A Jubilant Day for Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students celebrating the achievement of their milestone
Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students celebrating the achievement of their milestone

Elation was in the air at Einstein's second annual Qualification Jubilation ceremony. The good spirits emanated from the crowd of approximately 150 gathered in Lubin Dining Hall to celebrate the successful completion of the qualifying exam by third-year graduate students and fourth-year M.D.-Ph.D. students, and their receipt of a master's degree.

The evening kicked off with introductory remarks from Dr. Victoria Freedman, associate dean for graduate programs and an Einstein Ph.D. alumna from the class of 1977, and Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean. Then, Dr. Julie Secombe, assistant professor of genetics, who was the evening's student-invited speaker, talked to the graduate students about challenges of being a research scientist, noting that they can be a good thing that offers opportunities for growth. "Perseverance is crucial to success," she said.

She also described how Ph.D graduate programs can feel like a black hole at times, as one toils away on experiments. "But eventually, you emerge from it stronger than ever," she assured the students.

Dr. Secombe closed by quoting Einstein's namesake, reminding students, "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research."

Introduced in 2012, the Qualification Jubilation ceremony was established at the suggestion of graduate students, and brought to fruition with support from Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman, chair of the Einstein Board of Overseers, and overseer Nathan Kahn, chair of the board's student and educational affairs committee, along with the entire Einstein board. The graduate division and department of institutional advancement co-sponsored this year's festivities.


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