On Thursday, December 1, 2022, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program gathered to celebrate the “Advancement to PhD Candidacy” for students who joined the program in the Fall of 2020. These students committed to pursue graduate training when the world was shutting down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They relocated to Charlottesville in the summer of 2020 and were introduced to our training environment through mostly virtual research rotation experiences and summer activities, after which they completed all of their first year coursework on Zoom.
Despite these challenges, the students successfully identified research mentors and laboratories in which to pursue their graduate work and completed their qualifying exams on time, thus advancing to PhD candidacy. During the celebration, these recently-minted PhD candidates were individually recognized for this achievement with a certificate and a commemorative coin, presented to them by their research mentor and/or BIMS program leadership. For many in this entering class, it was the first time they had every met one another in person. A reception afterward provided an opportunity for overdue connections and much-needed community building.
Filed Under: Education