GRADx will give audience a glimpse into the lives of OSU graduate students

Six Oregon State graduate students will share stories that frame their research in a TEDx-style format, in a new program called GRADx. The students represent a wide variety of backgrounds and research areas, and their presentations are intended to provoke discussion and reach an audience beyond their academic peers.

The event takes place Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Milam Auditorium Room 026. It is free and open to the public, and includes a short networking/discussion event, a cash bar & hors-d’oeuvres.

Organizers Andres Lopez and Matt Tradewell are both graduate research assistants for the Graduate Success Team in the Graduate School.

“We were given the opportunity to pitch an event idea for the winter term,” Lopez said. “Matt and I both love TED Talks, and we agreed that we wanted to host a similar event that featured graduate students work but also told a story about the human elements of the graduate process that was relatable to a broader audience.”

Lopez said during graduate school, it almost feels as if you are becoming a different human being each term, and they wanted to capture that experience. They partnered with the OSU radio show “Inspiration Dissemination,” which highlights graduate student’s lives and passion for research at OSU. Once the Graduate School approved the idea it started to come together.

“I believe GRADx will give audiences insight into these human elements of graduate work that is often hidden from the public view,” Lopez said. “There is more to our work than just professional contributions. GRADx promises to share these multiple meanings of what we do and why we do it.”

The six participants were selected from a list of guests on Inspiration Dissemination as well as the Graduate Student Success Team. They were selected for their skills at science communication as well as being representative of a diversity of thought, discipline, biography and identity. The speakers will discuss social equity, identity advancement, diversity, tenacity, passion, and community.

The participants are Masoud Ghodrat Abadi, fourth year Ph.D. student/candidate in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering; Katherine Dziedzic, fifth year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology; David Hubert, third year Ph.D. student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology;  Nicole J. Hams, Ph.D. in biophysics from Oregon State; Cristòf Del Aquelarre Errante, M.A. student in Applied Anthropology and Public Health; and  Terese D. Jones, Ph.D. student in Human Development and Family Sciences.

In addition to sharing more about what makes the lives and research of graduate students unique, the organizers hope that the event will get undergraduates excited and interested about pursuing a graduate degree. The networking event following the discussion will help support that goal, and will include Graduate School representatives available to answer questions, Lopez said.

“It is going to be a powerful evening of storytelling.”

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