Training students is my favorite part of my job, but successful training almost always means the trainee leaves. Those bittersweet moments of transition come in waves and come with the highs of watching the trainee succeed and the low of knowing that they’ll be leaving soon. The highs this month came with Linnea Volcko’s excellent PhD defense, making her officially Dr. Volcko! Destiny Brakey submitted and defended her dissertation proposal, moving her to the ABD phase of PhD life, and Quinn Carroll and Jessica Tabman finished their work toward their Masters degrees! Congrats to all from a very proud mentor. It will be fun to watch Linnea as she moves across an ocean to start a postdoc in Norway. Quinn and Jessica should have no problem staying in touch, both are moving to positions within UB (Quinn will start a dual degree program in Public Health and Social Work, Jessica is working as a research specialist in a medical school lab). Now we’re counting on Destiny to hold down the fort until this COVID thing passes and we can bring in some new trainees.

Alex Schick, science rockstar round 2!!

Alex continues to shine! She’s graduating this weekend, and on the way collected a bunch of awards including the Dean’s Outstanding Psychology Graduating Senior award and the Feldman-Cohen Award for the top honors project of the year. Great work Alex! Don’t forget us when you collect your first Nobel Prize!

Alex Schick, science rock star!!!

Alex Schick was selected as the 2018-2019 CAS Dean’s Outstanding Psychology AlexGraduating Senior Award!!! This award is given to the top graduating senior from each of the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Alex will receive a medal and certificate at the University Commencement Ceremony in May.

Alex is working on a project that tests hypotheses about the precise neuroanatomical location of the enhanced drinking response that develops after repeated angiotensin injection. She is graduating this spring, and accepted a postbac position in the laboratory of Kevin Hall at the NIH/NIDDK. If we’re extremely lucky, we’ll cross her mind when she considers the myriad options she’ll have when it comes time to apply to graduate school.

Strong work, Alex!


Advising ain’t always easy

I’ve had a handful of graduate students in the dozen-ish years the lab has existed. I’ve felt better about how I’ve advised some, and not as great about how I’ve advised others. Even within individual students, I feel I’ve done well at times, and poorly at times.

This morning, I came across an article that I hadn’t seen before. It was published in Nature in 2011, and shifts at least some of the responsibility to the student. While this is a huge relief, I still think the majority of the responsibility falls on our shoulders as mentors, but it’s nice to have this document to give to students. Not because I think the burden should be on them, but because I think everything discussed here can help me do my job better.

Nature student-mentor article

Click here for the online pdf at nature’s website.

First day of school!!!

The lab wasn’t about to let grade school kids be the only ones celebrating their first day back.

Welcome to the 2018-2019 academic year, and welcome to the new members of the lab.

SSIB 2018

The Daniels Lab had another strong showing at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Former trainees Liz Baase, Naomi McKay, and Jess Santollo brought trainees who were all doing great work. Linnea and Destiny each had posters with a constant stream of viewers. The meeting marked a transition for me as my second (and final) term as Secretary ended, and my transition to President-Elect became formal. All in all, a pretty good meeting for the lab.

Paying the bills is important

Congratulations to Maggie for putting together an excellent application for a grant supplement from the NIH. The funds will support her and her work for the next two years of her graduate work. Well done, Maggie!