Hello from your BMB chairs extraordinaire! Welp, we started an annual newsletter, and here we are…2 years later. It’s been a wild couple of years trying to stay on top of everything with remote and hybrid learning and students here and gone, and all the ups and downs of living in a pandemic. Despite all this, we have had incredibly hard-working students learning loads in the classroom and working in our research labs to become great scientists all while having fun along the way.
In Fall 2019, we started a peer-mentorship program called BOMBS (Brilliant and Outstanding Mentors of BMB Students), which has kept our senior and sophomore students connected and helped build a stronger BMB major community. During the 2020-2021 academic year when we were physical distancing and had many students learning from home, we sent out care packages complete with a BMB-themed mask and started a tradition of drive by treat days with homemade cookies and a variety of silly toys for anyone on campus. Now that we’re allowed to be together again, we’ve continued the tradition with days to stop by and refuel on sweet treats and light-hearted fun to keep our days bright.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, we hosted fantastic seminars that took advantage of the digital requirements, “bringing in” a diverse array of speakers via Zoom from across the country who we otherwise would not have been able to get to campus, and since then, have come back in force with more local speakers on campus (more details on that later in the newsletter).
To continue to encourage a BMB-centered social and work environment, we now host a variety of social events that range from Minute-to-Win-It challenges to a BOMBS game night with a scavenger hunt throughout the Science Center. We also began hosting an annual senior celebration starting with dinner for senior students and BMB faculty, followed by a celebration of each graduating senior, where faculty and seniors reflect on their time at Gettysburg (with families invited via Zoom…there’s some perks to all the Zoom COVID times, right?).
We continue to have dedicated, passionate students, and recently added some new faculty to the mix. Our first Mathematician, Caitlin Hult, joined the BMB faculty affiliate crowd, we added Angel Solis, new faculty in Biology, who added a new immunobiology course to our list of electives and Chemist Tim Funk came back into the fold with some new BMB-focused research happening in his lab. All in all, we have had a tumultuous few years, but things look bright with a strong group of current students and some new curricular initiatives in the pipeline.
~Kate Buettner (Interim BMB Chair 22/23) & Shelli Frey (On sabbatical; Chair 20-22)
As BMB continues to grow and evolve as its own program, we continue to increase the events, curricular offerings, and infrastructure for BMB students. If you are interested in supporting these initiatives, you can do so at www.gettysburg.edu/onlinegiving. On the form, please note the gift is for “BMB special gifts” which is funding to be used in direct support of programming, curricular innovation, and student-faculty research within the BMB program, or “BMB prize” to support the annual BMB award, established in 2004, given to a graduating senior who has excelled in both course work and laboratory research; this award is given on Spring Honors Day during Commencement Weekend.
Keep us updated! If you have news you’d like to share email one of the BMB faculty or our BMB Administrative Assistant, Lea Czar (firstname.lastname@example.org). To keep up to date with BMB goings on, check our webpage at https://www.gettysburg.edu/academic-programs/biochemistry-molecular-biology/