On the weekend of May 27, a group of graduate students from the University of Georgia’s Department of Marine Science will gather at UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography for a program aimed at improving graduate student retention, inclusion, well-being and a sense of belonging.
The Marine Science grad students are split between the UGA Skidaway Institute and the main campus in Athens. Given the 250-mile distance between Athens and the Georgia coast, these two groups of students typically only interact during online, in-class instruction, webinars, meetings or on an occasional research cruise. But they rarely gather in-person in a casual setting.
“It will be a fully immersive three-day experience with their peers, faculty and an invited speaker,” said UGA Skidaway Institute assistant professor Sara Rivero-Calle, who, along with assistant professor Natalie Cohen, initiated the effort. “It is bound to be a bonding experience, something that has become rare during the pandemic and especially important to our graduate students spread across two campuses.”
The event will include an invited speaker on the topic of science communication, a workshop with the speaker and faculty members to work on two-minute elevator pitches. Students will also participate in a social potluck meal and a beach clean-up at Tybee Island.
The program is funded by a $5,000 grant from UGA Graduate School.