Nearly two dozen former students of the City of Hope Graduate School of Biological Sciences recently returned to campus for the school’s first-ever alumni reunion. The event gave graduates a chance to catch up on each other’s lives, while current students gained practical career advice from accomplished scientists who had once been in their shoes.
In one of the discussions at the event, eight graduates brought their real-world experiences as biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry researchers to City of Hope graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The alumni described their careers and responded to audience questions ranging from how best to conduct a job search to how industry research differs from academia.
|Past graduates and current students mingle during the City of Hope graduate school’s inaugural alumni reunion and mixer. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Kenneth Dery, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow in immunology, helped organize the panel discussion with Steven Novak, Ph.D., associate dean of the graduate school.
“As a postdoctoral fellow, I’m interested in opportunities for career development,” said Dery. “Hearing from former City of Hope grad students helps bring kind of a hometown connection to what lies out there.”
Following the panel discussion, John Rossi, Ph.D., Lidow Family Research Chair and dean of the school, associate deans John Shively, Ph.D., Mike Barish, Ph.D., and Novak, registrar Queenie Du and career counselor Jonie Tsuji told alumni about changes in the school since they graduated. The group highlighted in particular the upcoming Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, the first floor of which will house the graduate school.
Alumni and current graduate students later met at a mixer to share thoughts and ideas, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
“The reunion is one way to keep our alumni connected with the school,” said Novak. “Aside from an interest in them as people, we have a stake in their success.” Graduates’ accomplishments lend credibility to the school and offer a powerful network for current and other recently graduated students of the school, he explained.
Added Novak: “We hope this is just one of many successful reunions in the coming years.”