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With two, they’ve won

Annual Report - Winter 2014

By Lori Baker

A year in, this duo of deans is racking up the accomplishments

It turns out that two heads really are better than one. In a year’s time, a pair of deans have teamed up to make the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences even better.

Co-deans Michelle Barton, Ph.D., and Michael Blackburn, Ph.D., decided the best place to start making improvements was at the beginning, so they rolled out a two-week boot camp for new students this past fall. The basic training offers students tips on everything from how to keep a notebook and presentation preparation to effective communication and lab safety, as well as a slate of seminars … even a bus tour of Houston.

This year marks the school’s 50th anniversary. The milestone, being celebrated with special events throughout the year, also serves as a launching pad for a new brand — Synergy in Science™ — to enhance the school’s image.

And thanks to new recruiting efforts, this incoming class includes a record number of top-ranked applicants.

To help ensure success in school and beyond, each student now creates a development plan to discover his or her scientific and career passions early on. Recognizing that not all graduates will pursue academic careers, a Center for Professional Development and Entrepreneurship has been established to provide information and opportunities for careers in government and industry.

“These efforts and many more are part of a strategic plan Mike and I created with our leadership team based on a comprehensive review by internal and external experts conducted early in our leadership tenure,” Barton says. “We’re pleased with what’s been accomplished in this first year and know it will bring about additional changes to further enhance the school and what we offer to students — and the world — through their future achievements.”

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