Graduate Student Appreciation Week is an annual event organized by the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The week, which runs from April 2-6 this year, is packed with fun, engaging events and treats in recognition of the work and contributions of graduate students at Dartmouth. Perhaps the highlight of the week for everyone is the Poster Session, which brings together students, faculty, and staff from across the programs in celebration of graduate student research.
Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs, Kerry Landers, starts planning well in advance. About a year ahead, she secures the difficult to reserve Alumni Hall space in the HOP, and then sends out a “mark your calendar” email to faculty who intersect in some way with the graduate community. During the rest of the year she works to put together the judge panels, speakers, and presenters.
It’s no wonder, then, that this event goes off without a hitch and is one of the most popular and anticipated in the graduate academic calendar. A large crowd attends every year, drawing students, postdocs, faculty, and staff alike; testimony to the close-knit collegial atmosphere Dartmouth is famous for. Everyone enjoys the opportunity to catch up with colleagues, to hear about latest research developments in other programs, and to celebrate the successes of the award recipients and poster winners.
This year 54 students entered the poster contest, which was judged by teams drawn from across campus. Cindy Stewart, Associate Director of GrantGPS and Program Coordinator for the COBRE Institute for Biomolecular Targeting (bioMT), was invited to be on the judging panel and spoke of how much she enjoyed the evening. “It’s an honor to be invited to be a judge at the annual Graduate Student Poster Session,” she said. “Each project is so interesting and the students all do an outstanding job presenting. It’s very challenging trying to choose the top presenter!”
After much debate and discussion, five winners were selected. Chosen for their ability to clearly communicate their research in an engaging manner, awards were presented to Sally Demirdjian, who is working with Brent Berwin in Microbiology and Immunology, Owen Wilkins who works with Brock Christensen in Epidemiology, Nicholas Blelloch in Katherine Mirica’s Chemistry lab, and two students from Thayer School of Engineering who work with Douglas Van Citters, Michael Kokko and Audrey Martin.
Other judges included Laura Ogden, Glenda Shoop, Brent Berwin, Pam Bagley, Susan Schwarz, Christian Darabos, Lora Leligdon, Don Pease, Nancy Serrell, and Ivan Aprahamian. Dean Landers invites those who make a significant contribution to the work of graduate students, either in the lab or other research endeavors, or those who play a significant role during their time at Dartmouth. “I also enjoy the opportunity to meet and interact with the other judges,” remarked Cindy. “It’s definitely a very collaborative and interdisciplinary event.”
The Faculty Mentoring Awards were presented by interim Vice Provost, Dave Kotz, who received the award himself in 2015. This prestigious award is given by the Graduate Student Council for exceptional service to graduate students. Guided by graduate student nominations the award reflects the hard work that both students and faculty put into graduate research at Dartmouth. This year’s recipients were recognized by their nominators for demonstrating high levels of academic leadership and emotional intelligence. We are delighted to announce that the winners of the 2018 Faculty Mentoring Award are Dave Bucci, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Erich Osterberg, Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences.
Congratulations to everyone on their effort and successes. You can read more about the Faculty Mentor Award winners here, and see a full list of poster presentation topics and the titles of the winning presenters’ research here. There are more events to come, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and visit the event page on the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies website.