Involvement

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of leadership and volunteer opportunities available in the CMB Program. Each leadership and volunteer opportunity has various time commitments. Becoming an active member in the CMB Program provides the student with a voice in program matters, a strong professional networking experience, and an extensive set of transferable skills.

Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to volunteer as a student representative on the following committees: Admissions, Coordinating, Advising and Orientation, Professional Development, Recruiting, Retreat, Seminar, etc. The CMB Program Chair and the CMB Program Coordinator will make the final selection regarding student representation on each of the standing committees.

The following will be taken into consideration when choosing student committee members:

  • Ability to represent the CMB student body and CMB Program as a whole
  • Knowledge of the CMB Program
  • Knowledge of CMB students and their concerns
  • Diversity of focus group representation
  • Prior experience

Committee Opportunities


Admissions Committee
The four student representatives on the Admissions Committee are full voting members who review prospective student applications and make decisions regarding their admission into the CMB Program.

  • Commitment: One, day-long meeting in December, additional shorter meetings after each recruiting weekend.
  • Responsibilities: Review prospective student applications

Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee is the governing body of the CMB Program. Leadership is provided by the CMB Program Chair and membership consists of the Admissions Chair, Advising and Orientation Chair, Curriculum Chair, Recruiting Chair, Focus Group Chairs, Fellowship/Training Grant Liaison, and the CMB Program Coordinator. There are also three graduate student representatives on this committee who participate as full voting members.

  • Commitment: One-hour meetings four times per year (September through May)
  • Responsibilities: Discuss relevant programmatic issues, review new faculty trainer applications, conduct yearly faculty trainer renewal processes, and set policies and procedures for the CMB Program

Orientation Leaders
Student orientation leaders are involved in planning community building and social activities during Advising and Orientation Week for new incoming CMB graduate students.

  • Commitment: One-hour meetings each week during July and August and attendance at various activities during Advising and Orientation Week
  • Responsibilities: Plan social events for new students, help organize the Biological Sciences Picnic, solicit volunteers for talk timers during rotation talks, attend lunch with new students, and organize the annual canoe trip

Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Committee is designed to create opportunities for CMB graduate students to develop well-rounded science skills that could potentially allow for a broad range of thinking about their research area. The committee has recently focused on career opportunity seminars to increase awareness of future career opportunities.

  • Commitment: Various meetings throughout the year
  • Responsibilities: Plan events related to student interest in professional development, host visiting speakers, and organize career panels and alumni guest speakers

Recruiting Weekend Managers
Recruiting weekend managers are expected to plan positive and welcoming recruiting weekends for prospective CMB graduate students that exemplify the student leadership and community atmosphere found throughout the CMB Program.

  • Commitment: Weekly meetings during January through March and attendance at most events during recruiting weekends held in February
  • Responsibilities: Organize all student volunteers for various activities, serve as the main point of contact for visiting students, and ensure high quality and well organized recruiting weekends

Retreat Committee
In the fall, CMB student leaders organize a scientific retreat held off-campus. This weekend event is intended to provide an informal atmosphere for graduate students to discuss research interests between various laboratories. Students are encouraged to present posters, research talks, or workshop ideas, as well as interact and learn about other research in the CMB Program. 

  • Commitment: Two or three brief meetings between September and November
  • Responsibilities: Plan the yearly retreat, organize the retreat schedule, and recruit students to attend and participate

Student Seminar Series Leaders
Throughout the academic year, the CMB student seminar is designed to give CMB graduate students an informal atmosphere to practice presenting their research to other graduate students. The seminar presenter receives feedback from attendees through a written and oral format. Students are given opportunities to network and learn about the diversity of research being performed within CMB and the UW-Madison campus.

  • Commitment: Monthly seminars on Monday evenings at 5:00pm during the academic year
  • Responsibilities: Plan all aspects of the student seminar series, recruit speakers, develop the semester talk schedule, reserve rooms, and set up/clean up rooms
 

Volunteer Opportunities


Biology Outreach Club (BOC)
Biology Outreach Club is a group of UW-Madison graduate students in the biological sciences who help others experience the excitement and wonder of science. The club provides an informal setting for graduate students to discuss ideas and issues in science with the public. For more information, see the BOC website.

  • Commitment: One hour or many hours, depending on activity
  • Responsibilities: Various outreach activities including science nights, after school programs at local schools, Science Expeditions, Science Olympiad, Wednesday Night at the lab, PLATO, etc.

Bioscience Opportunities (BOPS) Preview Weekend
Bioscience Opportunities Preview Weekend is a program designed to provide underrepresented minority undergraduate students with an introduction to bioscience PhD programs and research opportunities offered at UW-Madison. For more information, see the BOPS website.

  • Commitment: One to three hours during the BOPS weekend each fall
  • Responsibilities: Graduate student panel presentation, lunch with BOPS students, and dinner/poster session

Integrated Biological Sciences-Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP)
The CMB Program participates as a formal subgroup in IBS-SRP. IBS-SRP is a ten-week summer science research program for undergraduate minority students from across the country. Undergraduate researchers work with graduate students and postdoc mentors to complete a research project. For more information, see the IBS-SRP website.

  • Commitment: Ten-week summer program beginning at the end of May through early August
  • Responsibilities: Direct mentoring of undergraduate students who complete a research project, poster, paper, and final presentation in a CMB research lab

PEOPLE Program
The PEOPLE program is a pre-college program for underrepresented minority students that is designed to teach students how to apply, be successfully admitted, and enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information, see the PEOPLE website.

  • Commitment: Twenty hours per week during the summer
  • Responsibilities: Mentor high school students in the biological sciences as part of their summer research experience in a CMB research lab

Recruiting Weekend Volunteers
Recruiting weekend volunteers are expected to provide a friendly and welcoming environment for prospective CMB graduate students visiting for recruiting weekends and to provide assistance to recruiting weekend managers or the CMB Office staff as requested during recruiting weekends. 

  • Commitment: Attend various events each recruiting weekend in February
  • Responsibilities: Pick up prospective students at the airport, be a host for dinner, escort students to faculty trainer interviews, host apartment tour, attend Madison activities, attend recruiting dinners, and present a poster during the poster session

Student Seminar Series Presenters
Throughout the academic year, the CMB student seminar is designed to give CMB graduate students an informal atmosphere to practice presenting their research to other graduate students. The seminar presenter receives feedback from attendees through a written and oral format. Students are given opportunities to network and learn about the diversity of research being performed within CMB and the UW-Madison campus.

  • Commitment: Present at monthly seminars on Monday evenings at 5:00pm during the academic year
  • Responsibilities: Present a research seminar talk at the monthly seminars

Peer Resource
CMB peer mentors are matched with incoming students to help them with the transition to graduate school.  Peer mentors connect with their matched incoming student during the summer and continue to serve as a resource for them as needed throughout the first year of graduate school.

  • Commitment: Email conversations during the summer prior to new students entering the program, other meetings as necessary when the students arrive.
  • Responsibilities: Serve as a resource for new CMB students as they transition into life in Madison and as a new graduate student. Answer questions they have about the program, etc.