Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory  
Contact Us | Faculty & Staff Directory

Watson School Graduation 2014

graduation2014_2Shortly after Watson School students finish their first year of studies, they are asked to write a short perspective about their experiences of the program – why they chose the School, what they think about the Fall Term courses, or where they spend their free time.  Most of these perspectives sound very similar.  Students come to Cold Spring Harbor because of the strong academic and scientific reputation; they like critiquing grants and think the instructors are great; they appreciate the collaborative environment and access to scientific expertise; and they kayak, fish, and go to New York City.  Reading these first-year perspectives, one gets the impression that two-tier mentoring and volleyball are two of the greatest things in the world.

When Watson School students graduate, they are again asked to write a short perspective, this time reflecting on their time at Cold Spring Harbor.  These perspectives are quite different.  Students have learned different things about themselves and their abilities, and they have made these discoveries following different paths through their graduate studies.  Students have challenged themselves in different ways – ways they hadn’t anticipated.  They have undertaken projects they hadn’t thought possible, and in so doing, they have solved problems they hadn’t thought solvable.  Watson School students end up achieving much more in their graduate studies than they had expected, both in their research and as scientists and individuals.  All find that the challenge was worth it.  And all share a deep appreciation for the friendships they have made during their time at CSHL.  So while meetings and courses, scientific expertise, two-tier mentoring, and volleyball are inseparable and invaluable parts of life at CSHL, it is the people – classmates, labmates, friends, and mentors – that Watson School graduates find hardest to leave behind.

The Ph.D. Graduating Class of 2014 – Philippe Batut, Dario Bressan, Mélanie Eckersely-Maslin, Marek Kudla, Katie Liberatore, Hassana Oyibo, Michael Pautler, Zinaida Pervoa, Yevgeniy Plavskin, Josh Sanders, and Kaja Wasik – leave us to pursue their careers as scientists.  Their research interests range from improving food crops to creating tools to understand the brain.  They have learned from their teachers how to do science.  They have learned from their mentors how to guide and inspire.  Our Watson School graduates are, once again, prepared to leave the Cold Spring Harbor idyll and move on with their professional careers – to make discoveries, to lead their communities, to improve society, and to foster the next generation of scientists.

Their friends at the Watson School will always welcome them back.