Our department hosted 20 visiting prospective graduate students during the 2012 Visitation Weekend held last month. Faculty and graduate students had the opportunity to show the visitors our outstanding research facilities including the Biodesign Institute, the Keck Environmental labs, NMR labs, the Fromme labs and our new NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer in the laboratory of professor Peter Williams. The visitors attended informational meetings as well as a tour of the Desert Botanical Gardens and a dinner on the patio of the Karsten Golf Course.
Keeping with tradition, a poster session was also held during the Visitation Weekend that gave our visitors an opportunity to see the wide variety of interdisciplinary research in our department. It was exciting to see our students explaining their projects to each other as well as to the visitors. The room was buzzing with excitement about science! New this year, awards were given for the most outstanding posters presented. Postdoctoral researchers volunteered their time to establish criteria and serve as judges for the 150 posters presented. Poster presentations were judged on appearance, scientific content and the presenter’s explanation of the project. Recipients of the award were: Stacy Kenyon, Andrew Brown, Christopher Starr, Dalvin Mendez, Kul Bhushan, and Stephen Davidowski. A special thank you to the postdocs who judged the event: Fernanda Camacho, Nadia Zatsepin, Fabia Battistuzzi, Lev Horodyskj, Maitrayee Bose, Annabelle Gillig and Tzu-Chiao Chao.
The weekend ended with the department BBQ at Kiwanis Park with over 200 of our graduate students, faculty and staff in attendance. It was a relaxing evening coupled with a great variety of food and the added bonus of some homemade dishes. Thank you to everyone who participated and to all our graduate students who took the time to interact with our visiting students, answering their questions and showing them we have an impressive graduate program with serious research and a fun side with a great student body. We hope to see our visitors again in the fall- as new students in our program.