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8 Robert WoodJohnson
DNA and currently chancellor emeritus at Cold Spring Harbor
"The air is rarefied there," Dr. Gartenberg says.
Teacher as Student
aving the opportunity to acquire new techniques for
his lab was compounded by the benefit in having one
of his own students present, Dr. Gartenberg adds: "I
learned things and got to be a student as well, but I also brought
back someone else who learned how to do things in a new way."
The presence of a TA was absolutely essential for each of
the instructors, he stresses, noting that the teaching assistants
typically were the ones fielding student demands for a stack
of petri dishes, assistance with materials, or hands-on help to
solve a problem with part of the experiment. Borrie and fel-
low TAs Monica Sanchez and Tina Sing also needed to ensure
that all the materials students required for the day were set up
and ready before the first students arrived at 8 a.m.
"The instructors get all the glory, but the TAs are doing a
lot of the hands-on work and the prep," says Dr. Gartenberg.
"Melinda was the picture of grace under pressure and was
able to keep it all together and have everything running
smoothly, even in such an intense environment."
She had fair warning of the work involved, thanks in part to
a detailed "what to expect" guide created by Miao Chen, PhD,
postdoc and former graduate student of Dr. Gartenberg's,
Borrie says. However, she was surprised by the extent of infor-
mation she acquired in the demanding environment.
"It's a great opportunity to learn what's current in the
field," she says.
Prestige . . . and Plates
orrie also had an unexpected opportunity to have
work by her and two of the students she assisted seen
by a much broader audience as a result of the
microscopy module Dr. Gartenberg directed, during which
students focused on viewing and creating images of the yeast-
related research through the use of a microscope.
The module took place on a day when the guest lecturer
was Maria Costanzo, PhD, senior biocurator of the Saccha-
tudents focused on
viewing and creating
images of yeast-related
research through the use of
a microscope, and were
encouraged to enter their
images into the course's
Microscopy Contest. This
one shows the measuring
of mating pheromones of
yeast on a petri dish.