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Cain Project Support Material for BIOS 582 - Fall 2006

Summary of the Course
The purpose of the Graduate Seminar in Biochemistry & Cell Biology is two-fold:

  • For each student to share information about the work being undertaken in his/her thesis project and receive scientific feedback;
  • For each student to practice and improve communication skills for giving seminars, lectures, job interviews, etc., and receive feedback on his/her presentation.

Course Website:

Schedule of Talks and Mentor Assignments
Microsoft Word format | PDF File

Sample Evaluation Form
Microsoft Word format | PDF File

Graduate Seminar Mentoring in BIOS 581/2 for 2006/07
Welcome back to another year of BIOS 581/2: Graduate Student Seminar. Speakers in this seminar course will again have the opportunity to work with a peer Mentor. The Mentors are senior graduate students and postdocs from your own department. Speakers will be paired with Mentors who are semi-experts in their area of research. The Mentors will assess presentations using the criteria established in the BIOS 581 Speaker Evaluation Form. As a result of their training with the Cain Project and their own experience with oral presentations, the Mentors will advise speakers in the areas of scientific content, delivery, use of visuals, and the handling of questions. The Mentors for Fall 2005 are George Blouin, Adina Maximciuc, Damian Dalle Nogare, Jeanne Rasberry, Thomas Causey, Ph.D., and Lucia Strader, Ph.D.

The Mentoring Process

If you are in your 2nd through 4th year of graduate study, you are required to meet twice with a Mentor (once before and once after your seminar). Your Mentor will contact you by email approximately two weeks before your scheduled presentation. Four to seven days before your seminar, you will meet with your Mentor and “talk through” your presentation. Your Mentor will attend your seminar and schedule a time afterward to give you feedback, using the defined criteria for evaluation.

If you are in your 5th year of study, you are encouraged but not required to meet with a Mentor. Students in their 6th year and above will be mainly focusing on their thesis and can avail themselves of the thesis help, thesis defense and presentation advising functions of the Cain Project as desired. Please contact Mary Purugganan at

A Cain Project work-study student will be videotaping all speakers. Your Mentor will provide you with a copy of your seminar on CD-rom at your post-seminar meeting. Fifth-year and higher students will receive the CD-rom in their mailboxes one to two weeks after their seminars. If you are a 5th-year student and choose not to work with a Mentor before your seminar, you may still request a conference with a Mentor after receiving your CD-rom.

Advisor input
It is highly encouraged that students give a copy of their PowerPoint presentation to their advisor a week before their talk. This will allow scientific input on the broader scientific perspective and key details of the talk.

How do I reach the Cain Project and the mentors?

  Cain Project Instructor

Dr. Mary Purugganan
Anderson Biology Bldg. 215B

  Presentations Coach

Jeanne Rasberry

  Presentations Coach

Thomas Causey, Ph.D.

Presentations Coach Lucia Strader, Ph.D.
  Presentations Coach

George Blouin

  Presentations Coach

Damian Dalle Nogare

  Presentations Coach

Adina Maximciuc


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