Halloween is an exciting time at the graduate school.
With an Instagram cut out, polaroid photos, and mini
pumpkins, graduate students gathered together for the Halloween Grad Social on
There were prizes for the best costume, best carved pumpkin,
and best painted/colored pencil pumpkin.
“I loved the grad Halloween celebration. It was a much
needed break from the lab and we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the pumpkin
carving, photo booth, and the food,” said postdoc Neelam
Mukherjee in Dr. Svatek’s lab.
Liz Fisher, graduate student in Dr. James Lechleiter’s
lab, said that she really enjoyed getting a little messy and carving pumpkins.
“I’ve only carved pumpkins a few times before because I’m
not much an artist, but it’s a great activity to do with friends,” Fisher said.
“I really liked Deana’s ghost, it was really creative and cute. Obviously,
everyone else liked it too since she won the carving contest.”
Alicia Avelar, a graduate student in Dr. Michael Beckstead’s lab enjoyed meeting new people.
“It was nice to see people other than the same few that I see in lab every day,” she said. “I colored a pumpkin with colored pencils, which was very relaxing.”
Mukherjee explained that as an international student, it was
interesting to learn about Halloween.
“It was an opportunity for international people like me to
get in touch with the local traditions of Halloween like dressing up in
costumes and pumpkin carving,” she said. “It was my first pumpkin carving
experience even though the face of my pumpkin looked terrified instead of
scary, it brought the child out in everyone and was super fun.”
Fisher liked how inquisitive some of the students who had
never carved a pumpkin before were.
“I got asked a lot of questions about how to guy and carve
pumpkins, as if I must be very experienced,” Fisher said. “It was amusing to me
because I never really thought of it as a something I was good at or
experienced in. Some of the new pumpkin carvers clearly have a better hang of
it than I do. Jeffrey pumpkin came in third although it was his first attempt.”
Fisher believes that graduate student social events are
important for many different reasons.
fellow graduate student friends are oftentimes your biggest support when grad
school gets frustrating or overwhelming,” she said. “Also, having those
connections could be important when you’re looking for outside expertise when
you need to do an experiment your lab doesn’t know how to do. Or maybe even you
run out of a specific reagent and you need it right then- the wider your
network is, the more likely you someone who has some of what you need so you
can borrow until you can reorder the reagent.”