BBS PhD Program

Thriving Seminar Series

The Thriving Seminar series aims to help graduate students develop strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Through these workshops/seminars, you will gain valuable tools to help you thrive personally, financially, and academically while also experiencing a sense of belonging and well-being.

Funding Source: The events are made possible by an HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study awarded to Karla García-Martínez, Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical and Biological Sciences, and Cynthia Leifer, Ph.D.- Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and a Sloan Foundation mini-grant awarded to Cynthia Leifer, Ph.D.

October 2022

Radical Authenticity, Belonging, and Self-Love

Friday, October 14 | 4:00 pm | via Zoom


Speaker: Moe Ari Brown, LMFT

Most people want these three things: belonging; authenticity; and love. In our world, we are most often taught to go on a journey to find these things. In actuality, these three are created through our relationships with ourselves and expressed in relationships with others. If we can learn how to access these three at any given point in time, then we are well on our way to cultivating intrapersonal relationships that reflect the abundance of our own internal worlds.

Radical authenticity is the process of aligning with one’s most genuine expression and embodying this expression even in the presence of perceived opposition or threat to belonging. In this presentation, Moe Ari Brown, LMFT, explores the concept of radical authenticity and how we can utilize its teachings to cultivate unconditional acceptance for ourselves as we grow in our self-love and self-mastery. 

September 2022

Basic Nutrition Course & Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Graduate Students

Friday, September 23 | 4:00 pm | via Zoom

Speaker: Melissa Corral, Chef and Nutritionist

Join us for a session with Nutrition Savvy Melissa Corral, Chef and Nutritionist, as we cover basic nutrition and discuss easy meal preparation ideas for fast, affordable, delicious, and easy to make recipes for the busy graduate student.

August 2022

Managing Your Time for Work-Life Balance

Friday, August 26 | 4:00 pm | via Zoom

Speaker: Florencia Ardon, Ph.D., Study Skill Lecturer & Neurodivergent Student Support Program Manager

Join us for a time management workshop lead by Dr. Florencia Ardon to gain some tools on effectively manage your time, prioritize task and learn the art of saying NO. Optional post workshop strategies discussion via Zoom breakout rooms available.

2021-22 Thriving Seminar Sessions

March 2022

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome through Public Speaking

Friday, March 11 | 4:00 pm | via Zoom

Speaker: Yvonne Armenta

This workshop aims to provide strategies to overcome imposter syndrome and improve public speaking skills

April 2022

Racial and Gender Microaggressions: A Double-Edged Sword!

Friday, April 22 | 1:30 pm | via Zoom

Speaker: Christina Alston, Associate Director for Science & Engineering at STEM Engagement, Rice University

[Student Only Session] This workshop invites participants to challenge their understanding of how their everyday language and behaviors can influence the belongingness of individuals due to basis and stereotypes. In this workshop, we will learn about racial and gender microaggressions, the subtle and sometimes intentional, physical, verbal, or nullified acts against individuals of marginalized groups. Participants will work through scenarios to describe when microaggressions occur and learn how to promote positive change.

April 2022

Wise Use of Credit

Friday, April 22 | 4:00 pm | via Zoom

Speaker: Brendan Wilbur, CUDE

Maintaining good credit is more than just paying off your balance. Understand the different credit resources available.  Learn how to obtain, interpret, and improve your credit score.  Most importantly, learn how to successfully create a budget plan to minimize worry, prepare for unplanned expenses and achieve your short and long term financial goals.   

May 2022

Making a Plan for Wellness & Support

Friday, May 20 | 4:00 pm | Zoom

Speaker: Travis Winter, LCSW-R, Cornell Health


Because constant internal and external pressure impacts our health and well-being, it remains essential that we think about self-care, community, and building skills of resilience to have a foundation for academic and life success.  In a time when society expects us to be on a pathway to return to ”normal,” the question of how to acknowledge shared difficulties and uncertainty and find support through our personal and professional networks continues. Join us for an open and honest conversation about our individual and collective experiences that can challenge our ability to navigate the academy.