Friday Link Round Up (3/3/2017)

Capture.PNG Short this week, but here are some interesting links around the internet.

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CIDD LUNCH with Dr. Santiago Elena (March 2nd, 2017)

If you’re interested in having lunch (March 2nd, 2017; 12-1pm) with Dr. Santiago Elena after his CIDD seminar “Exploring the constraints to increase genome complexity in RNA virus”, please use this form to RSVP.



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Upcoming March For Science

The CGSA Board wanted to pass along this time sensitive info to the CIDD grad community, from an email we received regarding the upcoming March for Science on April 22, 2017 from the group WE ARE for Science.  This group is organizing buses to attend the event and you need to register for a spot on the bus by March 1 on this form.   Cost details can be found in the message below.

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Professional Development at the Voices 2017 Conference

Earlier this month, I attended the Voices networking and professional development conference for the first time.  The conference is held annually in early to mid-February at the Atherton Hotel by the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) group – a wonderful group on campus that is not solely for female scientists.  This year’s theme was ‘Teamwork.’

The all-day event was wonderfully organized – transitioning smoothly from a full talk schedule to abundant built-in time to network with other attendees and the speakers.   First, we heard the opening talk on teamwork from Penn State Laureate Rebecca Strzelec, followed by remarks on transboundary and transdisciplinary science by Dr. Robert Swap (University of Virginia).  A professional panel including Dr. Moses Davis (Penn State), Emily Campbell (Bucknell University), and Scott Woods (President, West Arete) followed these talks.  After lunch, the keynote speaker Dr. Donna Nelson (University of Oklahoma) inspired us by chronicling her experience as the science adviser for the hit TV show Breaking Bad.  Finally, we had breakout sessions with Dr. Carolee Bull (Penn State) on self-mentorship and Valerie Bayes (Monsato) about teamwork in industry.

I will share a few of my favorite take-away points from the talks:

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Making a Difference – Outreach!

I really enjoy doing science outreach and I have been doing it in various forms since middle school.  It is great to be a Penn State, where there are so many ways to get involved in science outreach.  I want to highlight a few  opportunities for our CIDD community.  You can help with Science U summer camps, DiscoveryU camps, mentor undergraduates and young graduates in your own labs or sign up to mentor undergraduates you normally might not meet.  In my case, I am paired with a talented undergrad through the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, and we meet about once a month.  You can even go farther off campus – volunteering at Discovery Space or signing up to be a penpal in the popular Letters to a Pre-Scientist program (it’s fun to get mail!!).

For the past two years, one of the outreach days I look forward to the most all year is when I serve as a mentor for the Expanding Your Horizons in STEM Career Day, typically held in late January at Penn State.

This one-day event aims to engage young female students in grades 6-12, a crucial time when studies have shown a drop off in female interest in science (still a vigorous area of research! You can read more here and here).  You can volunteer to work behind the scenes, to lead a workshop with your colleagues, or to be a mentor.  As a mentor, I meet the girls and escort them around campus to three science workshops, have lunch with them, and chat with them as much as I can about what life is like as a graduate student in science and what life can be like working as a scientist.  I also listen to the inspiring advice from the keynote and panel speakers throughout the day about their experiences in science….and knock off some items on my bucket list –like holding a giant walking stick insect! (I was not ready to hold the hissing cockroach on display…)

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CIDD Graduate Lunch – Dr. Lance Waller, Emory University

Please RSVP for CIDD lunch (12pm) on 2/23/2017  with Dr. Lance Waller after his talk.  Dr. Waller is from Emory University and you can read more about his research here.

This lunch is a great opportunity to talk to the speaker in a casual group setting.  Lunch is provided if you RSVP.  Planning to try some new, yummy food this week – previously tested on a series of Biology graduate students and approved!  See details in the RSVP form.




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A mini R Link Round Up (2/17/2017)

Due to travels, no Friday Link Round Up! However, here are some few links for learning R or trying to improve in R.

Learn R with free, interactive tutorials

swirl: Learn R inside Rstudio
tryr: Learn R inside a browser
datacamp: Learn R with this interactive course


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Ask the faculty: how to be successful in academia?

Interested in an academic career path? We hear a lot about the widening gap in the number of PhDs awarded and the number of academic jobs available. How can we improve our prospects for landing one of those coveted tenure track faculty positions? The best people to ask are the people that have already landed one of these positions: our own CIDD faculty. Continue reading

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CIDD Graduate Lunch- Dr. Samuel Scarpino

Please RSVP for CIDD lunch (12pm) on 2/9/2017  with Dr. Samuel Scarpino after his talk.

Great opportunity to talk to the speaker in a casual group setting.

Lunch is provided if you RSVP.


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Andrew Read’s talk about talking

Giving talks can be hard. Giving talks about giving talks might be even harder. Andrew Read pulled it off this morning when he spoke at this month’s CGSA workshop on “How to give a great talk.”  Continue reading

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