by Ismail Ismailoglu and Claudia Scheckel
The last couple of months have been a time of change for the PDA. We would like to thank the departing members Linda Feigherty, Asma Hatoum, Nidhi Gangadhar, and Paul D’Agostino for their service, and welcome newcomers Dusan Bogunovic and Bryan Utter (as well as ourselves).
The most significant issue we’ve encountered in the past few months is the ongoing construction in Faculty House. Waterproofing and façade replacement are nearly complete there, and the work will soon move to Scholars Residence. During construction, several residents have noted chemical smells and dust. At a meeting with the Housing Department, it was agreed that the work would continue at a slower pace and air quality measurements would be taken to ensure safety. Additionally, the Housing Department is providing air purifiers and temporary housing for those affected. The PDA continues to be in touch with the Housing Department and the community on this subject.
In other news, we are happy to announce that the Tri-I Seminar Series launched in early 2012 will continue this year. The series gives postdocs a chance to present their work in a less stressful setting and receive valuable feedback from their peers. Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), and The Rockefeller University (RU) are brought together, encouraging interactions between the institutions. Please join us for the upcoming seminars—pizza will be provided!
In a recent survey, several people voiced their concern about the lack of scientific interactions between laboratories. We are therefore planning to start another Seminar Series limited to RU. The format will be similar to the Tri-I Series, except that a student and a postdoc from different research areas will present at each seminar. The series will be held over the summer, to encourage attendance of the entire community. Please lookout for updates.
Finally, we hosted our traditional holiday party in December, which was a big success. More than 200 students, postdocs, faculty, and staff members gathered to celebrate the holiday season. Thanks for joining us—and stay tuned for our upcoming parties!