The Society of Undergraduate Biologists Hosts Ice Cream Social

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Vall Vinai
Photos by Leah Armer, Staff Photographer

The Society of Undergraduate Biologists (SUB) held their first professor-student social of the year in the Life Science Building (LSB) courtyard on Friday, Nov. 14th.

The invitation email read, “Come out and meet your professors outside of the lecture hall/office hours! They’re humans who love ice cream too!”

The social provided an informal setting for students to get to know their professors, and allowed undergraduates an opportunity to talk to various professors about their research. About a dozen professors from the biology department socialized with over 50 undergraduates over ice-cream.

“Too many students are scared of talking to professors, so we try to provide support for this problem by bridging the two bio communities of professors and students together,” said Jessie Wong, SUB co-chair. “The majority of the professors I have had gotten to know really do care about the students and want to us succeed in our classes. So our professor-student event is to show “the other side” of professors,” Wong continued.

Professor Kathy Foltz talked about her background in biology and shared invaluable life advice with undergraduates. Professor David Low talked about his children and hobbies. Both are professors from the department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB).

“We have numerous professors who are the world leaders in their research field and I think many students have the mentality that professors only care about their research and don’t like teaching, Wong said. “We do [socials] to try to humanize the professor in a sense, since not all students realize that all professors started out the same as us, so they’ve already been through and felt the struggles we are going through and are feeling.”

This is not the first event of its kind that SUB has hosted. Every year, the club plans two major professor-student events, one in fall quarter, and one in the spring.

The next event is a “Professor Spotlight,” which will feature Professor Stuart Feinstein. Feinstein teaches introductory biology (MCDB 1A) and Developmental Neurobiology (MCDB 153), among other classes. The spotlight will take place on Dec. 4, at 8PM in Broida 1610.

In addition to professor-student socials, SUB also plans on hosting workshops for biology students.

“In the past we’ve had workshops about how to get into research, transitioning to upper division classes, deciding your biology major, and grad school versus med school,” Wong said.

Their first workshop of the year, “Grad School or Med School: Which Route is Best For You,” will be led by Professor Kathy Foltz on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 8PM in Broida 1610.

“We hope students can form a stronger bond with professors, making things such as asking for help on a question or letters of recommendation easier on the students. In addition, we hope our workshops on various relevant topics are helpful to the students,” Wong said.

SUB is a relatively new club, revived two years ago by co-chairs Jessie Wong and Kristina Gard.

“Because we are still a relatively new club, we welcome any suggestions on events or workshops bio students would like to see,” Wong said.

You can find more information about SUB and its upcoming events at its Facebook page or by emailing ucsbsub@gmail.com.

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