GCD Head Message to Graduates

Dear Class of 2021,

Congrats! The faculty of the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development want to extend our highest level of Congratulations for your achievement of graduating from the College of Biological Sciences with a major in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development.
Your GCD major has challenged you with a demanding course curriculum, requiring you to delve deeply into science and perform at a high level to successfully complete your courses. It hasn’t been easy and you should be extremely proud of your accomplishments. While a GCD major requires smarts, it takes more than smarts to complete this degree. It requires determination, dedication, and a willingness to creatively collaborate with mentors and peers.
This past year has been full of so many challenges, but you all have persevered and made it to that final stage in your GCD journey. You were supportive of your instructors and classmates and showed resilience under great stress. We are thankful that we had you on our team during this difficult time. No matter what the future holds in store for you all, know that you are bold, brave, and brilliant, and can handle anything that comes your way!

As we reflect on your achievements let’s be reminded of your partners, those who supported and guided you throughout your journey. This moment also serves to honor family members, friends and other loved ones. Make sure to let them know of your gratitude, it’s their time to enjoy and celebrate too.
The good news is that the number and diversity of jobs that require a working knowledge of genetics, cell biology and development is exploding in the wake of COVID. You are well positioned for this Bio-Boom and the jobs market across multiple sectors, including biomedical research and engineering, health care, biotechnology, and epidemiology. New biotechnologies are opening up even more opportunities in industries that will require smart, driven and creative scientists like yourself.
Many of you will follow your curiosity and newly lit passion for discovery, pursuing advanced degrees in graduate and professional schools across the disciplines. You will do so with the confidence that your scientific foundation is strong. It is an exciting time to be studying in the life sciences, particularly with the ongoing convergence of engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences in collaborations that as we have recently witnessed will address some of society’s biggest challenges. You are the next generation of problem solvers!
For the faculty in GCD, it has been a pleasure to watch your transformation from a CBS freshman to a GCD graduate (Read a few of the well wishes from some of our faculty here). Your future is bright. Stay focused and committed to your long-term goals and you will succeed. You’re graduating into a world that absolutely needs empathetic, intellectually nimble, community-oriented, passionate people to guide us. I can’t think of a more capable, prepared cohort of future leaders than those of you who are about to embark on this next adventure.
Thank you for your many contributions to this place over the last four years. We’re a better place for your having been here. We send you off with our best wishes for the next chapter in your journey, and for a happy, creative, and productive life. Cheers, and please stay in touch!

Yours sincerely,

Tom Hays
Professor and Head
Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development
University of Minnesota