By Sam Silknetter

IGCoffeeConvos are a great way for GCC faculty and IGC students to get to know each other in a small group and informal setting! 

On December 2nd, GCC faculty affiliate Dr. Durelle Scott met with three IGC fellows (Ryan McClure, Sam Silknetter, and Alaina Weinheimer) at Deet’s Place. Unlike the first two CoffeeConvos, the weather was really feeling like winter in southwest Virginia. So at a booth inside, the group chatted about the end of their semesters, science conferences both big and small, and making sure that the research we conduct really matters!

Much of the conversation focused around interdisciplinarity, as one might expect for a gathering of IGC fellows. Dr. Scott spoke about his involvement with the IGC, and how the group has resulted in multiple professional benefits. Attendees agreed that a common benefit from IGC is the potential for formal and informal collaborations with different researchers, which can help members to make their work more impactful. Dr. Scott also made the point that from a faculty perspective that being an active member of the IGC is great for helping with graduate student recruitment. In exchange for service to the organization, faculty and their labs benefit from new and exciting #SciComm opportunities and other exposure – and that helps make the IGC both a valued community and a powerful tool.

The different backgrounds and experiences of the participants made for some enlightening conversation. As an example, both Ryan McClure and Dr. Scott were headed to the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco within a week of the gathering. The rest of the group was shocked to hear that this meeting would have over 25,000 attendees. Talk about a lot of science! While Alaina and Sam agreed they’d feel overwhelmed with that big of a crowd, it helped to put their ‘big’ meeting into perspective.

This event wrapped the slate of CoffeeConvos for the fall semester, but we are looking forward to more great discussions in the spring! If you are a GCC Faculty member and interested in participating in an upcoming IGCoffeeConvo, please contact Nicole Ward at Fellows should keep an eye on their email inboxes for opportunities to join in on future IGCoffeeConvo meetings!