Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sunghee's baby shower

 So few months late on this but hey, better late than never! Kim and I threw a shower for one of our friends in the program, Sunghee. Sunghee is just the sweetest person, I have really admired her from the time I met her. Her parents passed away when she was younger and she then left her brother and friends in Korea to come to the US to get her PhD. I can't even begin to imagine how hard grad school would be without family & friends close by and then to add being in a new country, a new culture, and having to WRITE academically in a second language... wow. She is nothing less than motivated and determined and we have had so much fun together over the years. We have talked a lot about the differences in Korean and American culture and she has introduced me to some delicous Korean dishes and tried (rather unsuccessfully, my fault not hers) to show me how to make my favorites ones. I think my absolute favorite memory with her was at Molly's house when Sunghee was trying to show me how to do these stretches that were to have helped me with ballet (back when I had time for classes, lol).  It was just too funny, we were all laughing so hard. Sunghee and her husband Kim are expecting their first baby, a boy, in about a month. She finished her PhD a few weeks ago and they should be settling into their new home up in Chicago right about now. So glad we had chance to throw little shower for her before she moved.. here are some pics!

       Sunghee is so tiny that she barely looks preggers even this far along, she makes me sick!

       Burcu, Katherine, & Kahn totally called each other to plan their outfits, lol

  Had to have some gator gear for baby! Go Gators Go!

  Erin won the guess how big baby belly is game

       Lisa won the baby food game, her prize was the baby food.. lol

                             Molly & baby Jane with Sunghee

         Janie is one of Sammy's friends he plays with on Fridays, she is soo sweet& just turned 1
   Burcu was one of brave few who actually tasted rather than smelled the food..mmmm yummy!
                               Guess the baby food game was too funny! 
    Molly's cupcakes were a hit, too cute! The other half were little monkey cupcakes, just adorable!

A Nerdy Post

                Go Gators!!!          Congrats Berg Lab!!!

  Wanted to put up a few pics from our last lab meeting of the Spring semester. Sam calls us The Nerds b/c our lab is called "The Developmental Neuropsychological Research Team". When working on our logo, I said "well, I could put D.N.R.T." and Sam replied, "ha ha, you guys are Da Nerds!" and with that we were nicknamed Da Nerds. I just love our lab, we work really hard to create a fun, family type environment where a lot of hard work is accomplished. We are in fact training the next generation of professionals so is super important that they see that yes this work is hard BUT we don't have to be cut throat competitive and stressed to max to get things done. Each spring is always sad b/c we loose so many great RAs (research assistants) as they graduate and move on to the next chapter of thier lives. I have been so blessed to have had such an amazing bunch of RAs during my grad carreer. I am guessing I have had maybe somewhere around 45 or so total, give or take a few, that have worked with me over the last 5 years. Even more that have worked in the lab as Kim has her own folks to help with her stuff. Back in the good ol' days when our testing was going strong Joe & I had about 17 to 20 RAs at a time that would test consistently each day for us, but now that we are in our final year of testing I just haven't needed as many folks. So, as I see my little group dwindling it is sad but a good sign of the times that the END IS IN SIGHT and my own graduation is just around the corner! In fact, I have only interviewed two new RAs for summer so hopefully can get things finished with a super small group. 

   I have supervised several senior thesis students who are the undergrads that are really cream of the crop and need the thesis experience to apply to grad schools. I am so proud that every single one of my students received highest honors!! Kady, see below, was my last student and I must say I went out on a bang. She was just excellent (they all were, don't get me wrong) but she had the benefit of experience on her side, given she was my last. By the time Kady was ready to do start the thesis process, I had learned what management style worked best for me, how to really keep them on deadlines, how best to teach various aspects, and how to balance many other aspects of supervising. Supervising a thesis takes a lot of time, we help them develop their plans for their study, teach writing skills as we read several drafts and make many revisions of each section, teach them how to analyze their data and interpret their results, and then of course, their big defense presentation. It is great learning experience for them and for us grad students, helps prepare us for having our own grad students (if going to be professor which I really hope it doesn't come to that, I really do not enjoy teaching). I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these students and love hearing about all they are doing with thier lives now. I am looking forward to the publications that will come from each study BUT I will NOT miss those weekly meetings with each student! I have been given the gift of time, lol! Goodluck to each of you as you, remember us little people when you become big fancy doctors!! =)

Celebrating end of semester and many accomplishements with some of the lab members. Several missed meeting b/c finals week but can still see some of our super amazing RA's with Keith, Kim, and Me.. the cake was super yummy!

Janelle and Kady super excited that they were almost done.. Kady's defense was the next day and Janelle's was the day after.. Congrats ladies!!!!
                     Meet my left and right arm.. Adam and Amanda... I seriously don't know what I would do without either of these two, they keep things running and are just angels. I honestly could not be more thankful for them. Case in point- Adam is now in Austrailia doing research BUT is still heading up and coordinating all of my heart rate data processing from afar. Just wonderful!!!
    Congrats Naveen! He is done and off to med school to be ER doc, how weird will it be if I am ever in ER and look up to see Naveen is treating me?????                                                 
Congrats Melissa! Just finished last exam and is now graduated and starting med school too. We will miss you!!!!
Kim was so sad, Melissa is her right hand and she is still mourning the fact that Melissa graduated, hang in there Kim

Here is Kady doing last min prep before her defense!! She was simply amazing, I was so proud of her, totally rocked it.... See, I TOLD YOU HIGHEST HONORS all the way !!!! Congrats, I wish you all the best in life!