School of Medicine

SOM Grad Day 2019

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Two hundred students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests gathered for the third annual UCI School of Medicine Grad Day. The California beach theme and warm October weather made for a wonderful celebration of PhD and MS students complete with a barbecue, ice cream and a selfie contest.

Elevator TalksThe day started with a new event, elevator talks. Twelve students each gave a two-minute pitch about their research to a panel of judges, proctored by Associate Dean Klemens Hertel. The nerves were present and the audience was pumped. All students gave compelling talks and a few came out on top. 

Two students tied for first place: Lauren Urban received $500 sponsored by the SOM Alumni Chapter and Gianna Fote who received $500 from the SOM Office of Graduate Studies.

Second place went to Nicole Stivers with $200 sponsored by the SOM Dean’s Office.

As the program continued, Dean Stamos got everyone going in his role as emcee. He honored faculty earning the Excellence in Teaching Award (Bert Semler, Masashi Kitazawa, Ming Tan) and introduced new graduate faculty. The guest of honor, Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Steve Goldstein addressed the crowd with words of encouragement and tips for student success.

Poster SessionsThe poster session, held in Sprague Hall had over 30 entrants. Associate Dean Hertel organized the judges who selected the following winners:

In first place, Linzi Hosohama received $500 sponsored by the SOM Alumni Chapter.

Second place went to Zane Norman who received $200 sponsored by the SOM Dean’s office. 

Hamad Alshetaiwi and Kelli Malott were mentioned as noteworthy runners-up.

Festivities continued with the highly competitive Student vs. Faculty Lab Olympics. Teams competed in a six-leg relay and performed basic lab tasks while donning the appropriate PPE (Thank you EH&S!) and shooting gloves off after each leg. The stakes were high after two years of consecutive losses for the students who were determined to win the coveted Golden Flask. The Lab Olympics, created and organized by Amber Habowski and Morgan Dragan, was a nail-biter to the end. The faculty were not going to make it easy, but with some questionable moves, the students prevailed! The game was called by Lupe Gutierrez using his previously hidden sportscasting talents. Kudos to all who played, judged, cheered and were generally good sports.

Student competing Faculty Competing Student Winners

The Student Team included Andrea Reyes-Ortiz, Hossein Shenasa, Chris Douglas, Lindsey Soles, Nam Nguyen. The Faculty Team included Marian Waterman, Peter Kaiser, Hannah Park, Bert Semler, Nick Pannunzio.

After a very active afternoon, a crew of volunteer grad students and staff put everything back in order…at least until next year!

The SOM Student Advisory Council and SOM Office of Graduate Studies are grateful to the many supporters, donors and volunteers who made Grad Day 2019 a success.

Zot On!