P&S Journal: Winter 1995, Vol.15, No.1
Genetics and Development
The graduate program in the Department of Genetics and Development started the 1994-95 year with new faculty members in key positions-the chairman of the department, Dr. Claudio D. Stern, and the graduate faculty adviser, Dr. Virginia E. Papaioannou. Building on tradition, the Department of Genetics and Development sponsors several programs to enhance the departmental environment for its graduate students. Among these are efforts to increase faculty-student interaction, such as the annual Arden House retreat (held at the start of each academic year) and the election of a student representative (presently fourth-year student Eric Chiao) to attend faculty meetings. There is also the understanding, however, that students benefit from being "shielded" from the faculty, and the Friday Lunch Club was established in response to this understanding. Open only to students and postdocs, the department provides the lunch and the students and postdocs provide the informal scientific discussion without the presence of faculty.
At a welcome reception for Dr. Stern, it was clear that the graduate program is of central importance as Dr. Stern listed as the first of three top priorities: "to support the graduate students and postdocs, because they are the life and soul of the department and of the research groups to which they belong."