Interdisciplinary PhD in Structural and Computational Biology and Quantitative Biosciences

Graduate Leadership & Development Committee

The mission of the Graduate Leadership & Development Committee (GLDC) is to contribute to the professional development of Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) graduate students in a holistic manner by creating opportunities to foster research, scholarship, career development, and community engagement skills. We provide organized mechanisms for graduate student professional development and service to the IPiB and greater Wisconsin communities. Additionally, we promote an inclusive and tightly-knit community of students and faculty through recruitment of future graduate students, the annual IPiB Retreat, and departmental social events.

Read below for more info on each sub-committee and we hope you’ll come to one of our meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m.


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Josephine Mitchell

The Chair oversees all GLDC meetings and is responsible for guiding the overall direction of the GLDC. The Chair’s major role is to provide advice and support for all GLDC officers and to ensure that all of the committees of GLDC communicate cohesively. The Chair also sits as the student representative on the program’s Steering Committee, acting as an important link between IPiB faculty and students. The Chair might also be involved in writing and presenting proposals to modify existing GLDC events or propose new events. The current Chair is Josephine Mitchell. Contact her for information about participating in other committees at

Vice Chair

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Dana Dahhan

The Vice Chair is responsible for communicating with the Chair and assisting in the delegation of duties to major committee chairs. The Vice Chair is the second in command and will guide GLDC activities in the Chair’s absence. The Vice Chair is also responsible for recording the minutes of GLDC meetings.

Treasurer/Fundraising Chair

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Jennifer Peotter

The Treasurer manages the GLDC budget, which includes funding from both the Biochemistry and BMC departments as well as funds made from GLDC fundraising events. The treasurer also organizes fundraising events throughout the year which involves overseeing the IPiB logo competition.

Career Chairs

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Peyton Spreacker
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Nathan Murray

The Career Chair(s) are responsible for planning career development events for IPiB graduate students to expose students to the variety of careers available to them. Examples of past events include: panel/roundtable discussions with guests from industry, academia, patent law, science writing, and public policy; social hours with representatives from different career paths in Madison; Skype sessions with IPiB alumni; science-focused professional development workshops and mock interviews. The chair(s) also inform IPiB students of career events hosted by the University, Graduate School, and IPiB.

Social Chairs

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Aryel Clarke
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Matthew Blackburn

The Social Chairs are responsible for planning departmental social gatherings for incoming and current students and faculty. The major events planned by this committee are: New Student Welcome Picnic (September), Winter Reception/celebration of year-end department successes (December), and Awards in Research and Teaching Reception (June).

Recruiting Chairs

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Elizabeth Larson
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Alexander Duckworth

The Recruiting Chairs help to recruit future students of IPiB. The Chairs organize the recruiting kick-off meeting, work with point-people to help plan recruiting weekends, participate in the recruiting weekends, and facilitate communication between point-people, staff, and the faculty Recruiting Chairs.

New Student Orientation Committee Representative

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Harriett Saunders

The NSOC Representative sits as the student representative on the New Student Orientation Committee, which oversees assignment of first-year students’ rotations and thesis lab choices.

Lunch Symposia Chair

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William Kasberg

The GLDC Lunch Symposia is a student seminar series that gives IPiB students and postdocs the opportunity to present their research in a casual setting in front of their peers over lunch. The Lunch Symposia Chair prepares a schedule of student and outside speaker presenters each semester. Additionally, the Chair organizes practice preliminary exam lunches for second year students to gain practice and get feedback from their graduate student peers before their preliminary exam.

Student Invited Speaker Chair

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Tina Lynch

The SIS Chair coordinates the selection, invitation and visit of a seminar speaker to present as part of the program seminar series. During the fall semester of their term, the Chair collects speaker nominations and facilitates voting by IPiB students. Once a speaker is selected, the Chair formally invites the speaker and is involved in planning the details of the visit, including selecting a date, reserving the appropriate accommodations for the speaker (in collaboration with office staff), scheduling meetings with IPiB labs, and hosting a lunch, reception, and dinner with the speaker and graduate students.

Outreach Chairs

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Joshua Mitchell
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Katherine Senn
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Lillian Miller

The Outreach Chair(s) plans and organizes community outreach with two major goals: communicating science to the Madison community and organizing opportunities for IPiB graduate students to gain scientific outreach and communication experience. This committee organizes an outreach event on a monthly basis. Some of these events include hands-on experiment booths at Saturday Science at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery and the Wisconsin Science Festival, mentoring UW-Madison STEM undergraduates through GradParent, hosting a competitive event for high school students at the Regional Science Olympiad, judging an elementary school science fair, and organizing science experiments with local elementary schools.

IPiB/Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Representative

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Adam Lewis

The Curriculum Chair sits on the undergraduate curriculum committee and the IPiB curriculum committee as the student representative to discuss the undergraduate Biochemistry and IPiB curricula and direction of the programs.

GLDC Retreat Chairs

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Rachel Cueny
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Christine Hustmyer

The Retreat Chairs are responsible for organizing and hosting the Annual Fall IPiB Retreat, an event essential for introducing new students to research performed by IPiB faculty, staff, and students and celebrating their research accomplishments. The Retreat Chairs work together with front office staff, the Department Chairs, and the MediaLab to assemble a list of speakers, design the event schedule, finalize logistics for the event, and host the Retreat on the day of.

Wellness Chair

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Harriett Saunders

The Wellness Chair aims to promote the health and wellbeing of our IPiB community by creating a supportive environment which allows graduate students to flourish as they progress towards their Ph.D. Academic science can be a challenging and stressful environment, and researchers/students are more creative and productive when they are respected and supported. Therefore, the Wellness Chair helps to create an environment in which everyone can thrive by promoting work-life balance and fostering discussions about environmental factors that impact our mental health.