Post by: Bethany Huot
Our motto here at The Pub Club is “Meeting on the edge of science,” the goal of which is to enhance our ability to conduct and publish high quality science. Another aspect of this is actively identifying the qualifications we are lacking and working diligently to fill “The Void.” Some of the recurring qualities listed in job postings involve “communication skills,” “leadership,” and “team work.” Our summer format and activities have been designed to assist you in developing each of these qualities among others.
Summer Meeting Format:
- “5-minute Science Update”: This addition was suggested by Sheng Yang and supported by our other PIs. Each week, one person will go through and summarize that week’s science news including hot topics, controversial issues and breaking news. They will share this summary at the beginning of the meeting, and will also post the summary to the website for those of us who may miss a meeting. We will be adding this component in June, the schedule for which will be posted on May 29. If you would like to choose your day to give the 5-minute update, please let Bethany know before this time. After that, names will be chosen by lottery, per Sheng Yang’s recommendation. Skills developed: oral and written communication, mentoring and teaching, self-starter (applies to volunteers!), keeping on the cutting edge of science!
- Meeting Discussion: Rather than one person leading the discussion each week, we have generated a list of topics of interest for the group to discuss, including a schedule for conference meeting highlights to be shared. In some cases, one person may want to give a brief introduction (See Microbiome post), use the time to practice their conference talk/poster, or invite an expert to contribute. The main goal is to use this time as a group to discuss, brainstorm, and problem-solve topics we find interesting and relevant to our work. Tips to maximize benefit: read/think about topic prior to meeting, have at least one question or comment to share with the group. Skills developed: oral communication skills, problem-solving, team-work.
- Pub Club Snacks: This essential component to our meetings is also an opportunity to develop our planning and budgeting skills, which are both critical for operating a lab. This summer we will be using a lottery system to ensure everyone gets a turn. If you would rather pick your day, let Bethany know before May 15th. The schedule will be emailed to the group as well as posted on The Whiteboard in the 4th floor living room. Skills developed: planning, budgeting, time-management, self-starter (applies to volunteers!).
- BBQs: We will be having several Pub Club BBQs this summer, which are designed both to have fun and to help us fill The Void. Each BBQ will have a “BBQ PI” who will choose a lab team selected from The Pub Club members to help find a location, choose a theme, create a menu, and everything else that is required for putting on the event. Keep posted for more instructions on how to be a BBQ PI. Skills developed: leadership, mentoring, team-building, planning, organization.
- Special Outreach Events: These will be posted as they arise. Currently we have the REU Welcome Party on the agenda. While this may seem trivial at first glance, it is actually a great way to fill The Void. Future employers are very interested in how many opportunities we have taken to mentor the next generation of scientists. The undergraduates participating in the REU program are actively investigating whether or not to pursue a career in science. Who better to help guide them through this process than us? Skills developed: mentoring, oral communication, team work.