December 21, 2020

Annual Retreat is a Virtual Success

CMB Fall 2020 Virtual Retreat - Friday, November 20th & Saturday, November 21st

- By Chris Bidlack, CMB Student

In Fall 2019, faculty and students flocked to the Detroit Institute for the Arts for the annual CMB retreat. This year, to comply with Michigan’s pandemic regulations, the retreat was hosted almost exclusively over Zoom, with a few social activities taking place in Ann Arbor itself. “We recognized that we’d have to change our plans a bit to make the retreat virtual,” the Retreat committee said in a statement to the Newsletter, “but we also knew that one of the important parts of having a retreat is being able to build community within CMB.” The retreat began on Friday, November 20th, with CMB student and faculty service awards. Haley Amemiya and Rosa Menjivar were co-recipients of the Student Service Award, while Stephanie Bielas and Scott Leiser received the Faculty Service Award. The CMB student body also selected Nils Walter to receive the Faculty Mentor Award. Dr. Janet Smith then gave the opening Myron Levine Keynote Lecture about her research of Flavivirus Non-structural Protein 1 and its role in viral infection. The rest of the day featured student and faculty talks, where students discussed their research, and faculty members advertised their labs to recruit interested students. Around noon, some CMB members met up for various socially-distanced activities including a hike through the Nichols Arboretum and online games. The evening featured Zoom breakout rooms where students and faculty socialized while answering icebreaker questions written by retreat committee members. Saturday’s main event, the Jessica Schwartz Keynote Lecture and Discussion, featured Professor Sean Valles from Michigan State University. Invited by the student body, Dr. Valles discussed structural challenges to addressing healthcare inequality in the United States, and proposed potential solutions. Afterwards, the retreat ended with social activities, including a socially-distanced coffee break in Ann Arbor and more online games.