Collaborations are the backbone of good, diverse science. They combine the unique perspectives and backgrounds of the brightest minds in science, often resulting in innovative, field-changing work. Collaboration teams come in many sizes and develop in a variety of ways. Our fusion started with a Biology Education Research post-doc, Michael Moore, who had an idea to create niche grad student societies, tailored to the needs of specific departments.
He united two Biology graduate students who had also been ruminating on a similar idea. Felicia Osburn and Dani Crain recognized the need for a group that could foster camaraderie within their department, formally and informally recognize the achievements and hard work of the graduate students, and provide peer-to-peer opportunities for growth. They rapidly garnered the support and encouragement of the Biology Chair, Dr. Simmons, and the Biology Graduate Program Director, Dr. King. With this, the society was born (and funded!). This superpower was finalized with the addition of our faculty advisor, Dr. Jason Pitts.
As with all good collaborations, this team knew they needed expertise they alone couldn’t provide. They put a call out to other graduate students for those who would be interested in helping grow and develop CEGSS. Those who responded became the Founding Leaders, and comprise the leadership positions that drive CEGSS. This final team then began laying the groundwork as guided by the desires and the vision of everyone in the department, building this society as a place for current and future Biology graduate students to come together, share knowledge, volunteer for the community, promote conversations with outside speakers, and more.
With all the support and excitement, CEGSS became a reality in late Spring 2018.