The Graduate Forum will be running a series of articles profiling the new Graduate Student Council. The GSC elections were held back on May 1st. As the new board members get underway in their positions, we’d like to take an opportunity to congratulate them on their elections and to highlight their hopes for the year ahead. In this article we’re introducing the new Treasurer, Adrienne Perkins.
Adrienne is a second year PhD candidate in biology. She grew up near the Quad Cities region in Illinois and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. At U of I, Adrienne took courses in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology, pursuing an interdisciplinary study of the sciences that encompassed biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.
As a doctoral student, Adrienne’s research is focused on flower development. More specifically, she’s looking at how the petals of the flower are formed, studying the genes that determine their size and shape. When asked why she chose this subject, she pointed out that dealing with plants is a lot more pleasant then dealing with mice or rats (I concur!).
The plant Adrienne works with is Arabidopsis thaliana. It’s a common species, one you have probably seen in a parking lot (the plant has flat oval leaves and white petals), but what makes the plant so useful to work with is that it has a fully sequenced genome – in fact, it was the first plant species to be fully sequenced. Gene manipulation allows scientists to change subtle qualities of within a species. This manipulation could allow for the development of plants that bring higher crop yields or provide alternatives to fossil fuels.
Back in May, Adrienne was elected to the position of Treasurer. As Treasurer, Adrienne is looking to emphasize organization and transparency of the GSC’s budget. She plans to make a budget rundown a cornerstone at GSC meetings, hoping that all graduate students will know the state of community’s finances. She also hopes to offer individual groups the chance to take more responsibility for the allocation of their funds.
Outside of her hectic work schedule (and now the added responsibilities of being a GSC exec board member), Adrienne tries to find time for other passions – namely the arts. She plays both the clarinet and piano, and she loves to ballroom dance. For Adrienne, the highlights of her graduate studies have been the graduate community and the associated camaraderie. That’s why she’s excited for her new position – she is looking forward to the experience of being treasurer and giving back to her community.
Best of luck Adrienne!
Article by Dan Durcan