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From the Desk of the Director: Far Above Cayuga’s Waters

13241169_1066947783342534_6873238421297440535_nI will never forget the moment when as a young instructor I took a polaroid picture of the agarose gel after gel electrophoresis and (going against all protocol) started to shake it so it would dry faster. Sadly, the song on the top of the charts those days was “Hey Ya!” performed by OutKast, so naturally, I started to sing “Shake it like a Polaroid picture…”. I did not know any other words of the lyrics, but that was enough for a few students to approach me after the lab section and express their gratitude:

“Thank you for making us realize that the teachers are humans too.”

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From the Desk of the Director: Tour-guides on a Journey Called Biology

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 2.11.52 PMHave you ever watched the campus tour-guides walking backwards, telling cool stories about your university? If a tour group is too big, the people in the back lose interest quickly. Our graduate student lab instructors face a similar challenge: multiple student research groups design, set-up, and analyze different experiments in our teaching labs. It is easy to get too involved with assisting one group while accidentally ignoring others, who therefore do not receive similar guidance on their scientific journey.  Continue Reading