Fall Semester!

Today is the first day of the fall semester at UGA. I’ll be co-teaching Cell Biology (CBIO3400) this fall and co-leading a First Year Odyssey class for incoming students interested in research. We also welcome a new cohort of Integrated Life Sciences students to UGA this week, with our first rotation student, Miranda Arnold, coming to the lab today. We’re so excited about the year ahead and look forward to lots of learning and great science!

Congratulations to Jennifer!

Congrats to RRG lab grad student Jennifer for passing her Qualifying Exam this week! She really impressed her committee with her strong preliminary data, thoughtful approach to her project, and ability to answer a broad range of questions. The Qualifying Exam is a tough rite of passage for graduate students and she handled it very well. I try to emphasize with graduate students that this exam is really a test of the student’s ability to transition from student (“what’s on the test?” “what do I need to know?”) to scholar, someone self-empowered to drive her own learning and intellectual development. It also measures the scholar’s ownership of her own project and research plan. Jen did great and we are so proud of her! Excited for lots of awesome science to come!

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Summer wrap-up

We are wrapping up the summer in the R-G lab and have had an exciting past few weeks.

First, RRG and her writing buddies (Dr. Melanie Reber and Dr. Amanda Frossard, UGA Chemistry) submitted their NSF CAREER applications. We celebrated with some cookie dough at a place we had been wanting to try.

Second, Sara Anne presented a poster at the end-of-summer symposium for REU/NSURE/etc. students on campus. She did a great job.

Third, our summer undergrads have been hard at work on their research, as well as their mini-papers and lab meeting presentations. They have done an excellent job and have worked as a strong team, too.

Fourth, graduate students Tulip and Jennifer have been hard at work on their research and preparing for committee meetings. Tulip did very well at her first committee meeting last week so she has made it through that hurdle. Jennifer is gearing up for her qualifying exam next week. She submitted her proposal earlier in the summer and has been practicing for the oral part of her proposal defense. She’s totally ready to go!

RRG, Dr. Reber, and Dr. Frossard - writing buddies and also eaters of dessert.

RRG, Dr. Reber, and Dr. Frossard - writing buddies and also eaters of dessert.

Sara Anne McCommon presenting her NSURE research at the Summer Symposium.

Sara Anne McCommon presenting her NSURE research at the Summer Symposium.

RRG lab celebrating our summer’s progress (and our undergrad team’s first semester in the lab) with a lab lunch

RRG lab celebrating our summer’s progress (and our undergrad team’s first semester in the lab) with a lab lunch

July!

It has been a busy summer in the RRG lab, with three NSURE rotation students and Sara Anne McCommon (USC-Aiken) joining us for her “home lab” for the remainder of the NSURE program. She is really learning a lot and we really appreciate her hard work and enthusiasm.

Labo, Rachel, and Raag are also hard at work during their first term in the lab as undergraduate researchers. They are really making progress with their projects, asking great questions, and thinking deeply. I’m really glad to have them in the lab and look forward to seeing what they accomplish!

Tulip and Jennifer are also hard at work on their projects. They will have their first committee meeting (Tulip) and qualifying exam (Jennifer) this summer, so they have also been preparing for those events. They are learning a lot and stretching to take more leadership roles in the lab.

And of course Britessia has been helping me to organize the lab, train the students, and prepare for our recirc system build. She is really a rock for our research group.

I have been trying to manage all of these projects and also work on my first NSF proposal. I also have reviewed some grants and papers, written several letters of recommendation, and started preparations for my classes this fall. The summer is flying by and we are getting some stuff done!

NSURE, part III!

We were so happy to welcome UGA undergrad Kendall Clay to the lab for the 3rd rotation of the NSURE program. She did a great job and we have really enjoyed having all 3 NSURE rotation students (Kendall, Ivy, and Sara Anne) in the lab. Sara Anne will return next week to spend the remainder of the program in the lab.

UGA undergrads Labo, Raag, and Rachel have been working away cloning their new genes this summer and they have gotten a lot done in their first ~2 weeks. They have been reading papers, participating in lab meeting, and otherwise adjusting to life in the lab.

It has been so fun to get to know so many new students this summer and I can’t wait to see the discoveries we have in store for us!