student and contributor of knowledge. The Dartmouth Research Compliance office is one resource students and faculty can use to ensure their research projects and lab activities comply with institutional and local (and federal in some cases) laws and regulations concerning human subjects, funding awards, publications, among other areas of research. Visit the GRAD website for more information about GRAD Ethics Training.

On Friday, Sept. 8, Dartmouth Health Services at Dick’s House was open from morning to noon for drop-in Q&A. New students were able to inquire about pre-matriculation requirements, health insurance plans, and other services offered on campus. Supervisor of the Student Group Health Plan and Insurance Information, Ginger Farewell, works with Administrative Assistants Michelle Murray and Tracy Wallace to inform students about insurance options and fees and help students apply for the plan that works for them. Other services at Dick’s House include primary care, physical therapy, counseling, flu information, and pharmacy.

Also held on Sept. 8 was the First Year Graduate Student Orientation, a mandatory session for all new students. Organized by Assistant Dean Jane Seibel, this orientation session both GRAD and programs staff across the college to welcome the new graduate students and to provide brief information about various services and resources available. Director of Student Writing Support Services, Nick Van Kley and tutor, Betsy Tremmel introduced writing support services offered at the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric (RWIT), not only for native English speakers but for international and multilingual speakers as well. Students can schedule an appointment with tutors for help on writing essays, research papers, and help with brainstorming and the processes of writing. Learn more about writing support, and how to arrange an appointment with Betsy, through the School website.

Director of Counseling and Human Development (CHD), Heather Earle, spoke about mental health services at Dick’s House to ensure all students get the best graduate experience. The psychology clinics here help in the areas of eating disorders, stress and stress management, sexual assault, alcohol and drugs, sadness and depression, as well as seasonal depression (S.A.D.) most common in the winter months here in the Upper Valley. Appointments can be made in person or by phone to CHD at 603-646-9442.

For technology related inquiries and help, students can reach out to Christian Darabos, the Life Science Informatics Specialist in the Research Computing Group, which facilitates and helps advance research at Dartmouth by providing top resources for scientific computing, bioinformatic analysis, visualizations, and data storage. This group is committed to helping students and faculty further their research in today’s technological age and have drop in hours at various locations across campus.

Speaking also at the First Year Graduate Student Orientation session was Assistant Dean Landers, graduate students’ go-to person for career and professional advice. A visiting lecturer for the MALS program, Landers organizes professional development workshops and lectures for graduate and postdoctoral students to help students pave their career paths following graduation. These workshops, and others open to students and postdocs, can be found on the LibApp calendar where students can register to attend.

She also advises and works with the International Graduate Mentoring Program (IGMP), this year chaired by Alan Collins and Giulia Orazi. This program facilitates the pairing of current graduate students as mentors with new international graduate students as mentees. It also provides both Dartmouth College and Upper Valley resources and information for new students, helping to create a safe and fun transition to life as a graduate student here. A Welcome Social event will be held on Friday September 15 for mentors, mentees, and all other graduate students, new and current.

In addition to informational sessions, fun welcome activities included the Orientaiton barbecue which brought members from the entire community together to meet each other and not even the rain could diminish the fun as students bonded under the canopies in the unseasonal weather. For more events yet to come, visit the Orientation page on the School site.