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Convocation 2015

Graduate students walk through the Van Wickle Gates, a rite of Convocation. On the Main Green, President Christina Paxson proclaimed the opening of the academic year and welcomed all students – especially new students – to campus.  Tricia Rose, professor of Africana studies and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, offered the keynote address, "Unfinished.”

Welcome to Brown!

Graduate Student Orientation featured a welcome from President Christina Paxson and Provost Richard Locke on Friday, September 4. The Graduate School's incoming class of 778 new students includes 293 pursuing doctoral degrees and 485 entering master's programs. Orientation included dean's briefings for master's and Ph.D. students, a resource fair, a Title IX panel discussion, cookout lunch and peer-led discussions organized by the Graduate Student Council on student life at Brown.

Brown Welcomes International Graduate Students

International orientation kicked off on campus, with up to 300 incoming doctoral and master's students participating. Thirty-nine percent of the incoming graduate students are from outside the U.S. Students come from 49 countries, with the most coming from China, India, Germany, Canada and Italy. The two-day orientation for international graduate students is co-sponsored by the Graduate School, the Office of Student & Scholar Services and the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life & Student Services. 

Pigments, Organelles Persist in Fossil Feathers

A study provides multiple lines of new evidence that pigments and the microbodies that produce them can remain evident in a dinosaur fossil. In the journal Scientific Reports, an international team of paleontologists, including doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ryan Carney, relates the distinct chemical signature of animal pigment with physical evidence of melanosome organelles in the fossilized feathers of Anchiornis huxleyi, a bird-like dinosaur that died about 150 million years ago in China.

Global Mobility Grants for Research Abroad

The Global Mobility Program: Graduate Research Fellowship is open to doctoral students for research abroad during one summer or academic semester. The program aims to expand Brown’s global reach and projects must build upon the University’s integrative themes and yield tangible outcomes. Proposals are due September 25, 2015. Learn more.

As Days Warm, Emergency Visits and Deaths Rise

A new study by researchers at Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Health, including doctoral student in Epidemiology Samantha Kingsley, projects an increase in deaths and emergency visits in Rhode Island as climate change pushes summertime temperatures higher by the end of the century. The study has also revealed a finding of more immediate public health concern: Even in the present day, when temperatures rise above 75 degrees there is a noticeable increase in medical distress among state residents of all ages.

Fellowship Allows Mentee to Become a Great Mentor

A research rapport:

On the path to a doctoral program in Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at Brown, Valerie Zabala had guidance from mentors along the way. With a new, nationally competitive Gilliam fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Valerie Zabala will be able to provide to others the gift of guidance she has received.

Researchers Help in Selecting Mars Rover Landing Sites

Choosing a rover’s destination:

This week, NASA held the second in a series of landing site workshops for the 2020 mission to Mars. Three Brown geoscientists — Jack Mustard, recent Ph.D. recipient Tim Goudge, and graduate student Kevin Cannon — attended, advocating for sites they think are best suited to the mission’s scientific objectives. Their sites came out of the workshop ranked high on NASA’s list.

The new rover, scheduled for launch in 2020, is designed to look for signs of past life on the Red Planet and to collect samples for possible future return to Earth.

IBES Graduate Student and RISD Artist Join Forces

Brooke Osborne, a PhD student in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, collaborated with printmaker and RISD graduate student Kate Aitchison to create an installation that is both visually striking and scientifically accurate.

Last winter, reflecting on her interest in environmental stewardship and land use, Aitchison reached out to a group of environmental scientists at Brown in search of collaborators for an independent student assignment. Osborne gladly answered the call along with fellow EEB graduate student Robert Lamb, who helped to conceptualize the project. 

Web App Helps Researchers Explore Cancer Genetics

Brown University computer scientists, including PhD student Max Leiserson, have developed a new interactive tool to help researchers and clinicians explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer. The tool — dubbed MAGI, for Mutation Annotation and Genome Interpretation — is an open-source web application that enables users to search, visualize, and annotate large public cancer genetics datasets, including data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project.