January 2022 updates from MUSC College of Graduate Studies from Dean Paula Traktman, Ph.D.

Dean Paula Traktman
March 01, 2022
Dean Traktman

To our CGS alumni,

I hope that 2022 is off to a good start and that the year ahead is healthy, happy and rewarding. This newsletter highlights one of our alumni, Diana Fulmer, Ph.D., and one of our 2nd year Ph.D. students, Rachel Burge. Both of these individuals exemplify the different pathways that can lead a student to pursue a Ph.D. and build a career in biomedical sciences – and different ways in which they can augment their training by participating in activities outside of the lab.

As you’ll see, Diana spent several years balancing employment and education while working toward an undergraduate degree and then came to MUSC as a research technologist. Only then did she begin her graduate training – and she was a star! Her academic achievements were numerous, her publications plentiful, and her contributions to the CGS community meaningful and durable. Diana was a co-recipient of CGS’ Distinguished Graduate Award in 2020 and was featured in an article in the MUSC Catalyst. Her successes in the laboratory were accompanied by key roles in SC-PEACH and SC-PEAR, CGS’ trainee-led initiatives in community outreach and scientific policy. She has now moved on to a post-doctoral position in a premier laboratory at the University of Philadelphia, where she is continuing to build her skills and successes in the area of cardiovascular research.

Rachel Burge came to us from New Zealand; after high school, her academic record and her successes in competitive archery earned her a scholarship at Emmanuel College. After college, she joined the Ph.D. program and is thriving as a student and immersed in cancer research. This fall, CGS launched its first 3MT (3-minute thesis competition) event, which fittingly was first developed at the University of Queensland in Australia. 3MT allows students to present a 3MT discussion of their thesis work in a manner that is accessible to a broad, non-expert audience; participants can use a single static slide as a background to augment their speech. Rachel signed up for our 3MT competition and was the winner of both the 1st place (chosen by the panel of judges) and “people’s choice” awards! Rachel will go on to represent the College of Graduate Studies and MUSC at the Regional 3MT competition, which will be held in February at North Carolina State in Raleigh.

I hope you enjoy reading about Dr. Fulmer and Ms. Burge. These committed, creative scholars – who are also “scientists in society” – make me optimistic about the future of biomedical science.