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On July 26th, 2021, the M&I Department held their 8th annual Graduate Student Welcome event. Family members and guest of new students participated via Zoom from across the country to learn about life as a graduate student, UNC Chapel Hill, and the MCRO Ph.D. program. Department members located in Chapel Hill were welcomed in-person for the hybrid event.

As part of the program, our 12 new students first gave short talks about their dissertation projects. Those students include:

  • Rachel Burdorf, Swanstrom & Joseph labs
  • Margaret Dedloff, Cotter lab
  • Brian Fay, Ting lab
  • Nicole Gadda, Tamayo lab
  • Matt Higgs, Wolfgang lab
  • Cat Lewis, Browne lab
  • Cristian Roca Avendano, Wolfgang lab
  • Stephen Salisbury, Miller lab
  • Jack Sears, Heise & Moorman labs
  • Alexa Spandrio, Cotter lab
  • Amanda Velez, Conlon lab
  • Danielle Williams, Swanstrom lab

The new students received white lab coats embroidered with the department logo, and recited a graduate student oath, which they collectively wrote and agreed upon. Finally, the third-year class welcomed the new students. An outdoor reception followed on the balcony of MBRB.

2021 M&I Graduate Student Oath

“I, [NAME], have entered the serious pursuit of new knowledge as a member of the community of scientists in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. As I embark on my Ph.D. training, I willingly pledge the following:

I will strive to be a leader within the department and to contribute constructively to the culture, wellbeing, and community.

I will foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable being their full selves, inclusive of disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnic background.

I will strive to always be ethical and moral, conducting myself with scientific integrity in my research and professional life.

I will acknowledge and honor the contributions of scientists who have preceded me and strive to be a worthy role model and mentor for those who follow me.

I will actively participate in outreach and community-building to engage the next generation of scientists.

I will seek to clearly communicate my work to increase public understanding of science, including scientific principles, and its humanitarian goals.

With this Graduate Student Oath, I declare my commitment to these professional standards and goals.”