DCPDA Research Day 2017

Dartmouth College Postdoc Association president, Lorna Young, writes about this year's DCPDA Research Day.

Thank you to all who participated in and attended the 2017 Dartmouth College Postdoc Association (DCPDA) Research Day. DCPDA’s organizing committee  Max, Emily, Britney, and Victoria, worked hard to develop a wonderfully successful event. We would also like to give a special thanks to Ann Lavanway and Amy Layne for their fantastic help on organizing the logistics at the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.  Additional appreciation goes to Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) Assistant Director, Cindy Tobery for her ongoing support, and former DCPDA president and all-round good guy, Jibran Kokhar.

The afternoon kicked off with Interim Provost, Dave Kotz, who welcomed guests, and reminded us all of the importance and need for postdocs, and generating a postdoc community.

Following Provost Kotz, Alice Ly from Harvard Innovation Labs, gave an extremely useful and lively talk on how to “Network for Success.” Things we learned from this: networking does take some time but it is required and can be extremely helpful (if done properly), say “yes” to things – events you may not usually attend, talks you’d rather not give etc., and say “Hello” to strangers at conferences, start conversations; you never know who you sitting next to!

Six postdocs were selected from a number of applicants to present research talks, all of which were highly informative and conversation-inducing. Based on abstract submissions, postdocs from across the programs were selected to present their research in six minutes. The selected talks were on various topics: Dark Matter from Djuna Crooz  (Physics), how we learn and habituation by Madhu Sadanandappa (Biology), using bacteria to produce biofuel from Liang Tan (Thayer), higher education and student outcomes from Cindy Cogswell (DCAL), drug and addiction by Jeff Stott (PBS), and finally how monkeys choose their diet and “best tools” by Amanda Tan (Anthropology). 

Poster presentations were next on the agenda; judges for this section were Charlotte Bacon (Humanities), Bill Wickner (Biochemistry), Sacha Patera (University-Industry relations, Dartmouth), and Alice Ly. The competition was fierce with many excellent presentations. Michael DiPompeo II from Physics won for overall best poster, Alice Bradley from the Thayer School of Engineering was awarded most innovative, and Yan Zubo from Biology received the award for most understandable poster. During the poster session, a “Q&A with postdocs” session was held for any graduate students who had queries about postdoc life. This seemed to be appreciated and the DCPDA is already planning for future Q&A with postdocs events; watch this space.

Thank you to all, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

A photo album of the event can be viewed on Flickr. All images by Savannah Dunn, PEMM graduate student.