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Faculty Focus: Cookies and Collaboration
07.19.13 |
“If you come to Neidig-Garber during the summer, it’s a pretty busy place with a lot of students doing things,” said Dr. Walter Patton, associate professor of chemistry and director of the program in biochemistry & molecular biology. He’s referring to the many undergraduates working on summer research projects there.

A couple years ago, Patton and some colleagues realized that the presence of so many undergraduates working on so many different projects presented an opportunity for fruitful cross-disciplinary communication. “We decided to bring together everybody who was doing research in Neidig-Garber over the summer for Coffee Hour on Tuesday mornings,” he said. “Because of the interdisciplinary nature of science, we wanted to have people talk to one another so we could actually understand what was going on in different disciplines. We brew up a pot of coffee, have some cookies, and provide opportunities for summer students and faculty to talk about what they’re doing in their group.”

Last summer the group also added case-based discussions on research ethics. “We have some of the faculty in the building look at cases where people have either fabricated data or plagiarized,” Patton stated. “These are things that many students don’t often get an opportunity to think about in their courses.”

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