Category Archives: GSC

Relays Are Coming – Graduate Student Council Holds Open Meeting

The Sackler Graduate Student Council (GSC) held an open meeting last week, on April 5, 2018. The turnout was good – every program had at least one non-GSC student at the meeting. “We want people to know what we do,” Rebecca Silver, our current GSC President, stated.

GSC meetings generally begin with an update from the treasurer, a monthly recap from the three sub-committees (Career Paths, Social, and Outreach), and conclude with action items. As the environment was low-key, non-GSC attendees comfortably offered thoughts and ideas on a variety of matters. If you want the low-down on what events the sub-committees have planned, check out The Goods email (arriving in your inbox weekly).

Sackler Relays was a big topic at this particular meeting. The event has been set for June 8th (mark your calendar!) and subjects ranging from raffle prizes to activities to food were discussed. A popular idea was to potentially have a faculty team for the first time – who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? All in all, a productive meeting. “And at the end of the day,” Silver said, “everyone got some free pizza!”

Chatting with the non-GSC attendees after the event, it was clear that many were curious about the kind of delegation that occurs on the council, wanted to have input, or were interested in becoming a representative for their program in the future. Just remember, according to the bylaws, all GSC meetings are open, and you can get in touch with your program rep(s) if you’re interested in attending regularly. GSC wants to hear your ideas!

Relays Are Coming

GSC COMMITTEE & CLUB UPDATES: MARCH 2016

GSC Career Paths Committee

On February 13, 2017, the GSC Career Path’s Committee kicked off the year with a workshop learning the basics of the Prism Graphpad software. In the past, students had expressed interest in analysis of data using statistical software as well as graphing the data in a presentable fashion. Therefore, the GSC thought a workshop on PRISM would not only be very useful but also have a significant impact on the students’ research careers. The workshop was kindly guided by Dr. Dan Cox, a professor in the Neuroscience department, and it took place in the computer room in the Sackler library. The workshop was well-received, according to GSC representatives Vaughn Youngblood and Roaya Alqurashi. “(The workshop) was a successful one. The attendees loved how Dr. Cox explained each application you will need to use in Prism with an active learning experience” Roaya said. Vaughn mentioned “the Prism workshop was helpful!  It taught the fundamentals of using Prism along with how to represent different types of data.  Hopefully, we can bring Dr. Cox in for another session with another statistical program like R.” If time permits this year, the GSC Career Path’s Committee hopes to hold several more workshops like this with different analysis softwares (R, SAS, etc.).

ICYMI: Public Relations and Communications Essentials for Scientists

When it comes to reporting our scientific findings, we are trained to compose manuscripts that are measured, precise and objective. The mainstream media, however, take a very different approach to broadcasting scientific news: headlines designed to grab readers tend to be more sensationalized and the articles draw more conclusive and overarching statements. These contrasting approaches to reporting are appropriate in their respective fields and it is important that we as scientists learn to take advantage of mainstream journalism for the publication of our discoveries, not only for the reputations of our university and ourselves, but also to share with the public, whose tax dollars fund most of our work, what we have accomplished. Enter the Tufts Public Relations Office—a fantastic resource that allows us the opportunity to share our research with the community outside of our scientific world. The purpose of the seminar du jour was to inform the Tufts community on how the office works and how to best use it to our advantage.

The purpose of the seminar was to provide some information on how to work with the PR office when you are ready to publish work that you would like to broadcast beyond scientific journals. Kevin, the assistant director of the office, stressed that the earlier you get in touch with the PR office, the better prepared they will be to help you. The best time to contact them about publicizing a manuscript is when you are submitting your final revisions to the scientific journal that will be publishing the paper. You will be asked to share your manuscript with the office so that Kevin and members of his team, who are well versed in reading scientific literature, can familiarize themselves with your work. Soon after, they will meet with you to discuss the details of your study, get a quote, and draft a news release that your PI can edit and approve. From there on out, the PR Office works to spread the word on your research via prominent blogs, science, local, and potentially national media, depending on your work’s level of impact. The PR Office is also equipped to help you interact with reporters effectively: they can prepare you to talk about your science in layman’s terms to be more relatable and better understood by the general public.

By sharing your work with more mainstream media, you build your reputation as well as credit your university, your funding agencies, and the tax-paying public. Reach out to the PR Office for more information on communicating your science with the rest of the world and take advantage of the great opportunities they offer that can make you a more visible and effective participant in the science world!

One last tip for those of you interested in improving your science communication skills–keep your eyes peeled for more details on our upcoming joint Dean’s Office / TBBC / GSC Event, Sackler Speaks in April!  This is a competition for students to pitch their 3-minute flash talks in front of a panel of judges.  Besides critical feedback on presentation skills, there will also be cash prizes for winning presentations!

Contacts at the Tufts PR Office, Boston Campus:

Siobhan Gallagher, Deputy Director (Siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu)

Kevin Jiang, Assistant Director (Kevin.Jiang@tufts.edu)

Lisa Lapoint, Assistant Director (Lisa.Lapoint@tufts.edu)

 

GSC Committee & Club Updates: November 2016

Tufts Biomedical Queer Alliance (TBQA)

by Laura DarniederNRSC, Amanda GrossPPET

TBQA-oSTEM Joint Networking Mixer and Panel
We are having our TBQA-oSTEM Joint Networking Mixer and Panel on Friday, 11/18 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Crane Room on the Medford Campus. Food will be provided!

TBQA Transgender Health PanelDecember 1, 3pm, Sackler Auditorium

The Tufts Biomedical Queer Alliance (TBQA) invites you to come learn about the current state of transgender healthcare. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Anne Koch, DMD, to share her personal experiences of the healthcare system as both a patient and provider. A professional panel composed of Dr. Julie Thompson (Primary Care, Fenway Health); Dr. Stephanie Roberts (Endocrinology, Boston Children’s Hospital); and Cei Lambert (Trans Patient Advocate, Fenway Health) will join Dr. Koch in a panel discussion of the services they provide from both medical and social perspectives. A complimentary reception will follow.

Please register at: https://goo.gl/sCCmbT


Tufts Biomedical Business Club (TBBC)

from Aaron BernsteinCMP

Upcoming Events

TBBC Case Study Group – Mondays — 5-7PM, Jaharis 508

Practice solving cases, gain insight and tips, and learn more about the field of consulting.

TBBC Tufts Biomedical Data Science Club: Information Session – Tu Nov 29 — Time and location TBA

The Tufts Biomedical Data Science Club is a resource for students wishing to learn and apply programming techniques in order to tackle big data problems in the biomedical sciences. No programming experience required! The club hosts bi-monthly meetings, works on group projects, and provides opportunities to hear invited speakers and network with others interested in big data. Please email Matt Kelley at matt.kelley@tufts.edu with any questions.

TBBC Seminar Series: Liz O’Day, Founder and CEO of Claris Therapeutics – Tu Dec 6 — 5:30PM, Sackler 216A

Olaris is a venture-backed drug discovery company that uses a proprietary NMR-metabolite profiling platform to unlock aspects of human metabolism that could never before be analyzed. Focusing on diseases with limited to no treatment options, Olaris uses their technology to uncover previously unknown biomarkers and molecular targets to develop breakthrough therapies that fundamentally alter how these diseases are diagnosed and treated.

TBBC Consulting Seminar Series: Peter Bak, PhD – Tu Dec 13 — 5:30-7:30 PM, Sackler 221

Join us for a discussion with Peter Bak, Manager at Back Bay Life Science Advisors. Dr. Bak will talk about transitioning from a PhD program to life sciences consulting and career opportunities at BBLSA.

Recent Events

TBBC Health Advances presents, “Diagnostics Commercialization Challenges”

Th Oct 6: TBBC hosted Sackler alum and Partner at Health Advances, Dr. Donna Hochberg (SK03), who discussed the career path that led her from the bench to her current role as the leader of the firm’s Diagnostics and Life Science Tools Practice. She also led the group through a business case study exploring the challenges of bringing diagnostics to market. 

TBBC Biotech Buzz with Hannah Mamuszka

F Oct 21: Hannah Mamuszka, picked by Future of Biopharma as one of 5 women to watch in Boston, and founder and CEO of Alva10, a company specializing in precision medicine, joined us for an informal conversation about the future of diagnostics, the latest news in biotech, her career, and Alva10. 

TBBC, GSC, and the Sackler Dean’s Office Career Exploration Panel

Th Nov 3: A panel of senior graduate students provided insight about steps that newer students can take to prepare themselves for a variety of career paths, including: academic/industry science, teaching, entrepreneurship, science communication, policy, data science, venture capital, and consulting. (For a more in-depth recap, read the Insight article here!)


Tufts Mentoring Circles (TMC)

from Daniel WongCMP

This year, the graduate student and post-doc mentoring circle programs have merged together to form a larger, single Tufts Mentoring Circles program that started for the 2016-2017 academic year with a kick-off event on Thursday, October 6. In total, 71 people are participating in the Mentoring Circles program this year: 24 mentors, 21 graduate students, and 26 post-docs between the Boston and Medford campuses. These mentors, who are faculty, post-docs, senior graduate students, and industry and non-traditional professionals working in different fields, will be working in pairs to advise and facilitate discussions with small groups of post-doc and graduate student mentees over the course of this year.  Mentors and mentees were matched together based on their personal and professional development interests indicated in the registration survey that was available online in September. Each group, or circle, will meet monthly on their own schedules to have discussions as they see fit on topics they choose. A closing event will be held toward the end of the academic year, likely in May or June 2017. Registration is now closed for the year, but for more information and to be notified when registration opens next year, contact us at tuftsmentoring@gmail.com.

The graduate student-focused Tufts Mentoring Circles program was founded in November 2014 through the Sackler GSC as a peer mentoring program to serve the professional and personal development needs of graduate students, and also facilitate inter-program and -department communication and collaboration. Tufts Mentoring Circles is based on the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Mentoring Circles program.

Take Part!

Remember student council elections in high school? Typically the most popular student running would win, but everyone was full of enthusiasm and excitement to attain those coveted positions! Fast-forward a decade or so to filling positions in organizations like the student council during graduate school and the picture looks dramatically different. We each take a turn, but we tend to do so grudgingly. High school was grueling, don’t get me wrong, but as the years progress the demands on our time change, the expectations are different, and the student body is less diverse (no more Poli Sci majors to eagerly take on the class president position).

Organizations that support fellow trainees and coworkers are typically run by volunteers. Each year we need people with a fresh perspective to step up and help with maintaining organizations such as the Graduate Student Council, the Sackler InSight, the Post-Doc Association, and, up here in Maine, the Research Fellows Association. There are so many important career and social events that just would not happen if these organizations were to disappear, not to mention how much smaller our voice within the school would be.

Teamwork

If you find yourself holding back from taking part in one of these community serving groups because you simply don’t have time between experiments, think of participation as a convenient way to get some career development in. Those of us who have been shoehorned into leadership positions can tell you firsthand how much rigorous practice we get in using the “soft skills”. In the business vernacular these include but are not limited to social and emotional intelligence, ability to develop people, delegation, structure and tactile development (how you get stuff done and how you tweak things to make sure it keep s getting done), style flexibility, and focus1.

Experience on a leadership team will create a tangible CV bullet that is particularly important for anyone interested in going into industry, but such experience will also be very helpful for people staying in academia (think committee and ancillary duties). It’s all in how you frame your skills to your audience.

Any of the students currently serving on committees or volunteering in other capacities will be more than happy to share their experiences, what their responsibilities and time commitments have been, contacts they have made, and what they have gotten out of their service in terms of personal and professional development.

  1. For a more in depth explanation on these soft skills, see SciPhD competencies and SCIPHD.com

Sackler Graduate Student Council Announcements

GSC 2016-2017 PERSONNEL

Officers

     President: Julia Yelick2
     Vice President: Christina McGuire2
     Treasurer: Cho Low2

Representatives

     Biochem: Christina McGuire2
     CMDB: Kayla Gross1, Cho Low2, Julia Yelick2
     Genetics: Kevin Child2, Jaymes Farrell2
     Immunology: Frankie Velazquez2, Rebecca Silver1
     Molecular Microbiology: Ila Anand1, Stacie Clark1
     Neuroscience: Anna Nathanson1, Molly Hodul1
     PPET: Vaughn Youngblood1, Roaya Alqurashi1
     MD/PhD Liaisons: Ramesh Govindan1, Matt Zunich1

     Faculty Liaison: Michael Malamy
     Dean’s Office Liaison: Kathryn Lange

     1,2 denotes year on GSC

GSC 2016-2017 ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATES

Representation

    • CMP Representative: The new merged Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (CMDB) program is entering its second year with the Cell, Molecular, and Physiology (CMP) and Biochemistry (Biochem) no longer taking students. As such, due to the current program student populations, Biochem will retain one GSC representative while CMP will no longer have a designated representative; students in the CMP program will be contacted by the Biochem representative regarding GSC matters.
    • MD/PhD Liaison: Due to increased commitment to and enthusiasm for involvement in GSC, the MD/PhD program students will now be represented by two liaisons.
    • GSC Liaison Positions: As an alternative to having separate, assigned liaisons positions between GSC members and other Tufts organizations, these tasks have been delegated to the appropriately designated committee chairs and members (described below).

Committees: The GSC Bylaws were revised this year in order to restructure the council committees to better serve the Sackler student community’s needs. The reorganized committees are as follows:

    • Career Paths (Chair: Vaughn YoungbloodPPET; GSC: Roaya AlqurashiPPET, Ila AnandMMB, Kevin ChildsGENE): Organize the Career Paths Seminar series; recruit external speakers from a diverse set of professional environments to speak about their career experiences in areas other than biotechnology; work with the Dean’s office to recruit speakers and to help facilitate events, collaborate with the Post-doc Association (PDA) and Tufts Biotech Business Club (TBBC).
    • Newsletter (Chair: Kayla GrossCMDB; GSC: Molly HodulNRSC, Anna NathansonNRSC; Contributors: Ila AnandMMB, Jessica Davis-KnowltonCMDB, Jessica ElmanCMDB, Nafis HasanCMDB, Andrew HooperNRSC, Dan WongCMP): Write, edit, organize, and distribute an electronic newsletter at least bi-monthly; actively solicit newsletter contributions from SGSC members, students, and faculty; serve as a conduit of information from the SGSC to the Sackler student body.  Also serve as a liaison to the Sackler Library, via Laura Pavlech.
    • Outreach (Chair: Stacie ClarkeMMB; GSC: Ramesh GovindanNRSC/MSTP, Matt ZunichCMDB/MSTP): Organize volunteer and community service events for the Sackler community, as well as advertise opportunities for Sackler students outside of Tufts.
    • Social (Chair: Rebecca SilverIMM; GSC: Jaymes FarrellGENE, Cho LowCMDB, Frankie VelazquezIMM): Organize social events to promote GSC visibility within the student community.