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Graduate Education Office (GEO) Newsletter

March 3, 2021
in this issue: 

1. GEO Leadership Corner
2. BGSO Announcements
3. 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium This Week
4. FUNDraiser for the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless
5. CWRU Alumni Dr. Kate Gawelek Seminar
6. Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers
7. Upcoming Seminars


GEO Leadership Corner

Spring is coming and it always gives a sense of renewed energy with longer days and more sunshine. It is also a time to reflect on our accomplishments for the current academic year and begin to set the new ones for the next. The individual development plan (IDP) is a key component of your career planning. It provides an opportunity for you to have dedicated conversations with your mentor and mentoring team regarding your long and short term career goals. Please complete yours by the end of this month.
The School of Medicine’s IDP policy and a link to the portal is here.


Marvin Nieman, PhD, FAHA
Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Education
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology

BGSO Announcements


BGSO Women in Biomedical Studies Q&A:

Join the Biomedical Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) in celebrating International Women’s Week by attending our Women in Biomedical Studies Q&A! We have gathered notable female faculty members who have paved their way through various biomedical fields of study. Our aim is to encourage a laid-back open floor discussion about navigating these fields as modern day women and ideas for the future! This event will take place via Zoom Thursday March 11th 3-4pm. Click here to download  flyer!

Safety Reminders

BGSO would like to remind everyone of several resources for students in regards to safety. GSC is leading efforts to increase safety presence on campus

Safe ride: Safe Ride carries students, faculty and staff around campus and part of University Circle. The service is an after-hours addition to public transportation. It runs seven days a week, between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. You can access either through the Guardian app or visit
Walking Escorts: available within the University Circle area: and the Rave Guardian app also has a "Guardian" and safety timer features (easier to read their description than for me to reword it):

Attention all BSTP graduate students:

This year, BGSO is launching the Mentor Match-up program. Interested current graduate students will have the opportunity to mentor an incoming BSTP student who shares their research and academic interests. As the mentor, you will be one of the first friendly faces the new students will contact regarding rotations, information about CWRU or Cleveland, etc. If you are interested, please sign up on the Google sheet via the link below. Include your name, email, department, and research interests.

BSTP Recruitment Volunteer Opportunities

Are you a former BSTP student? We need YOU!

BSTP recruitment has been going strong, but we rely on current students to be the warm and welcoming faces of the School of Medicine. There are two remaining interview days: Friday, March 19 and Friday, March 26. Please consider volunteering as we persevere through to the end!

Since interviews are entirely virtual this year, the opportunities to be involved in recruitment are slightly different. Here is the link to a sign-up sheet for the various volunteer positions, and here is the link to each job description. Jobs include:

- Happy hour/social hour with candidates on Zoom (4:30-6:00 pm)
- Q&A panel (12:20-1:00 pm)
- point of contact for candidates pre- and post-interviews (no set time)
- on call with Rachael, Brianna, and Debbie Noureddine to chat with candidates whose interviewers didn’t show (30-min time blocks throughout the day)

Please sign up for as many jobs as you are interested in and could possibly volunteer for. We will not schedule you for all of the slots you sign up for, but it helps us to have multiple options.

If you have questions, please email or

Thank you in advance for your participation! We are grateful for your availability and willingness to give back to the incoming class during this unusual time.


Brianna Busscher & Rachael Gowen
BGSO Recruitment Co-Chairs
Let's Taco Bout It!
Hello all! The BGSO has created a Zoom link for a virtual lunch each week on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:30-1:30! Come for a few minutes or come for an hour! For sure, come and have fun! 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 964 4855 8123
Passcode: 392001

BGSO GA announcement!
The next GA meeting will be February 24th at 5pm! After announcements, we hope you stay for Black History Month Bingo!  Click here to download flyer.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 945 8338 8837
Passcode: 134988

BGSO GA Announcements!

The BGSO GA meetings for the semester will be the following dates at 5 PM. Mark your calendars!!
March 24th
April 28th
May 26th

DNA Day Sign-up!
Hello! As we approach the end of January, it is time to start recruiting volunteers for DNA Day. Pre-pandemic, DNA Day volunteers visited local Cleveland public middle schools to talk about science and perform a fun strawberry DNA extraction experiment with the kids. We cancelled DNA Day 2020 due to the pandemic but we would like to adapt to a virtual platform to continue this event in 2021. DNA Day is tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 26th, 2021 (because April 25th is a Sunday). If you are interested in participating in DNA day or if you would like to receive more information, please complete this form ( to be included in our mailing list. We would like to set up an information/brainstorming session in early February. If you have questions or suggestions for DNA day, please email Geneva LaForce ( Thanks! 

2021 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS)

After a successful 2020 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS), we're ready to plan next year's event! If you are interested in being a member of the organizing committee, please fill out the attached google form. Those interested will meet early 2021 to transition in the new subcommittees.


Upcoming Events & Announcements

5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium
Navigating Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned
and How to Move Forward
March 4-5, 2021 | Virtual Event

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Community Outreach and Engagement is pleased to present the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium, Navigating Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned and How to Move Forward.

This multi-disciplinary event will appeal to researchers, clinicians, health professionals, community outreach groups, community-based organizations, patient advocates and trainees. Keynote presentations will be delivered by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders, and a poster session highlighting academic research and community programs will provide a showcase of the depth and depth of work happening in this field.

Though this event is happening virtually, attendees will experience the conference using Whova, our official web-based conference app, to view presentations and ask questions in real-time, as well as network with others behind the scenes.

Click here for more details.

FUNDraiser for the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless
The Anatomy Graduate Student Organization is hosting a FUNDraiser for the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless. Please donate money or supplies to help! Click here to download flyer.
Forensic Pathology Seminar
CWRU Alumni Dr. Kate Gawelek will speak about her position at Harvard Medical School, which focuses on forensic pathology and forensic anthropology. Seminar is March 16th at 6:15pm via Zoom and we know this topic will have widespread interest across the School of Medicine. All are welcome.  Click here to register, and click here to download flyer.
Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

The VITA program has operated for over 50 years, offering free tax help to:

  • People who generally make $57,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities; and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers
Click here for more details.

The McKinsey Advanced Professional Degree recruiting team is excited to get to know you virtually over the coming months and to share a few resources to help you learn more about us!  You will find below a number of upcoming opportunities to connect with us. We invite you to join us for whichever event(s) most closely match your interests. You can also check our recruiting calendar for updates:
McKinsey Spring Information Session
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00pm EST
Register here for our advanced professional degree (APD) full-time recruiting information session for PhDs, MDs, JDs, post-doctorates, masters, and medical residents interesting in pursuing a career in management consulting. The session is designed to provide students an insider’s look into management consulting and our firm.

APD U.S. Recruiter Office Hours
Wednesday, February 17th – Wednesday, March 17th (Multiple Dates)
Register here to join our McKinsey APD U.S. Recruiters for 45 minutes of Q&A! Our recruiters are happy to answer any recruiting questions you might have on your mind.
Meet our U.S. McKinsey Consultants
Tuesday, March 9 and March 16th
Register here to join our McKinsey Consultants for an hour of Q&A! Our consultants are happy to answer anything that may be on your mind, as well as share more about their personal experience and journey at McKinsey (including types of project they’ve worked on, living a full life, and finding support and mentorship at the firm).

Unity Banquet Scholarships
The Office of Multicultural Affairs has opened our Unity Banquet scholarships and it is open to Graduate and Professional students. Link to apply:

The OMA Scholarship Award assists students with tuition costs, research, national career-related conference attendance, participation in study abroad, or service trips. OMA awards from a pool of $10,000 each spring in recognition of underrepresented students and their achievements. Recipients of the OMA Scholarship Award must meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate or Graduate underrepresented minority student (URM) Underrepresented minority refers to African American, Latino/a/Hispanic,Native American, and Pacific Islander students.
  • Be in Good Academic Standing
  • All applications must be received by no later than 9am, Friday, March 5, 2021.


Winner from each category will win a $500 gift card plus a chance to win an additional $500 gift card for the popular vote.
Submissions need to be received by Close Of the Day (COD) on February 11, 2021.
If you have any questions, please contact 

Click here to register for webinar.
Click here to submit application.



CWRU Resources Available to Students
We all need a little help sometimes.  If you find yourself in need of assistance, here are some resources available to students from CWRU:
Source: Katie Gaffen, Department of Nutrition

New Program: Racial Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship in
Basic & Tumor Immunology

As part of its commitment to building a more diverse community of future science leaders in immuno-oncology, yesterday we officially announced the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity. We are asking for your help in disseminating this information to a wide audience. Please consider forwarding the attached flyer to your colleagues, both within as well as outside of your own institution. In addition, please forward to your institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs.
Like the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity will provide critical financial support and continued career training to the most promising young scientists in basic and tumor immunology. The program is open to Black, Hispanic, and Latino/Latina candidates, and will provide additional support for mentoring and career advancement to these individuals, as we work to build a more racially diverse and inclusive community of scientists working in immuno-oncology. 
There will be two application deadlines per year: April 1 and October 1.  Please see the attached for additional information and eligibility criteria. Further details can be found at: CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowships - Cancer Research Institute.

Pre-Professional Health Program Seminar
Click here to download the handout from the Pre-Professional Health Program Seminar "Writing a Personal Statement Workshop".


The following Pre-Professional Health Program Seminar "Selecting Medical Schools for Admission" is scheduled on Friday, March 12th at 12:00 pm via zoom:, Passcode: 861634. Click here to download flyer.

New Virtual Mental Health Option for CWRU Students—
Wherever They Are

CWRU has announced a new initiative to help ensure that students living outside of Ohio can access mental health care during these trying times called CWRU Care. CWRU Care is a 24/7 mental telehealth care service that undergraduate, graduate and professional students can access from wherever they are.
Through CWRU Care, students can access two kinds of appointments: TalkNow Visits, which are available 24/7 and provide immediate support, and Scheduled Visits, which is a scheduled option for students to speak to a licensed counselor based on their needs and schedule. International students will only be able to use the 24/7 TalkNow visits, and not the scheduled option.

For more information about the program or to make an appointment, please visit


The Huddle provides news and information about our interprofessional education and collaborative practice efforts within and beyond Samson Pavilion and the dental clinic.  Click here to read the latest issue.

The Pulse
The Pulse, the School of Medicine's newsletter, where you can keep current with latest news from the school every month. If you have news to share in future issues, submit your story here.  Watch for The Pulse in your inbox each month, stay informed and enjoy!  Click here to read latest SOM news.

Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, March 4th

The Science of Pediatric Blood and Cancer Lecture Series
Crystal Mackall, MD

Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine

Director, Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy

Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford

Co-Executive Director, Stanford Laboratory for Cell and Gene Medicine

"Immunotherapy for Pediatric Cancers:  Progress and Challenges"
4p Microsoft Team Link

Friday, March 5th

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Otis Brawley, MD
Professor of Oncology
39th Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Associate Director, Community Outreach and Engagement
Kimmel Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins University

"Cancer Control and Health Disparities in the 21st Century"
12p Livestream

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Raul Jobava
Biochemistry Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, March 9th

"Translational Reprogramming Promotes Survival to Hypertonic Stress"
Daniel Leonard
Pathology Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, March 9th

"B56 Containing PP2A Holoenzymes: From Substrate Specificity and Pathologic Dysregulation to Therapeutic Potential"

GEO Wants to Hear From You

Have you published a paper, received a fellowship, or have other exciting news you want to share?  Well, the Graduate Education Office would like to hear you. To submit information to be included in the GEO newsletter, please complete the GEO announcement submission form.
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