Spring 2020 CBS Circles

CBS Circles are small groups of juniors, seniors, and transfer students who meet regularly to learn, develop, and connect with one another. We recently put out a call for new CBS circles and you heard our call. We received 17 new CBS Circles! Each Circle will need to have a minimum of two participants to be offered. Meeting days/times of the new Circles will be scheduled in collaboration with the Circle Guide.

If you are a CBS junior, senior or transfer student, sign up for one of the *new* CBS Circles by Sunday, March 29 at 5 p.m. The new Circles will begin meeting during the week of March 30. They will meet weekly for the final 5 weeks of the semester.

Sign up now


  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: The Future of Biological Science

    Facilitated by Matthew Glittenberg. This Circle would be about how we use computers to discover and learn about different aspects of various biological fields. Topics could range from protein discovery, genome sequencing, pharmacological applications, how to add computational aspects to wet lab experiments, advancements in the field of computational biology, and common tools and applications used.

  • Collective Action and Solidarity in Uncertain Times

    Facilitated by Narmada Venkateswaran. During this time, we may feel like we cannot do anything to help in this pandemic. This Circle would discuss how we can support people in the Twin Cities and beyond and how to collectively inspire action, engagement, and discourse with others. By the end of the semester, we would determine one action step we can take during this time in partnership with others.

  • Community in COVID-19

    Facilitated by Rachel Kelm. This Circle would be focused on the health and wellbeing of students feeling impacted by COVID-19, such as sharing concerns, discussing future plans that have been interrupted, and most importantly discussing what people in their communities are doing to spread positivity and hope.

  • Engaging in Clinical-Based Research

    Facilitated by Abdi Saleh. This Circle would explore ways to get involved in clinical-based research and how it differs from wet lab research. We would discuss potential ways of getting involved in the future and finding a research mentor that engages in clinical research both in CBS departments as well as the professional schools.

  • Exploring the Relationship between Artificial Intelligence and Biological Sciences

    Facilitated by Sarah Masood. In this Circle, we would explore the relationship between biological sciences and artificial intelligence (AI), such as the history of AI and biological intervention/past research, the biological sciences behind AI in media and science fiction, current research articles, and career exploration in AI and biological sciences. We could even make our own AI project proposals for fun!

  • Happiness and Your Hippocampus

    Facilitated by Kate Williams. This Circle would be a time for CBS students to get together virtually and discuss something cool in science (that has nothing to do with COVID-19). We have been missing the tiny conversations that happen before and after class with peers and these social connections are really important for science. In this Circle, we would share interesting research we have heard about (for example, rats driving cars!)

  • Health Disparities and COVID-19

    Facilitated by Tabitha Chettupally. This Circle would focus on health disparities amidst this pandemic, which is an important discussion to have for those interested in healthcare careers. This could include information about COVID-19 testing access and expense, along with impacts on different communities.

  • Mental Health in a Socially Isolated World

    Facilitated by Alex Rich. This Circle would discuss the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, including the latest articles on how mental health is faring at a societal level in the pandemic, literature on how to best care for one's mental health under these conditions, and how these topics are reflected in the student experience at the moment. We would also talk about and practice techniques to care for ourselves during this time.

  • Navigating This Medical School Application Cycle

    Facilitated by Kaitlin Machina. This Circle would include navigating how to continue studying for the MCAT amid cancellations, going through any updates received from AMCAS or AAMC, and figuring out how aspects of the medical school application process are going to work during these changes.

  • Navigating Your Job Search

    Facilitated by Katlynn Schmick. As many of us face massive changes to our daily lives, continuing or beginning your job search may seem especially daunting. This Circle seeks to create a supportive space for students to discuss their job hunt experiences, provide weekly action tasks to help hold ourselves accountable, and provide opportunities to exchange application materials such as resumes or cover letters for peer review.

  • Preparing for Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy School with a Biology Major

    Facilitated by Elise Durre. In this Circle, we could discuss admission standards for Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy programs, involvement opportunities, letters of recommendation, and balancing PT/OT school requirements with the biology major requirements. We could also explore ways that we could each stand out in the admissions process.

  • Sociology of Women's Health

    Facilitated by Anika Tella. In this Circle, we would discuss global women's health issues and the disparities. We would discuss laws and organizations related to women’s health, disparities within socioeconomic classes and ethnicity, and cultural effects on health decision making. We would read related articles and use statistical research resources and open data sets relating to the issue.

  • Stepping Outside the Classroom: Exploring Global Health in our Current World

    Facilitated by Priya George. This Circle would explore how our CBS education transcends into the multidisciplinary study of global health. We would discuss our interests in global health, potential options for study abroad within the CBS curriculum, opinions on the current COVID-19 pandemic, how to get involved in clinical global health research as opposed to wet lab research, informational interviews with global health professionals, and ideas for how to incorporate global health in one's career.

  • The Intersection Between Science and Spirituality

    Facilitated by Alec Wong. In this Circle, we would explore different fields of science as well as its potential applications to spirituality. Topics could include the scientific aspects of spiritual activities such as yoga, scientific explanations for astral projections, discussions of whether science and religion are similar, and more. The content of this Circle can be very abstract for certain topics and discussions, so all views and perspectives would be welcome!

  • The PhD: When, Why and How to Apply

    Facilitated by Macy Vollbrecht. In this Circle, we would discuss the details of PhD programs in the biological sciences, including learning more about whether pursuing a PhD is a good fit for your career interests, the PhD application process, potential timelines for preparing an application, and exploring PhD programs themselves.

  • Translating Science: Communicating Scientific Knowledge to the Public

    Facilitated by Tony Joseph. In this Circle, we will talk about science communication and ways that we can effectively, efficiently and clearly communicate what science and empirical evidence dictates, while also remaining relatable and relevant to the public. We will discuss important scientific topics that are often misconstrued among the general public and describe and practice methods/strategies to convey complex scientific information to the public.