Virtual Mikiten Graduate Symposium Brings Alumni To Speak with Students
Over 185 people attended the first ever virtual Terry M. Mikiten Graduate Research Symposium. The event had 30 guest speakers, many of whom were graduates of UT Health San Antonio, and returned to speak about their career paths and journeys since leaving the halls of campus.
Throughout his career and life, Dr. Terry Mikiten sought new, creative ways to approach problems. His love for teaching and talent for imparting his knowledge and experience was the perfect conduit to encourage others to think broadly, collaborate, and use technology to find solutions.
He was always ready to embrace the latest technology – from being a beta-tester for Apple Inc. in the 70’s, to advocating and encouraging use of personal computers at UT Health San Antonio, to developing a series of medical and science-based videos, and creating computer-based student tutorials.
This year’s Mikiten Research Virtual Symposium is a perfect example of how he might have approached and solved the unique difficulties caused by the pandemic. He would applaud those who have worked so hard, using innovation, creativity, and technology, to move beyond the past years’ successful blueprint and craft a new design for this year’s event. The symposium is organized by Charlotte Anthony, senior marketing specialist at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Manpreet Semwal, a student in the Molecular Immunology & Microbiology discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program who was a speaker at the event said that it was a great learning experience and she enjoyed being a part of the Mikiten symposium.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see how brilliantly it was executed especially considering it was all virtual this year,” she said. “Although it is hard to replicate the experience of in-person symposium, I was pleasantly surprised how well the virtual sumposium was conducted.”
Semwal added that since there were three talks happening at the same time, it was very easy for her to transition from one room to another with the help of a button rather than physically walking in or out of the room.
Mahmoud Amr, a student in the joint Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program, said that he enjoyed that the symposium offered a variety of interesting topics pertaining to graduate students such as professional development areas (different career paths) as well as a venue for people from different Texas universities to share the cool research they do in their labs.
Amr said that his favorite part of the symposium was the poster session which was organized through the LabRoots platform.
“The poster session was very well organized with posters available to view along with the speakers’ presentation,” he said. “It didn’t feel any different than being at an actual symposium as there was the option for people to engage with you as a presenter via the chat.”
Dr. Michael Berton, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics said that he thought that the sessions about student life issues put on by students were particularly innovative and interesting.
“I thought that it went really well and I think those who weren’t able to attend missed some really innovative and informative presentations and discussions,” he said.
1st Place—Zachary Bennett, UT Southwestern
2nd Place—Sara Masoud, UT Health San Antonio
3rd Place —Larry Broome, UT Health San Antonio
1st Place—Rathipriya Viswanathan, UT Health San Antonio
2nd Place—Arvin Honari, UT Dallas
3rd Place—Natalie Jarvis, UT Health San Antonio
Speaker Videos Available
The annual Mikiten Graduate Research Symposium videos are now available. Please use the schedule to scroll through the video to find the session you are looking for.
We had many incredible speakers giving talks in three Zoom rooms throughout the day, here is a list for the schedule of speakers and their bios. Thank you to all our speakers, students, and faculty that attended and participated in the symposium.
Schedule At A Glance
Room 1 Video
Room 2 Video
Room 3 Video