Appreciating our grad students every day

Cherry blossoms falling slowly from a blooming tree. From

This message from Gina Baucom, EEB associate chair for graduate studies, and Patricia Wittkopp, EEB chair, was emailed to EEB graduate students for graduate student appreciation week.

Hi everyone, 

This week is graduate student appreciation week. Normally, we’d do some sort of graduate student appreciation lunch, provide snacks, some way of saying thanks for all that you do. This year, we can’t do this because of covid19 regulations. So, we (Trisha and I) are sending an email to express our appreciation, which feels woefully insufficient. While we both recognize all are struggling right now, neither of us can imagine what it would be like to be a graduate student during this pandemic. You are shouldering the development of our most novel and new work in the field and teaching courses — which means communicating closely with the undergraduates (who are dealing with lots too), all the while dealing with jaw-dropping obstructions that seriously affect your research. Life has been so many more times difficult this past year.

So it is in this framework that we wanted to thank you for everything you are doing and attempting to do — contributing novel scientific findings to the field, pushing to make the field a better, more equitable and inclusive place, welcoming others and just generally being awesome. We hope that you can take some time this week to enjoy the beginning of spring, the nice weather, and time to reflect on the amazing job that you are doing. We’re both really glad that you are here with us in the UM EEB department.

Take care, 

Gina & Trisha

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