Fall 2019 CBS Circles

CBS Circles are small groups of juniors, seniors, and transfer students who meet regularly to learn, develop, and connect with one another. CBS Circles help you transcend the checklist mentality and make the most of your remaining time in CBS by doing something that matters to you.



Each Fall 2019 Circle listed below is focused around a specific topic or goal and will share the common thread of small group peer support. Each Circle is facilitated by a paid CBS Circle Guide who designed the topic or goal of that Circle. Because Circles are small peer accountability groups, each Circle will need to have a minimum of two student participants in Fall 2019. Any Circle with less than two participants will not be able to be offered. Meeting days/times of the Fall 2019 Circles will be scheduled in collaboration with the Circle Guide and the other participants in the Circle.

If you are a CBS junior, senior, or transfer student (by class year, not number of credits), complete the sign-up form to participate in any of the CBS Circles this fall.

  • Building Professional Networks and Exploring Campus Resources

    Every other week meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Vy Tran, a Biochemistry major with a minor in Neuroscience. Vy is a transfer student and works in Dr. Nielsen’s research lab in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. After graduation, Vy is planning to go to dental school because they want to take care of people, enhance their quality of life, and make people feel happy and confident.

    In this every other week Circle, participants will share their interests, goals, and challenges and then work together throughout the semester to get to know campus resources that may be helpful, such as the Pre-Health Student Resource Center, tutoring at the SMART Learning Commons or MCAE, finding student organizations to join, finding research lab opportunities, searching for volunteer opportunities through the Center for Community-Engaged Learning, etc. Participants will also work on building their professional network on campus by making connections with TAs and instructors, PIs/post-docs/grad students in labs, etc.

  • Cooking for College Students

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Christian Shaw, a Biology major. Christian is a junior and is planning to study abroad next fall. After graduation, Christian is planning to take a gap year before going to law school and practicing medical law.

    Throughout weekly meetings during the fall semester, participants in this Circle will discuss the art and skill of cooking, particularly focusing on the science and chemistry of cooking. By taking an educational approach to cooking, participants will better understand how to cook and bake properly and alter recipes in order to make new creations. During meetings, participants will discuss the science of cooking and plan a cooking “experiment” to do at home each week.

  • De-Stress and Board Games

    Every other week meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Cecily Wang, a GCD and PMB double major. Cecily is a senior and works at the U of M Genomics Center and volunteers in the Voytas Lab. Under the guidance of a post-doctoral researcher, Cecily works to create a chemically induced flowering system in pennycress. Cecily’s career goal is to become a genetic counselor.

    In this every other week Circle, participants will learn about positive and negative stress, the effects of stress, and methods for de-stressing. Participants will set a manageable goal related to stress at the end of each meeting and work on that goal between meetings. Participants will also focus on reducing stress by playing board games in each meeting. By the end of the fall semester, students will be able to form at least one new healthy habit related to de-stressing and learn how to play one new board game.

  • Nutrition and Health

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Chantal Kloth, an EEB major with minors in Nutrition and the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Chantal is a senior and is planning to take a gap year and travel before settling down in Queensland, Australia where they plan to continue down the EEB pathway.

    While in college, many students are in charge of what they are eating and how often they exercise but that doesn’t necessarily mean their habits are the best for their health and wellbeing. This weekly Circle will focus on how simple changes could help improve the health of the participants. Potential meeting topics would be how to make cheap/easy/quick healthy meals, how to squeeze in exercise in more fun ways (rollerblading, workout videos, Zumba), developing critical thinking skills and evaluating claims related to nutrition and health on the merit of scientific evidence, and keeping yourself accountable for your fitness goals.

  • Sharing Scientific Journals

    Every other week meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Min Lee, a Biology major. Min has research experience in the Department of Dermatology, which has given Min a realistic overview of a medical career and encouraged Min to have more passion for their career goal. After graduation, Min is planning to become a dermatologist focusing on Atopic dermatitis and wants to help young children who suffer from chronic skin diseases.

    In this every other week Circle, participants will take turns choosing a scientific journal article to read before each meeting and facilitating the discussion of the journal article during the meeting. The goals of this Circle include building everyone’s scientific knowledge by reading and discussing five scientific journal articles over the fall semester and building facilitation and presentation skills that will be beneficial for future jobs and interviews.

  • Stitch and Science

    Every other week meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Madeline Jones, a Neuroscience major with minors in Public Health and French. Madeline is involved in the University of Minnesota Sailing Team and Camp Kesem. After graduation, Madeline plans to pursue a career in social work.

    The purpose of this every other week Circle is to practice the mindfulness exercise of various stitching-based crafts (crocheting, knitting, embroidery, etc.) in an effort to decrease stress while also reading and discussing science stories from popular media. Brief tutorials on stitching crafts will be provided but participants would be encouraged to bring their own work as well. By discussing science stories from popular media while stitching, participants will keep up-to-date on current events in science and will think critically about how popular media portrays science.

  • Sustainability and the Biological Sciences

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Will Draper, a Biochemistry major. Will is a third year student and has worked in yeast cell laboratory. Will hopes to apply their passion for sustainability in rethinking food sources in an environmentally friendly way.

    This weekly Circle will provide a space for students to discuss sustainability in the context of their academic course of study. Participants will read scientific literature related to sustainability and explore opportunities around the U of M to get involved with sustainability, such as through research positions, volunteer opportunities, or student organizations. The goals of this Circle include making connections with other students interested in sustainability and finding avenues to become involved with sustainability.

  • Tomorrow's Healthcare Professionals Discussing Today's Healthcare Disparities

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2019; Facilitated by Rebekka Alm (she/her/hers), a Biology major with a minor in Pharmacology. Rebekka is a senior and is currently working as a Lab Technician in a Plant Pathology Lab. After graduation, Rebekka is interested in becoming a rural physician.

    This weekly Circle’s aim is to discuss the health disparities that are understood to be influencing the quality of health care services provided today. Each week, participants will discuss a specific area of disparity, such as women’s health, mental health, racial disparities, underserved communities, etc. with an emphasis on forward-thinking solutions from a variety of health professions (Public Health, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physicians, Nursing, etc.). Through discussions and contributions from many points of view, participants will develop a thorough understanding of these disparities and potential solutions to these inequalities.