Council Minutes for June 2012:

Persons in Attendence:

Vijay Pandyarajan, Meredith Whitney, Tom Richardson, Zach Nevin, Bryan Benson, Kirkland Wilson, Abner Murray, Andrew Lavik, Charlie Wang, Heather Connelly, Anna Henry, Pam Marcott, Teresa Evans, Alex Tong, Alex McMillan, DaShawn Hickman, Joe Vithayathil, Paul Lin, Gloria Tavera, Cliff Harding, George Dubyak



June 5, 2012



1.     Summer Retreat Committee

2.     Incoming class announcements

3.     Monthly meeting

4.     Communications Committee

5.     Social Committee

6.     Community Service Committee

7.     Representative to GSS

8.     Representative to Faculty Council

9.     Women’s group

10.  Representative to CME

11.  Intro to MSTP Committee


Summer Retreat Committee:

Vijay started by asking Cliff if he had any updates or changes to the retreat program.  Cliff reviewed agenda as it is currently planned.  He would update the description of Dr. Lan Zhou’s presentation to “ethics workshop.”  George reported that he sent Kathy the list of MSTP student speakers to add to the program.  Anna will add them to agenda this week.  Vijay also reported that he will have Kathy ask the current fourth-year MD students to come for the second panel (transition to clinical years), and that the first panel (transition to PhD years) is in place.  Meredith and Anna stated that lunch on the first day would be organized by department/area of interest to facilitate mentorship discussions.  Cliff asked that this comment be added to the agenda so people know to sit according to department and meet their mentors.  Also, Cliff will have the keynote speaker, Dr. Dianna Milewicz, sit at one of the tables.


Vijay next discussed the Executive Committee elections, to be held at the retreat.  He will ask for nominations, and ask incoming M1s to abstain from voting at the retreat.  Cliff also advised that Vijay publicize the leadership elections process, so people who are interested in running have an opportunity to decide and make a commitment to the positions.  Zach suggested that Vijay solicit nominations ahead of time, since he will be advertising the positions and elections ahead of time, and Vijay agreed.


Pam announced the results of the T-shirt survey.  The winning design is the Superman shirt, with the MSTP logo design second.  Meredith asked whether Kathy has approved a two-color design, and if we have the budget for it.  Pam will check.


Vijay discussed next year’s retreat, which was proposed to be a joint retreat with the OSU MSTP.  He inquired about continued interest in the joint retreat.  Vijay and the OSU MSTP council president last agreed to discuss potential dates with their respective programs, and communicate the dates to each other.  From our end at Case, we need to pin down dates for start of medical school (the closest Curricular Affairs can give us now is likely the Wednesday after the July 4 holiday).  We also need to set goals for the combined retreat, as this will affect how we plan the program, and how many events each program would hold separately by school.  Vijay described the current OSU retreat as a one-day event, with a greater emphasis on research and scientific sessions than ours.  They hold it somewhere close by in Columbus.  Meredith expressed concerns about scheduling, noting that most years the retreat can only be scheduled within a tight window.  Zach suggested asking them for a copy of their retreat agenda, so we can plan to meld them.  Cliff replied that we should send them our retreat program as well.  Andrew appreciated the efforts to reach out to other MD/PhD programs, but was not sure if summer retreat would be the best venue for it, considering our large number of existing programmatic events.  Pam agreed, and further expressed that any combined retreat would still need to facilitate inter-class and M1 bonding.  DaShawn responded that most MSTP bonding happens during break time, over meals, or during the evening social events, and did not foresee a problem having integrated scientific sessions.  Anna proposed that OSU could continue to have their one-day retreat conjunction with the second of our two days.  Cliff felt they would be willing to meet us at Mohican State Park for a day trip.  Cliff would also like to see shared scientific sessions, including the keynote address and internal faculty speakers since these sessions are not program-specific and would be interesting to all students.  However, due to scheduling, Case may still have some faculty talks without OSU on the first day.  Meredith proposed moving forward by solidifying a date and swapping retreat agendas.  Cliff asked the outgoing Executive Committee to continue to work on planning this joint retreat.  Vijay, Meredith, and Cliff agreed to pursue the joint summer retreat, including polling the students to gauge interest and discussing it further at the summer retreat next month.


Incoming class:

Cliff announced that fifteen students will join the MSTP, including fourteen new M1s and one internal applicant entering the PhD phase.  Cliff thanked everyone for their contributions to this year’s admissions process.  Vijay will assign mentors to the incoming students by the end of the week.  He is still requesting mentors, either to take on one student or two.  Meredith inquired about opening up mentorship to current M2s.  Anna stated that Council decided to limit it to PhD phase students, so that issues related to research or choosing a lab could be addressed more readily.  On the topic of choosing a department, Zach invited all who are interested to attend the Genetics Department recruitment social event.  Meredith said that Kathy could email announcements of this and similar events to the MD class lists, or put them in the newsletter.  Cliff also mentioned the BSTP recruitment event, coming up in August, which MSTP students are welcome to attend.  He will have Kathy send out information in the newsletter.  Heather also recalled an MSTP-specific social event to meet faculty mentors.  Cliff stated that the MSTP will do a similar event this year, and that it is open to all students, not just M1/M2s who are choosing a lab.  George stated that it is usually held in early fall, and that it is also useful for new MSTP faculty mentors to meet students in the program.


Monthly meeting:

DaShawn announced the next monthly meeting, featuring Dr. Eben Alsberg, June 14 at 5:45.


Communications Committee:

Vijay announced that Emily would be getting administrator tools to edit the website, and she requested that students notify her of any outdated information so she can make necessary changes.  Meredith also reminded students to update their personal pages.  George suggested students include information about their rotations on their pages, as this would help new students find mentors.


Social Committee:

Kirkland announced that whirlyball is still being planned for July, but there is no longer any budget for MSTP to subsidize the event.  So, students who want to participate will need to pay themselves.  The rate is based on the number of participants, so interested students should email Gloria soon to give an estimate of the number of people and cost per person.  Gloria will also reach out to the incoming M1s to invite them to come.  There will be more planning discussion at the retreat.


Community Service Committee:

Alex asked for feedback and interest in returning to volunteer at the homeless shelter.  Other students suggested doing Habitat for Humanity during the summer, and Vijay asked Alex to contact Chris Ryder for details on our past efforts with them.


Representative to GSS:

Bryan announced that both he and Andrea would be assuming executive roles with GSS, and so GSS requests that we choose a new MSTP senator to fill the vacancy.


Representative to Faculty Council:

Zach had no new updates, and reported that much of the year has been devoted to discussions of faculty salary.  There was no news regarding changes to the Genetics Department.


Women’s group:

Gloria announced an upcoming barbecue at Teresa’s house, including an outdoor movie projected on the side of the house.  The incoming M1s are invited.


Representative to CME:
Joe reported some changes to the M2 OSCE has changed, which the School of Medicine leadership felt had improved.  Zach and Heather remarked that the exam is now six hours with several full patient encounters.


Intro to MSTP Committee:
Pam announced that for their final event as M1s, the class would be taking a trip to Cedar Point.


At the end of the meeting, Vijay expressed his gratitude to the Executive Committee and all of MSTP Council for a successful year.  Cliff thanked the Executive Committee as well for their dedication throughout the year towards progressing MSTP Council and the MSTP as a whole.


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