BBMB Graduate Learning Community (GLC)


GLC webex screenshot December 2020
2020-2021 GLC (l to r from the top): Connie Garnett, Prof. Reuben Peters, Jake Peterson, Collin O'Leary, 
Daniel Kramer, Jacques Lowe, Lauren Kueffer, Phil Dershwitz, Warren Rouse and Yukti Dhingra (not pictured: Hannah Piper).


COVID-19 Updates and Vaccinations


In 2012, two graduate students noticed the need for a graduate student club to promote professional development and career preparation in the area of biochemistry and biophysics. The Graduate College approved the formation of the GLC in fall of 2013. The BBMB GLC is supported by funding from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust award to the Department.

Purpose and Goals

The perception of most graduate students in BBMB is that they have two career options, academia or industry, and that jobs in these areas are highly competitive. This is incorrect, and there are many career paths for BBMB graduates outside of traditional academia and industry jobs. The main challenge for a graduate student is to discover what career options there are and how to best prepare for a future career where their advanced degree is useful.

The BBMB Graduate Learning Community (GLC) is led by graduate students and overseen by a faculty mentor. The GLC strives to prepare graduate students by exploring professional development opportunities and career planning. Results from the student's Individual Development Plan (IDP) are used to guide meeting topics. Additionally, the GLC incorporates graduate student wellness, education outreach, and social events throughout the year to promote community engagement and wellbeing.

Meetings and Events

See the BBMB Graduate Learning Community Blog for more information about GLC community events.

Spring 2021

Wednesday, February 17. Career Alternatives Seminar. Dr. Sannie Culbertson, Alumni Guest Speaker. Sannie graduated with her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from ISU in 2018 and is currently an editor at Cell Press-- Trends in Biochemical Sciences. Her Cell Press bio summary says, "After growing up and receiving her education in the American Midwest, Sannie joined the Cell Press team as the Editor for Trends in Biochemical Sciences. She has a passion for science communication and advocacy, both of which ultimately drove her from the bench to her current position. She also enjoys being active, loves her dog, and can almost always be found with a book near at hand." Jacques Lowe, Host. 12:00 noon (Recorded in two parts: 1 and 2)

Sannie Culbertson

Thursday, March 11. Career Alternatives Seminar. Radford Davis, Associate Professor, Veterinary Microbiology & Preventive Medicine, ISU College of Veterninary Medicine. By day, Dr. Radford Davis is a prominent public health scientist. He has traveled the world working on global health issues with a stated goal of improving veterinary health in developing countries. In recent years, Davis has added a new tool to his teaching arsenal. He now uses still photography to bridge art and science. Warren Rouse, Host. 12:00 noon (Webex link)

Radford Davis

Tuesday, April 6-Thursday, April 8. GLC Education Outreach: Virtual Go Further for students in grades 8th-10th who want to learn about various STEM fields.  GLC to participate as part of a BBMB GLC education outreach activity. Yukti Dhingra and Hannah Piper, Presenters (online)

GoFurther WISE Program


Wednesday, May 5. Career Alternatives Seminar.  Dr. Ann Lichens-Park, National Program Leader for Microbial Genomics in the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA.  Dr. Lichens-Park will talk about her role overseeing the research grant programs at and for the USDA. Jacques Lowe, Host. 12:00 noon (Recording)

Dr. Ann Lichens-Park


Past Meetings and Events


Students involved in the GLC find their service to be fun and rewarding. Members continually rotate in and out of the GLC, based on the commitment of graduate school, but most participate for at least one academic year.  Please contact Professor Reuben Peters if you are interested in more information about becoming a BBMB Student Peer Leader and Coordinator.

BBMB Faculty Mentor

Reuben Peters, Roy J. Carver Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 4216 MBB, Phone: 515-294-8580. Professor Peters is the recipient of the LAS Excellence in Graduate Mentoring award, which is to recognize the effectiveness of major professors who serve as mentors and who enrich the student-professor relationship by support and attention to detail which enables students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner.

BBMB Student Peer Leaders and Coordinators

Abbigale Brown will be the WIP Seminar peer coordinator.  Abbigale is an Immunobiology student in the lab of Professor Stone Chen.  In this newly created peer coordinator role, Abbigale will assist Professor Chen to organize the BBMB Works in Progress (WIP) seminars during the academic year.

Phil Dershwitz is the GPSS senator for BBMB and peer coordinator for the monthly breakfast.  He is a biophysics PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Dispirito.  Phil will step down as senator and Kristin Roach, biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Peters', has been nominated to be the new BBMB GPSS senator starting fall 2021.

Yukti Dhingra, along with Hannah, is the peer coordinator for education outreach.  She is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Sashital.

Daniel Kramer is the peer coordinator for social events. He is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Chen.  Alexandrea Woudenberg, biochemistry PhD in the lab of Professor Underbakke, will step into this role in fall 2021.

Lauren Kueffer, along with Jake, is the peer coordinator for recruiting, orientation and IDP Meetings.  She is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Andreotti.  Tania Palhano Zanela, biochemistry PhD student in the lab of Professor Underbakke, will step into this role in fall 2021.

Jacques Lowe is the peer coordinator for workshops and seminars with outside speakers based on IDP results. She is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Andreotti. She will transition from this role over the fall, and Warren Rouse will continue as peer coordinator for seminars and workshops.

Collin O'Leary was the GPSS senator for BBMB through summer 2020. He is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Moss.

Jake Peterson is the peer coordinator for recruiting, orientation and IDP Meetings. He is a biochemistry PhD student in the lab of Professor Moss.

Hannah Piper is the peer coordinator for education outreach. She is a biochemistry PhD candidate in the lab of Professor Chen.  Hannah will be stepping down and Kristin Roach, PhD candidate in Professor Peters' lab, will step into this role with Yukti in fall 2021.

Warren Rouse is the peer coordinator for meetings and seminars with internal speakers as needed (i.e., IT updates, diversity training, etc.). He is a biochemistry PhD student in the lab of Professor Moss.