Carol Johnson is the president of Iota Delta Rho, and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Dept. of Geosciences. Her research is focused on the tiniest of particles, called nanoparticles, and how they form, transform, and transport toxic metals from the drainage of former mining areas. As part of the NSF-IGERT program “EIGER,” Exploring Interfaces in Graduate Education and Research, she spent eight months with a microbiology group at the University of Jena in Jena, Germany.
Well, it’s mid-September. Hopefully by now you have all settled into your classes, your research, met some newcomers to VT — or maybe you’re new yourself! The leaves are starting to turn colors, though it hasn’t even cooled down yet. September is also when the Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society, or Iota Delta Rho, encourages new members to join our one-of-a-kind organization. (Seriously. It’s the first of its kind in the US.) Buy why, do you ask, is it worth joining such an organization, besides being a resume-builder?
Good question. In the past few years, the IDR Society has made great strides in connecting with the VT community to promote interdisciplinary research. At our fall IDR Symposium, we have showcased VT’s top-notch research with talks by VT faculty and posters by graduate and undergraduate students. At IDR Day in the spring, we all come together and try to solve the “wicked” problems of society, often specifically of local or regional importance. By organizing these events, members also gain important leadership skills (don’t we all want those J).
However, we don’t want IDR to be just about organizing events. That’s not really the fun part. So, this year, I want to change things up a bit. We decided to only have one event this year… an IDR Extravaganza! (Actual name TBD.) This event will likely be a combination of a poster session and talks like the IDR Symposium, and a lively roundtable discussion with a tasty dinner like IDR Day. We are planning to have this event in late February, so stay tuned for announcements after Winter Break.
With all our extra time, we will try to have more social events, mini-roundtables, and try to network more with each other. Because I think that’s why we all REALLY wanted to join IDR in the first place.
So I hope I’ve convinced you to join us! The deadline for applications is Sunday, Sept. 22nd. If you miss this round, there will be another opportunity in the spring semester.