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December 01, 2016

EEBB GSO Meeting
December 01, 2016
203C Natural Sciences

Present:    Anna Groves (President), Barbara Bloemers (Advisor), Taylor Rupp (Treasurer), Cory Kohn (Secretary), Mauricio Losilla (Colloquium), Connie Rojas (Colloquium), Alli Sussman (Symposium), Shujun Ou, Matthew Kolp, Allison Young, Alex Wright.

New GSO logo:

The two submitted candidates/ideas were considered:

  • Chris Warneke drew a mock-up design based on an existing external group’s logo. The design was commended for it’s creativity in mixing elements representing the full diversity of EEBB research (animals and plants, but also microbes, behavior, and phylogenetics).
  • Alli Sussman produced a full color logo using purely open-source content. The design features a circle outline including the GSO’s name with a large tree bisecting the entire logo. On either side of the tree is a water scene and a grass scene, with animal and plant diversity spread throughout both scenes and the tree branches above. The following suggestions were offered: perhaps including more animal behavior stills (pollination, courtship displays, etc); a small shrunken version might be messy; a black and white version might be needed.

Symposium planning:

  • We had previously discussed featuring an internal versus external keynote speaker. An external speaker would be a bigger draw (for faculty especially), and EEBB, via the Dean, has funding to invite a prominent speaker. The major drawback with having an external speaker is that students had expressed interest in hearing more from MSU faculty and this keynote was as yet the only allotted opportunity for this.
  • Additional suggestions were brainstormed with special note of furthering participation of the faculty:
    • A mixed panel of MSU faculty and the invited speaker, with the topic being proposed and agreed to by the students.
    • Faculty-only or lab-centric posters on the PI/lab’s expertise and interests, with the PI’s manning the poster but not necessarily creating it.
    • Lightning talks or short faculty pitches on their work.
    • A nomination system for talks and the invited keynote speaker, perhaps using the Seminar Committee’s previous recommendations.
    • A brief update on program progress following the Director’s review, the Winter Retreat, etc.
  • The possibility of a poster session or lightning talks during lunch was discussed and the floorplan of the Henry Center was closely scrutinized.
  • The Symposium Chairs request more people participate in the planning committee.
  • An additional planning committee meeting will take place before the end of the Fall semester.
  • A room at Beggar’s has been reserved for socializing after the Symposium.
  • By early Spring semester the schedule and solicitation for talks and posters will have to be advertised.

EEBB Executive Committee meeting debrief:

The Committee discussed the possibility of reducing the number of faculty participating in the program. Over 100 faculty are currently listed, but a much smaller number participate regularly. Perhaps EEBB will rescind the requirement of a student needing an EEBB PI in order to join the program. A faculty survey was drawn up and is currently under review by the Committee; a single reminder will be sent after its initial distribution. The survey is short and sweet, including:

  • What have you down (check as many as apply), e.g. seminar in the EEBB series, student in the program, etc.
  • And a proposed two-tier membership system -- active membership, with a set of expectations, versus affiliation with the program.

Some brief background:

  • Dean prefers to shrink the faculty, while EEBB has historically preferred the more the merrier.
  • Importantly, there is an upcoming review of the program and faculty not representing EEBB in their publications, grants, etc will pull down averages for the program at large.

Non-academia seminar talks:

The GSO will take over solicitation and decisions on alumni to invite for guest professional development-focused Seminars. Alumni list(s) will be considered for sharing with the GSO. Faculty would probably object to additional seminar slots focused on such matters. The GSO will organize a list of topics of interest to the students for delivery to to the Director.

Note: Discussion of further GSO plans for the Spring semester has been tabled until January.