Impact Week 2023 jumpstarts grad training for incoming Ph.D. bioengineering students

Two people work on a craft project

Another installment of Impact Week — the Knight Campus Department of Bioengineering’s signature orientation and training program for incoming Ph.D. students — unfolded for the latest cohort of future innovators, Sept. 18-22, 2023.

Ten students participated in the intensive, 5-day series of workshops and applied trainings designed to jumpstart students’ professional growth and accelerate their careers as independent applied scientists and engineers. The program provides critical skills in science communications, innovation and entrepreneurship, and design thinking.

As the week unfolded, students gained firsthand experience with story templates and rubrics, practicing cognitive empathy, designing for the end user and many other concepts. Teams took on a design thinking challenge to develop and pitch a prototype in one hour and students delivered and redelivered their “science stories” — personal statements that got to the heart of their scientific interests and personal backgrounds. The week culminated with a final presentation before an audience of Knight Campus graduate students and a happy hour celebration on the Knight Campus Terrace.

The trainings were delivered by an interdisciplinary team that includes Nathan Jacobs, director of research training and career acceleration in the Knight Campus Department of Bioengineering; Mark Blaine, professor of practice in the School of Journalism and Communication; Jim Hutchison, senior associate vice president and Lorry Lokey Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Annie Zeidman-Karpinski, Ken and Kenda Singer Science Librarian and associate professor. The core Impact Team was augmented by Melissa Brunkan, associate professor of music education; Trisha Rodley, senior instructor in theater arts; and Jeff Sorensen, director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.