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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

GSBS Students Connect Through CoronaBuddies

Monday, March 23, 2020
Student-led initiative gives GSBS students the opportunity to stay connected while social distancing.
Corona Buddies

CMDB students Judi Hollander & Rachael Ryner lead CoronaBuddies

This article was written by Lindsay Nordstrom.

The saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is ringing true for many people who are faced with the abrupt isolation of social distancing. GSBS students, who typically spend a lot of time working in labs, are especially feeling the effects. In response, two students in the Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology program, Judi Hollander, GBS20, and Rachael Ryner, GBS22, created CoronaBuddies, but don’t let the name fool you. This is a welcome buddy that students want to have.

“Scientists tend to be introverted and get stuck in their own head,” says Judi. “But we realized we actually do need and want that human interaction.” CoronaBuddies pairs students together who commit to checking in on each other via phone or Skype. They can chat once a day or once a week and “don’t have to be alone if they don’t want to be alone.” While the program is geared toward students, post docs and lab technicians are also welcome to join.

The program started in early March and, so far, 15 students have signed up and the feedback has been positive. They hope the program grows into a buddy system for students when they first arrive at GSBS. Students often move from far away to attend graduate school, and they may not know anyone in their new city. A buddy can be an instant friend to ask how your classes are going. “Helping people is fulfilling,” says Judi. “People are excited that CoronaBuddies is an available opportunity.”

To get paired with a buddy, complete the CoronaBuddies form or email Rachael Ryner.