Friday, November 21, 2014

Junior Colloquia: A Freshman Perspective

Embedded image permalink
Team BRAIN BLAST, November 20
It was Wednesday, November 19th, at 6:30pm, and the lecture hall in Biosciences Research Building was filled with the sounds of GSC gift water bottles clinking on the floor and chatter among an animated audience of GEMS100 students. These students were not the only one who were excited, as the teams were also presenting to the Gemstone staff and many mentors who came to support their teams. I spoke with Dr. Coale before the presentations; he said he was most looking forward to see “the incredible progress” the teams have made since they last presented to him.

Each evening of Junior Colloquia had six teams presenting for fifteen minutes each, with another five minutes of questions. Questions came from everyone from freshmen to team mentors, and this variety made for challenging and thought-provoking questions. All of the teams were ready for the questions, and for the presentations at large. I asked Team Haptic’s presenters about how they prepared, and they said they did many dry runs with feedback from their mentor and teammates.

Each team included a section on advice for freshmen at the end of their presentation. It was clear that each team learned something different from their experience, but some popular tips included “communicating with your team”, “picking a project you love”, and “knowing your project will change”. As a freshman, I found the most helpful part not to be the tips, but simply seeing the projects. We talk a lot about our potential projects in GEMS100, but seeing everything these teams have accomplished is an inspiring experience. The juniors I talked to understood this sentiment. I asked Team Forget It members Charlie Urrutia and Ashwin Reddi what the best part of Junior Colloquia was. Emphatically, they said, “getting our presentation done. We’ve been working a year and a half on [our research], and it’s great to get it out to an audience."

Congratulations to all the junior teams!

21 November 2014 - Elliot Frank

Friday, November 14, 2014

Precious Gems: Katie Krejcik

This week's Precious Gem spotlight is Katie Krejcik, a freshman Materials Science and Engineering major from Baltimore, MD. Although Katie hasn't been at UMD for long, she seems to be adjusting to college very well. She is on top of her school work even in CHEM135, which she calls her hardest class this semester. Katie spoke very fondly of GEMS100 and her history class on the life of people in the American Revolution, which are her two favorite classes.

Outside of class, Katie has had no issue in finding ways to fill her free time. She played soccer from age 3 to high school and plays for the club soccer team here. The season recently ended but that doesn’t stop Katie from heading over to La Plata beach to enjoy the game when she can. In addition to her interest in athletics, Katie played the alto sax throughout high school and taught herself a bit of piano as well. She also finds time to give back to the community as she is the VP of Greensquad in RHA for Ellicott Hall.

Katie hasn’t had your typical freshman year so far. Recently, she attended GE's Female Diversity Leadership Recruitment Summit. There were 5 colleges represented at the conference and Katie was the only representative from the UMD. Her days consisted of getting to hear the stories of executives in the engineering field and touring GE’s aviation facility. Also, the summit gave the attendees a chance to interview for an internship working with ceramics for GE next semester. Katie knocked the interview out of the park and received an offer for the internship.

It may be Katie’s freshman year, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing big things. Whether she’s making plays on the soccer pitch or casually getting a huge internship in her first semester, she’s making a huge splash. Be on the lookout for this precious gem around campus, Katie is going to do big things.

14 November 2014 - Nate Nenortas

Friday, November 7, 2014

November Events

We've got lots of stuff for y'all this month! Be on the lookout for Facebook events or contact your friendly neighborhood GSC member for more information!

Saturday, 11/8 (2pm - 5pm): Video Game Tournament!
We're having a Super Smash Bros Tournament down in the Gemstone Suite! Do you have what it takes to be the champion?

Thursday, 11/13 (2pm - 6pm): Strike a Pose - Professional Photos
Need a professional photo for your LinkedIn profile? Want a new team photo to go along with your website? Want to just dress up for fun and look awesome? Come by the Math Building fountain to get your picture taken (by reservations only!) Sign up here by 11/9!

Saturday, 11/22 (2-5:30pm): Touchdown for Turkeys - Flag Football Tournament
Come play flag football with GSC! Sign ups will be going out soon! [Location TBD]

Saturday, 11/22 (6pm - 8pm): Gemsgiving - Thanksgiving Potluck
After you've worked up an appetite from flag football, be sure to come by the La Plata Multipurpose Room for our 2nd annual Gemsgiving Potluck dinner!

Make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date on everything GSC-related!