Fall 2017 CBS Circles

CBS Circles are small groups of 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 2017 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 and are designed to be for a total of 3-5 students, including the Circle Guide, each Circle will need to have a minimum of two student participants in Fall 2017. Any Circle with less than two participants will not be able to be offered. Meeting days/times of these Fall 2017 Circles will be scheduled in collaboration with the Circle Guide and the other participants in the Circle. 

  • Applying to Graduate Programs

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Melody Truong, GCD major with a Microbiology minor. Melody is a senior and will be applying to PhD programs this fall. She currently works in an aquatic invasive species lab focusing on utilizing genetic techniques to map patterns of invasions and develop methods of biocontrol for zebra mussels. 

    This Circle would revolve around preparation for graduate programs in the biological sciences, such as PhD or Master's programs in research or genetic counseling, particularly for applications due at the beginning of December. The meetings would provide participants the support needed during the application process and help motivate participants to complete tasks required for their applications in a timely manner, such as drafting and perfecting personal statements, reviewing research statements, narrowing down programs to apply for, researching faculty advisors for each program, acquiring recommendation letters and other required documents, etc.

  • Biological Origins in Folklore and Science Fiction

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Christine Lian, GCD major. Christine is a senior who hopes to study Genetic Counseling in graduate school. Currently she is part of a research team in the Cotner Lab to observe the relationship between gender and confidence in STEM fields.

    Each week, this Circle would discuss a different myth or tale and how these relate to biology, physiology, and/or medicine. We would discuss whether we think the creatures described in these stories could actually be feasible, based on our understanding of biology in organisms today, such as the likelihood of a zombie outbreak. If there is a particularly iconic story revolving around that week's folklore of choice (such as excerpts from Dracula when discussing vampires), we would read over the material or watch clips from movies. The goals of this Circle include fostering an interest in folklore and the history of medicine and learning about various medical or biological conditions that are seen in folklore.

  • De-stress in CBS

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Kasey Lofy, Biology and Art double major. Kasey is a senior and plans on going to medical school where he would like to become a surgeon. Kasey enjoys the outdoors, being active, and game nights with friends.  

    This Circle will brainstorm techniques to decompress from the stresses that often accompany the vigorous class load of a CBS student. Over the course of the semester, we'll be exploring a variety of stress reduction activities, which could include board games, card games, exercise classes, and more. The goals for this Circle are to create a group of students who put aside time to reduce stress in their lives and to learn different methods of stress reduction that are effective for each participant.

  • Exploring Biological Careers in Industry

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Connor Lund, Microbiology major. Connor is a senior and currently works in a forest pathology lab on the St. Paul campus, which studies fungal pathogens. He spent his freshman year in CLA before transferring into CBS. Connor is very interested in biotechnology and genetic engineering and would love to have a career that specializes in gene editing.

    This Circle is designed for a group of peers who want to explore career options for students studying biological sciences, particularly for those who plan on either entering the workforce or working in industry immediately after they graduate. In this Circle, we may connect with staff and faculty at the University of Minnesota to learn about options for students with CBS degrees. The goals of this Circle include having each participant set up an informational interview with at least one person in a company of interest and to develop a list of at least two potential career options post-graduation in the biological sciences.

  • Exploring International Cultures

    Meetings every other week throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Khaled Daifallah, Biochemistry major with a Child Psychology minor. Khaled a pre-dental student and he worked with children at the Washburn Center this summer and found it remarkable. He also got to work in Dr. Parker's lab, which focuses on cancer research using cell culture and proteomics. Khaled loves soccer, ping pong, pool, swimming, and dentistry.

    As future scientists, teachers, researchers, and health professionals, all of us will be working with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. This Circle will focus on diversity and exploration of different cultures, such as learning about the food, clothing, technological development, and geography. Instead of us having to travel and explore different cultures, we can bring these to a small table and discuss them among peers, along with what it means for us currently and in our future careers. The goals of this Circle include developing empathy by exploring different perspectives in the world we live in and becoming more knowledgeable about the different cultures around us.

  • Challenging the Premed Stereotype

    Meetings every other week throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Maggie Kliebhan, Biochemistry major with a minor in Mathematics. Maggie is a junior and is involved in transcriptional genomics research in the Albert Lab. She is currently applying to medical school.  

    This Circle would discuss the stereotypes that surround pre-med students and what the University of Minnesota community can do to encourage cooperation among students. All interested students are welcome to join this Circle, regardless of career path, for a more diverse perspective that can include other pre-professional programs as well. In our discussions, we would use quick-thinking activities to uncover biases and storytelling to express instances where the stereotype has made itself present. By the end of the semester, we hope to create flowcharts to map the effect of institutional pressures and propose action plans

  • Gap Year Planning

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Andrew Norton, GCD, Microbiology, and Neuroscience triple major. Andrew is a senior looking to take a gap year this following summer that fits his experiences and strengths before attending medical school. 

    Are you taking a gap year and are not sure what to do?  As CBS students, we may have been intentionally planning a gap year or may have had to adjust our post-graduate plans. In this Circle, we will explore the many options, resources, and fields that graduates can pursue for a gap year experience before continuing their education. Together we can gain a better understanding of the opportunities CBS students have for a gap year and build an inclusive community to help support individual decisions for pursuing a gap year

  • Journal Club: Biology in Industry

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Philip Leung, Biochemistry and GCD double major. Philip is interested in synthetic biology and protein engineering. He works in the Seelig Lab and plans to apply to Grad School this fall.

    This Circle will focus on weekly discussions of applied and industry-related peer reviewed research articles in the biosciences, such as articles on GMOs, metabolic engineering, bioproducts, or pharmaceutical chemical biology. This Circle is a great opportunity to practice reading, evaluating, presenting, and discussing recently published research articles from leading journals to a multidisciplinary scientific audience. This is a very important skill in science, and it can be very fun and interesting as well. The goal of this Circle would be to have 2-3 people present a journal article each week, focusing on the significant findings, unique methods or experimental approaches, and relevance to other scientific fields

  • Journal Club: Health and Neuroscience-Related Topics

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by David Begelman, Neuroscience major. David is a third year student hoping to pursue medicine and graduate school in the future. He is currently working on a directed research project aiming to identify the intrinsic position and the relative abundance of oligomers within different Alzheimer's Disease mouse models.

    This Circle will focus on weekly discussions of health and neuroscience-related peer reviewed research articles. Every week an article within the fields of neuroscience, clinical health sciences, as well as neurodegenerative diseases will be picked, discussed, critiqued, and analyzed based on the figures and methods provided. This Circle will serve as a learning environment for individuals interested in developing better scientific reasoning skills as well as critical analysis of reading scientific papers. The goal of this Circle would be to engage and discuss 10 scientific papers during the fall semester.

  • Journaling for Effective, Reflective Leaders

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Amanda Kosier, Biology major with a Chemistry minor. Amanda is a third year student who loves expanding her knowledge and is especially interested in the intersection of science and the humanities. She has done research in a Genetics lab and held leadership positions in CBS, and enjoys connecting with others. Post-college, Amanda plans to attend medical school.

    This Circle would focus on strategies for self-reflection and processing information through journaling. Meetings will consist of learning techniques for journaling styles, reflection on the process of journaling, and accountability for keeping a personal journal for the duration of the Circle. Discussions will also include learning and reflecting on the value of knowing oneself in leadership, techniques for self-reflection and evaluation, and how self-care relates to performance and reaching goals

  • Science and Social Change: How Scientific Advancements Shape Society

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Amanda Kosier, Biology major with a Chemistry minor. Amanda is a third year student who loves expanding her knowledge and is especially interested in the intersection of science and the humanities. She has done research in a Genetics lab and held leadership positions in CBS, and enjoys connecting with others. Post-college, Amanda plans to attend medical school.

    In this Circle, we will take an in-depth look at how scientific discovery has shaped the landscape of societies. While science pursues knowledge, the consequences of that knowledge (or apparent knowledge) are often far reaching and less often considered by the scientists themselves. We would investigate in-depth scientific discoveries in history along with current and future discoveries, and trace their impacts or potential impacts in society and in the lives of groups and individuals. The focus of the  meetings will be to break down the forces at play outside of the laboratory that influence the impacts of scientific discoveries. Reflection on the role of scientists in social change will be emphasized throughout the semester.

  • The Science of Beauty

    Weekly meetings throughout Fall 2017; Facilitated by Melissa Rivi, Microbiology major. Melissa is a senior and is interested in environmental microbiology and biotechnology. She has spent a year researching the uncommon metabolism of a bacterium and its use in microbial fuel cells. After she graduates, she plans to work in the biotechnology industry and possibly the beauty industry.

    This Circle will explore and research the science behind different skincare ingredients and products, such as niacinamide and retinol, as well as the biology underlying the beauty industry, such as in fermentation products and plant extracts. Other topics could include the psychology behind why we buy these products and why society idealizes beauty, as well as the chemistry behind beauty products. We will also explore the jobs of scientists working in all aspects of the beauty industry and how to get started in the industry as a college graduate with a biology degree.