2017 New Graduate Student Orientation Advisory Board

The New Graduate Student Orientation is a big event and therefore takes a lot of time, planning, and input from various sources to make it useful and helpful for incoming graduate students. To get a better sense of how to organize and cater to incoming students, we have formed an Advisory Board to get feedback from current graduate students and hear from their own orientation experiences.

Here is the 2017 New Graduate Student Orientation Advisory Board:


 

 

Kai Chen

Second Year PhD Student in Bioengineering

From: Shanghai, China

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board? As an international student, I know how hard it could be to transition to a new environment. A tradition of my undergrad is an entire week for orientation to help new students get familiar with the new school. I benefited greatly from the tradition as a freshman and was an advisor in later years. I’d like to bring that help to UCSD students.
Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go? Italy.
What’s your favorite thing about UCSD? The perfect weather.
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus? Going on a food hunt with my foodie friends.
What is an interesting fact about you? I’ve been a semi-professional photographer for 7 years, but I’m also red-green colorblind.

 


 

 

Roisul Galib

Second Year PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering

From: Bangladesh

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board? I want to help new students successfully transition into their graduate education on our campus and improve the orientation process.
Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go? Medina, the radiant city.
What’s your favorite thing about UCSD? The amazing people.
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus? Seeing the skies and earth and contemplating.
What is an interesting fact about you? I like seminars.

 


 

 

 

Robyn Ridley

Third Year PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering

From: Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board?

As a principal member of the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), it is my goal to always do the best I can to foster an inclusive environment at UCSD. Getting to help plan one of the first events graduate students ever attend on campus is an incredible opportunity for this, and I love getting to be one of the first people to welcome new students to campus. I really hope this is an event which helps students, especially those who are underrepresented on campus, start to feel at home at UCSD!

Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go?

East Africa is currently the top of my list! Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

What’s your favorite thing about UCSD?

From getting to participate in amazing interdisciplinary research to giving me new avenues to get involved in my community, working towards my graduate degree at UCSD has become a team sport. I have met the most amazing people as a graduate student, and every day because of them I know we are all on track to make the world a better place.

What’s your favorite thing to do off campus?

Whether it’s spending the day at the beach or searching for the best brunch spot with a patio, I love to do anything that gets me outside enjoying the amazing year-round weather. My favorite place to get outside in San Diego is the Point Loma tide pools.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I played ultimate frisbee competitively throughout college, and still play in rec leagues and pickup games just for fun.

 


 

 

Binlu Song

First Year Master’s Student in International Affairs

From: Shandong, China (but spent the last 10 years in Hong Kong)

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board? I am experienced in community service and would like to be a voice for international students in graduate school. I hope that I can do my part to enhance the diversity and benefits of my peers. In addition, I would like to improve the communication between diverse stakeholders in grad life.
Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go?  
What’s your favorite thing about UCSD? Definitely the weather. Coming from  Hong Kong with unbearable humidity all year round, the weather here  naturally energizes people.
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus? I haven’t explored yet.
What is an interesting fact about you? I used to be a private investigator, if that sounds interesting. 

 


 

 

 

Pranav Suresh

Second Year PhD Student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

From: India

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board? New prospective students will be looking forward to beginning their journey at UCSD on a positive note, and I think as a grad student who has gone through this stage of life it is important to assist them, make them comfortable and help them get accustomed to UCSD grad life. This is my motivation behind being on the Advisory Board.
Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go? Niagara falls—I love that place.
What’s your favorite thing about UCSD? The campus is so beautiful.
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus? Hiking.
What is an interesting fact about you? There is a lot that I can think of!! 

 


 

 

Melissa Vipperman-Cohen

Fourth Year PhD Student in Literature

From: Los Angeles, California, USA

Why do you want to be on the Advisory Board? As graduate students, we work unbelievably hard on our individual projects and accomplish so much, but it can be easy to forget that we are a part of a larger community. I have gotten involved in the leadership of the Graduate Student Association, the Literature Department, and now the Graduate Division because I believe that there is immense value in helping students to connect with others outside of their departments and to enjoy as much of their time as graduate students as possible.
Where is a place in the world that you would most like to go?

I would love to visit New Zealand.

What’s your favorite thing about UCSD? I think that UCSD as an institution attracts brilliant, independent scholars who want to work creatively and beyond their discipline. Crossing traditional boundaries is difficult but rewarding, and I think that UCSD encourages thinking that way. I also think that San Diego is a spectacular city to do graduate work in—it’s vibrant, cultural, and beautiful.
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus? I love to be at the beach, whether it’s scuba diving, swimming, or enjoying the sunshine and sand.
What is an interesting fact about you? I used to work at Disneyland!
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