News & Events


Graduate Student Appreciation Week (GSAW), celebrated on campuses across the United States the first full week in April every year, recognizes the contributions, impact, and value of graduate students on research, teaching, and service.  At the JSNN, faculty and staff honor GSAW with a series of events designed to advance the professional development of graduate students and to convey their gratitude for the success of its programs.

The week started on Monday, April 3, the theme of the day was Academia.   A special seminar in the Auditorium was presented by Associate Dean Dan Rabinovich, who related stories from his 27-year independent career in academia.  He discussed the many challenges and rewards that are typical of careers in higher education, and he outlined several potentially useful strategies for those considering future careers in academia.

Alumni Tuesday featured a presentation by distinguished JSNN alumna and co-founder of Minerva Lithium ( Dr. Sheeba Dawood, who described her transition from academia to industry, discussed some of the trials and tribulations of starting a new business, and delineated her insights into the world of entrepreneurship acquired since graduating from the JSNN in May 2020.

The featured speaker on Industry Wednesday was Dr. John Davis, who is the North American Head of Formulation, Fill & Pack at Syngenta, one of the largest agrochemical companies in the world.  He presented an engaging seminar describing his perspective on careers in industry, followed by a lively Q&A session with JSNN students.

On Thursday afternoon, the JSNN hosted a “fireside chat” with Dr. Derrick Brent, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The informal conversation with the distinguished guest was moderated by Dr. Laura Collins, Director of Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization at NC A&T State University.  Dr. Brent’s multifaceted career, from studying mechanical engineering and music as an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University to managing a wide portfolio of programs and operations for one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, was simply captivating.