Category Archives: uncategorized

Longhorn Halloween

Longhorn Halloween

Longhorn Halloween is a program for the children of UT staff, faculty and students. Admission is free.

Sponsored by the Office of the President, Longhorn Halloween is a collaborative activity. Members of the university community provide valuable support by donating candy and treats for distribution at the event. Booths and programs are created and staffed by student groups, staff associations and other organizations from across the campus. Hundreds of volunteers help make everything run smoothly.

This exciting event features games, carnival events, a haunted house, face painting, fortune telling, fire safety programs and much, much more. There are performances by various UT performing groups, including the booming fun created by Dr. David Laude in the Chemistry Circus.

Sunday, November 2, 2014
2 – 5 p.m.
Frank Erwin Center
The University of Texas at Austin

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Speaker: Aaron Baker

Come hear a talk by Assistant Professor Aaron Baker, a fellow of the Marion E. Forsman Centennial Professorship in Engineering!

Dr. Baker specializes in cardiovascular biology—specifically devices and interventional technologies to prevent atherosclerosis and restenosis. His research focuses on vascular mechanotransduction which is the study of cell and tissue responses to mechanical forces. Additionally, his lab works to advance vascular drug delivery and testing of drugs to be used for vessel regrowth and heart revascularization.

The talk will be on October 31st, 2014 from 4-5 PM in PAI 2.48.

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Speaker – Dr. James Carson

Please come welcome Dr. Carson to this week’s general meeting on 9/12/14 in PAI 2.48 from 4-5pm. Dr. Carson will be presenting his research in bioinformatics and transcriptome mapping of the mouse brain and lungs. He is a researcher from the Life Sciences Computing Group–TACC (Texas Advance Computing Center). Remember, come for the science, stay for the food!

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Accelerated Research Initiative Program (ARI)

 

Accelerated Research Initiative (ARI) Program
Application Deadline is Thursday, May 1

This is a unique opportunity for undergraduates (~ 2 yrs remaining), who are interested in attending graduate school.  Approximately 5 – 10 students will be selected to participate in an accelerated version of a FRI stream over the summer.  Not only will these ARI students learn the theory and techniques necessary to complete a research project in the FRI stream in the summer session, but the students will concurrently seek-out other research interests and research labs. ARI students may sit-in on group meetings for different research groups and then select a research group to join at the conclusion of the summer session.  This program is targeting future graduate students, who missed out on the original FRI experience and seek to quickly gain research experience in the later years of their undergraduate work.

  • The ARI Application isdue Thursday, May 1.
  • Decision notifications will be emailed on or before May 15
  • Email Dr. Gwen Stovall at gwenstovall@utexas.edu if you have any other questions in regards to the program

 

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Officer Candidates Info *Please Vote*

The list of the officer candidates for the 2014-2015 school year have been finalized.

Follow this link to cast your vote; all members of SURGe are welcome to participate. Voting opens Mon 4/28 at 8:30am and closes Thursday 5/1 at 11:59pm.

 

Candidate Bios:

 

Fundraising Committee Chair

Katherine Lewis
Katherine Lewis

Katherine Lewis

Year: Freshman

Major: Biology

Time in SURGe: 1 year

Candidate Description:

Hi, my name is Katie! I’m a freshman biology major whose future plans are torn between conservation ecology and veterinary school. I read books and go to museums for fun, play Quidditch, run around camping and hiking in nature, and occasionally paint. I’m currently doing research in my FRI lab, working on culturing endophytic fungi with potentially pharmaceutical properties. I also volunteer weekly at the UT Microfarm as the Fertilizing Team Leader. I have lots of plant knowledge, a good work ethic, and optimism, all of which I will bring to make next year’s fundraising efforts better than ever! Finally, I am an excellent cook; if you vote for me, I promise to lobby for a SURGe Pi Day party, and to bake my world-famous pies for everyone!

Qualifications for the Position:

I am qualified for the positions that I applied for because of my involvement in SURGe, my past and present leadership experience, and my natural enthusiasm. I have become very involved at the SURGe greenhouse, attending almost every FRC meeting and learning a lot about the different propagation techniques used to care for the plants. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what the position would require, and I feel like I would be more than able to handle it. I am currently also the Microfarm’s organic fertilizing Team Leader, and my experience in organizing and educating volunteers to care for plants would directly contribute to my ability to run the greenhouse. I would bring my optimism, strong work ethic, and desire to increase membership for SURGe.

Marshall Rucker
Marshall Rucker

Marshall Rucker

Year: 3rd

Major: Human Biology

Time in SURGe: 3 years

Candidate Description:

When I am not working for my classes or in my lab, I use my free-time to read, cook, play video games, and relax in general. As one of the FRC co-chairs for the 2013-2014 year, I understand the time commitment that any single position requires as well as the need for coordination between officers to ensure SURGe runs as it should.

Qualifications for the Position:

Recent experience as a SURGe officer as well as the head of a tutoring organization helps my time-management.

Victor Lam
Victor Lam

Victor Lam

Year: 1st

Major: Microbiology

Time in SURGe: 1 year

Candidate Description:

My name is Victor Lam, and I will be a sophomore studying microbiology and possibly biochemistry double major next semester. As a person who plans on attending graduate school and becoming a research professor, I have been very involved in research during my short time here. Last summer, I did research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on silk scaffolds for tissue regeneration, and I currently do research in FRI’s Bioprospecting stream which focuses on discovering endophytic fungi from plants and looking for products that could be useful for medicine. Outside of being a science geek, I’m a clarinetist in the University Orchestra. I have been very involved with SURGe this past year, especially with FRC. I frequently attend plant sales and FRC meetings to help plant and pot plants. If elected, I would like to continue the plant sale tradition and build on what we have currently. I think it would be interesting to expand our variety of plants, if possible, to help get more business and attention during West Mall plant sales which will increase the amount of funds coming in and encourage more people to join SURGe. Additionally, I am running for treasurer as well. I am a very organized person and like to plan ahead for everything (in my current lab, I like to budget my time to see if I can perform extra experiments while something is culturing). This quality will allow me to keep planned budget to keep spending low in order to stick to the motto of “no dues” membership. I have also been able to make my dine-in dollars last the entire year. Although I will do my best to save as much money as possible, I will still spend money on things necessary for SURGe’s function. In the event a large purchase needs to be made, I will not be afraid to consult fellow officers to confirm that the items are necessary and ensure that it is for the organization’s well being. I look forward to working with all of you next semester in one way or another!

Qualifications for the Position:

This past year, I have been spending the most time with the FRC, and I believe I have a good understanding of how things work. I volunteered at multiple plant sales this past year, including West Mall sales. Even when my class schedule this semester prevented me from attending sales as frequently as I used to, I attended FRC meetings on Mondays to help with whatever needed to be done. As I biologist, I have also grown fond of taking care of plants throughout this semester and would like to continue this in whatever way I can. Outside of plant sales, I also had the chance to accompany Sarah and Marshall to Vickery last semester to help with picking and moving plants. During this trip, I had a better idea of the “behind the scenes” activities required to keep the greenhouse stocked with plants. Overall, I feel like I have a good idea of FRC basics since I have done a variety of things for the committee. In terms of new ideas, I think expanding fundraising activities, if possible, would be one of my considerations. With help from PRC, I would explore tabling in Welch and have mini-plant sales and tabling in the hallway similar to West Malls. I am not sure if this has been attempted in the past or SURGe’s previous experiences with this, but I believe this can raise awareness of our club to a more targeted audience of science majors. Additionally, I think increasing the variety of plants (such as interesting plants like venus fly traps and anything that might catch a person’s attention) to increase our visibility and draw in more customers. As for SURGe, I would do whatever I can to expand research-related events and encourage more undecided science majors to become research scientists.

I am also considering a run for treasurer because I was a treasurer for my high school’s math honor society in the past and was able give my organization a good idea of money spent and received. As an individual, I am also very careful with my money. I have been able to budget the small amount of Dine-in Dollars DHFS gives us, and made it last the year with an expected surplus. As a careful person, I like to examine every option and determine what the most efficient choice, the one that costs the least amount of money while satisfying the needs of members, is. I believe this is one of my strongest qualifications since saving more money would help protect the motto of dues-free membership. In important decisions, I would not be afraid to consult other officers on their opinion in order to do what is best for the organization.

 

Public Relations Committee Chair

 

Grace Lui
Grace Lui

Grace Liu

Year: Junior

Major: Neuroscience

Time in SURGe: 3 years

Candidate Description:

I am a third year in neuroscience with minors in psychology and Chinese. Science in general and neuroscience in particular have been passions for me since I was a little kid. I grew up on science writing like those of Oliver Sacks and Carl Sagan and basically believed that scientists were the coolest people ever. I was right.

My hobbies include art of all kinds, knitting and crocheting, lockpicking, petting animals, and the internet. I have been doing research at UT since my freshman year, which has been fun and frustrating and rewarding by turns, but even on the worst days I love being in the lab.]

After graduating, I plan on working on a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. I would like to continue working in a lab as well as becoming a science educator or writer to instill scientific curiosity into the lives of others.

 

Qualifications for the Position:

I’ve done a lot of design and advertising for different organizations over the years, starting from high school. It’s something I enjoy a lot, especially for a cause I feel strongly about, such as undergraduate research. SURGe has been a big part of my life and community since starting university and I would look forward to be able to give back as an officer.

I think I can contribute my experiences in many of the different types of research done by UT undergrads–FRI, volunteer, for-credit and paid–as well as my skills in art and graphic design. Most importantly, I can volunteer my time and enthusiasm.

Robyn Vega Ibanez
Robyn Vega Ibanez

 

Robyn Vega Ibanez

Year: Junior

Major: Chemistry

Time in SURGe: 1 semester

Candidate Description:

I am a chemistry major and interested in organic synthesis. I really enjoy volunteering and working with others. As a SURGe officer, I hope to create a better sense of community among the group.

Qualifications for the Position:

I feel that I can be a great candidate for the public relations committee for because I have good communication skills. I would like to bring a better sense of community into SURGe. By hosting more interactive meetings where the members are able to learn more about each other would be beneficial for the group.

 

Secretary

Pruthali Kulkarni
Pruthali Kulkarni

 

Pruthali Kulkarni

Year: 2nd

Major: Neurobiology

Time in SURGe: 2 years

Candidate Description:

Activities: Studying and volunteering

Hobbies: Reading, sketching fashion designs, having fun!

Interests: Long walks on the beach…(jk), I like to spend time at the Blanton Museum of Art whenever I have any free time. I also love to read and draw!

Why I’m terrific!!!!!: I’m organized and dedicated. The first thing I do every morning when I get up is that I take about 5 minutes to recap on what I need to get done that day and when it needs to be done by. This method usually doesn’t fail me (unless its that one day where my alarm clock goes mute…) and therefore I can be counted on for getting things done on time and appropriately.

 

Qualifications for the Position:

I feel that I am qualified for the positions of Secretary or Faculty Liaison because I have had experience in taking minutes and in communicating and networking with UT (and other) faculty in the past. As former co-chair of the Research Student Advisory Council, I had to send out minutes of each meeting in collaboration with my co-chair. Furthermore, as a member of the Senate of College Councils, I have been able to develop my communications skills which have allowed me to communicate effectively and efficiently with the administrators and faculty here at the University of Texas at Austin and at Austin High Schools. For my event PHRI-Day –which I have organized and executed for two years now– I have had to establish rapport with many different faculty and administrators–a skill which I believe will allow me to best serve SURGe as the Faculty Liaison.

In addition to this, I have some ideas that will allow us to revive SURGe’s membership and have a bigger and more permanent member base. One idea I have for this is first of all, better publicity for SURGe. The Office of Undergraduate Research sends out emails to their listserv regarding new research opportunities every week or so; I think we should take advantage of this and send the OUR information about our faculty speakers and what they are doing research in. Furthermore, since SURGe is a member of the RSAC, we have other RSAC members who can further help promote and publicize SURGe in their own respective programs and organizations–this publicity will get SURGe far. Another idea I was considering was that we may have a greater membership base if we extended the research that faculty speakers speak about outside of just the basic sciences. There are many interdisciplinary fields that faculty here at UT are conducting research in–for example, there are linguistics professors who are conducting research in the cognitive development of children (a project that is not necessarily strictly basic sciences, but rather something that science majors would be interested in, as well as linguistics majors and psychology majors). I feel that broadening the faculty we approach in this sense will not serve to make SURGe any less of a science research oriented group, but will more likely help SURGe on its way to better serving the research environment that is present here at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Treasurer

Amanda Wallace
Amanda Wallace

Amanda Wallace

Year: Junior

Major: Biology

Time in SURGe: 3 years

Candidate Description:

I love reading, football, and crochet. I think that I’m best for this position since I already have experience in the field of buying pizza and managing money.

Qualifications for the Position:

I have been SURGe treasurer for the past year, as well as being the treasurer for my high school honor society for one year. As such I can bring experience to this position, as well as an understanding of what needs to be done for SURGe.

Cody Cole
Cody Cole

 

Cody Cole

Year: 1st

Major: Microbiology

Time in SURGe: 1 year

Candidate Description:

I really enjoy playing tennis, but I haven’t played much after my high school graduation. Billiards (pool) is another sport that I enjoy playing. I would also say that I play too many video games if that’s even a thing.

Qualifications for the Position:

I find myself to be a pretty committed person. I’m also big on organizing things, which I believe is something that I can help with in SURGe. At the moment, I have 53 membership points, so I have a feel for how everything operates as well.

 

Vice President of Events

Albert Lee
Albert Lee

Albert Lee

Year: Sophomore/Junior

Major: Undeclared/Biology

Time in SURGe: 2 years

Candidate Description:

For me, science research has been the one constant between high school and college, and I’ve always been more than happy to lend a hand in promoting it and fostering a research community. To that end, I’ve been VP of Events for SURGe a year now. In addition to science, I also contribute to the Daily Texan as a comic artist and illustrator. I also participate in UTeach and have worked with the Leadership and Ethics Institute.

Qualifications for the Position:

After a year as VP of events, I’ve developed a good idea of how the position and SURGe in general operates. My experience has also given me a variety of ideas that could help make our events even better.

Charisma DeSai
Charisma DeSai

 

Charisma DeSai

Year: 2nd

Major: Biology

Time in SURGe: 2 years

Candidate Description:

I am a bio major with a minor in Spanish who is studying government and politics. I enjoy traveling, good food, reading, drawing, listening to music, and just hanging out with friends. I am environmentally conscious and try to be as green as possible (not literally guys). I’m working in the Aptamer lab and really enjoy it – ask me and I’ll tell you all about my awesome research.

Qualifications for the Position:

I have been a member of SURGe for two years now, and have attended almost all of the meetings, socials and events. I enjoy going to the talks, and I have presented my own research at SURGe events. I will work to make meetings more appealing to a wider audience to attract more members and bring my party planning skills and enthusiasm to my position and SURGe.

Haley Lockwood
Haley Lockwood

 

Haley Lockwood

Year: Junior

Major: Plan II/Neurobiology

Time in SURGe: 1 year

Candidate Description:

I am interested in research because I believe that many of the world’s most dire problems are solvable and need to be addressed. I think that learning, discovery, invention, and persuit of excellence should be relentlessly celebrated. I also believe that if there is room for improvement, we should act confidently and seek it. My hobbies include slalom water-skiing, rollerblading, spending time with family and friends, working on innovation-based creative projects or feats of the imagination, and climbing outdoors.

Qualifications for the Position:

I am incredibly passionate about research and about working with people. I have conducted an amalgam research in the past as the remote intern for Xenex Healthcare Services. I commit myself whole-heatedly to the things I believe in, and research has proven to be at the forefront of that group. My work as a GROW intern with UT–GlobeMed greatly enhanced my understanding of how research is applicable to every day experiences, specifically in healthcare. While I have never officially held a leadership position in a research community, I feel that I am qualified because I am passionate about research and about figuring things out, willing to work long hours and solve problems with creativity and composure, and I feel that my people-skills combined with academic drive will allow me to excel in a leadership position on the SURGe executive board.

Tipp Umrod
Tipp Umrod

Tipparat Umrod

Year: 3rd

Major: Biology/Computer Science

Time in SURGe: 1 year

Candidate Description:

I love cooking and eating. It is a stress reliever for me especially when I want to take a break from studying. By the way, I am good at making curry, I feel like it is chemistry to me. Currently, I am into “2048” game and thriller/horror movies. Putting Jigsaw puzzles and constructing a 3D model items are my favorite hobbies. I just finished building a ford model car and an Eiffel Tower!

Qualifications for the Position:

First, I was one of SURGe officer last year and saw how different positions work. Second, I was Faculty Liaison so I have some connections with many professors and different labs so I thought it would be beneficial to SURGe during ROADs and SURF, SURGe’s big events.

Hailey Driscoll
Hailey Driscoll

Vice President of Outreach

Hailey Driscoll

Year: Sophomore

Major: Human Biology

Time in SURGe: 2 years

Candidate Description:

I am a 2nd year human biology major and this is also my second year in surge. I love playing video games, listening to music, drawing and doodling. I’ve organized an event and sought out volunteers before, so I am no stranger to multitasking or coordinating schedules no matter how crazy.

Qualifications for the Position:

This last year I coordinated an event with Pruthali Kulkarni where I was the volunteer coordinator. I approached a lot of other organizations and ensured we had enough volunteers. Also I’ve been in surge for two years and have volunteered at every event at least once probably, so I know what each event entails. Over the last year in some events many people would sign up in a way so that some shifts would have a lot of people while others none. I think something to do for this year is to update the sign up as to which shifts need more people. Also if we need volunteers maybe approaching RSAC or other research organizations would be good.

 

Webmaster

 

Briana Gray
Briana Gray

Briana Gray

Year: Junior

Major: Computer Science

Time in SURGe: 2 years

Candidate Description:

I really enjoy working on websites and front-end interfaces. For the past year, I have worked as the webmaster of SURGe. I am also interested in mobile development, so I hope to be able to make the site more user friendly for mobile users. My hobbies include 3D modeling, video games, reading, and watching movies.

Qualifications for the Position:

I was the webmaster last year and I have experience with javascript, HTML, and CSS as well as wordpress in general. For next year, I hope to make the website more user-friendly for mobile users.


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Officer Elections

If you’re passionate about SURGe and would like to gain leadership experience, you should definitely consider being an officer for the 2014-2015 school year! You will learn about the inner workings of SURGe and develop lasting friendships with the other officers and members.

For all other members, you can still participate in the elections process by voting online. Descriptions of the candidates will be available to help you make informed decisions!

 

The elections schedule is as follows:

4/25: Officer application due at 11:59pm

4/26-5/1: Interviews

4/28-5/1: Voting by SURGe members online

5/1: All candidates are notified of results

5/2: Official announcement of 2014-2015 SURGe officers

 

Please complete the SURGe officer application survey (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/197HbizykMLsm-J4fVtEC_I6cLigdIaSSuHjT5eJUJC8/viewform) and send a photo of yourself to surge555@gmail.com before 11:59pm on Friday, April 25th. We will contact you to set up a short, informal interview based on the times you provided once we receive your application.

 

Note: Although we encourage active SURGe members (who come to our meetings and events regularly) to apply, we will definitely consider newer members who show significant interest and willingness to take on a leadership position in SURGe. If you are not sure if you are active, or are really interested, make sure to submit an application!

For a detailed description of the duties of each officer, please see the bylaws

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