Graduate science and engineering joint annual meeting allows students to share research

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Cose Jam 700

The graduate joint annual meeting of the College of Science and the College of Engineering (COSE-JAM) drew 45 poster presentations and 14 oral presentations during the event in Jordan Hall on Friday, Dec. 8.

Cose Jam 700Rachel Miller

The event, similar to the popular undergraduate College of Science Joint Annual Meeting held each year in May, provides graduate and postdoctoral students the opportunity to present their research to their peers as well as to undergraduate students and faculty, according to Matthew Ravosa, professor of biological sciences and concurrent professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, as well as of anthropology. The event also allowed science and engineering students to present their ideas in the same location, where they could make further connections with those who share related interests.

“This gives an opportunity for entry-level grad students and postdocs to practice presenting to diverse audiences,” Ravosa said. “People are really good at talking with folks who know what they do, but when you’re talking to someone else, you have to take the time to put it into context and tell others why your research is cool.”

Rachel Miller, a third-year biochemistry graduate student, was one of the poster presenters. Her topic focused on using living systems, like yeast, on a special paper device to detect whether human estrogen is present in drugs that claim to contain the hormone. Counterfeit drugs are a significant problem in some countries. Miller works in the lab of Holly Goodson, professor of biochemistry.

While Miller shared her results, Alexandra Chirakos, a third-year graduate student in biological sciences, stopped by to ask questions. In addition to sharing her own research about Mycobacterium marinum, a type of bacteria that grows in fresh and salt water and can affect those who swim or keep aquariums, she valued hearing about everyone else’s work.

“It’s nice to see that everyone is in the same boat and that we’re all working really hard,” said Chirakos, who works in the lab of Patricia Champion. “And we get to share that with each other. Normally we wouldn’t have a chance to do this.”

In addition to the posters and oral presentations, COSE-JAM also featured a panel discussion about how post-graduate education can lead to entrepreneurship, presented by the leadership team at the IDEA Center.