April 27, 2011


Accomplished since the last meeting:

Now have a departmental poster printer

Monthly biolog


Teaching opportunities:

            Had discussed an opportunity to apply for a departmental teaching position

similar to DeanŐs fellowship

            Possibility of offering a few lectures for interested grad students/postdocs to

lecture rather than teaching an entire course


We will email students letting them know that if they are interested in teaching a lecture to contact the head of a course.  Faculty will be told about this at the next faculty meeting.  Faculty will be responsible for mentoring student and approving lecture(s), and will also need to review the student.


Teaching a course – will apply to DeanŐs Fellowship first, then to the department.  Will be limited to two courses per year, will need a mentor.  (Mark is writing up the proposal to bring to Trina and Joel and the undergrad curriculum committee)


Also the option of teaching intersession or summer courses


Possibly have a few courses that are student taught that are offered every year.  These could be modified from year to year but have the same general course description.  Have a person TA one year then teach the course the next.


Speaker Lunches:

            Larger room and more food

Sign up to attend


Discussed limiting the number of students with a sign up or lottery system.  Decided to first send email etiquette reminder (Beverly), this may be sufficient to fix the problem. 


Can start appointing someone to be in charge of the student lunch, keep conversation going, keep people from getting into the food before speaker arrives.


Email abstracts to give everyone some familiarity with what the speaker works on.



            Requirements are still not clear

            First committee meeting by August 30th even if GBO was delayed?


Cannot make all equal/same, itŐs an oral exam.


Proposal feedback will come at first committee meeting, which occurs before August 31st of second year.  Proposal will need to be updated to reflect any changes or progression.


Everyone will have their committee meeting by Aug 31, even if they had a delayed GBO.



            Update website to make it clear who is currently taking students

            Summer rotation policy/time limit


Discussed having some sort of way to prevent incoming first years from having a first rotation in a lab that will not take students.  Have current first years stay in contact with people they emailed before recruitment, have them email and talk to incoming student about their rotation choices (Kirstie).  Assign a second student as well to do this.


Will start policy that if someone does a full rotation in the summer they will give a rotation talk and change labs for first rotation in the fall.



Progress Report Feedback:

            Feedback forms are not filled out – how can this be changed?



Remind faculty to fill out the forms (Beverly).


Email to remind everyone to go to progress reports and fill out the feedback forms.


Discussed assigning a few faculty to each progress report to give a critique and feedback, this would be done at the time that the progress report schedule comes out.  Problems with schedule conflicts, not all faculty would be able to go when assigned.


Possibility of physically handing out feedback forms or placing a pile on the end of each row of desks.



            Core courses

            Assessment of students


Undergrad syllabi will be sent to incoming first years (Beverly forwarding all of her information to Kyle)


Same problems as always with the core classes.  Dev bio and biophysics need changes, not really sure how to fix the problems.


Student assessment – need to figure out how to motivate some students and get them to be productive. 

Our publications will make the difference, but everyone still gets the same degree regardless of what they do here.  Need some sort of means of assessing a studentŐs progress and whether or not it is acceptable.


Implimenting a student self-assessment.  Also the possibility of having committees assess progress.


Discussed having a policy to look at students who need to do a fifth rotation and take it on a case by case basis as to whether or not they are in a situation that justifies doing a fifth rotation or not.  If they canŐt find someone willing to take them assess whether or not they belong in grad school


This really was a problem with student morale, students that make progress seem to get ripped apart at their progress report whereas students who do not have easy progress reports and no one says anything. This needs to change, doesnŐt need to be public humiliation but something needs to be done, not sure what.







Briefly discussed classes – did not discuss classes at the medical school – generally more intense but not worth the same credit as classes in our department.

Option of taking a different biophysics class if you have a background in biophysics and feel comfortable with the material, may make it possible to teach our biophysics course differently.


Alternating recruitment dinner between Camden Yards and the aquarium.  A lot of students prefer Camden Yards, it was better for socializing, more room, enough tables and chairs so that its not packed.  Would still have the option of going to the aquarium as a Saturday activity before dinner.