With insights from their fellow students into the realities of scientific study at UTMB, greetings from an alumnus, and sage advice from a faculty member, about 70 new students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences received a warm welcome into the Community of Scholars.
Dorian Coppenhaver, senior associate dean for student affairs in the GSBS, served as the master of ceremonies. Cary W. Cooper, interim provost and dean of the GSBS, welcomed the group to campus and to the start of their new scientific careers. “You are special; you were selected from a large group of applicants,” he said. “My hope for you is that you discover something new and exciting in biomedical science.”
The ceremony featured Jose M. Barral, assistant professor and director of the Neurobiology of Disease Track in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and recipient of the Graduate Student Organization Outstanding Teacher Award. In his keynote remarks, titled “Search and Re-Search,” Barral spoke about the investigative process and described what the new students should expect of their mentors and, likewise, what their mentors will expect of them: “Pursue new knowledge. You’re here to learn, but you’re really here to discover.”
Symbolizing their pursuit of science and scholarship, the students received pins bearing the image of an open book and a leather portfolio in which to make and keep notes of their studies and their research.