Yelena Zhuravlev PhD selected to speak at GSAS Convocation

May 14, 2018

A graduate from the Department of Genetics and Development received the honor of speaking at yesterday's Convocation for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Yelena Zhuravlev, PhD, who

A woman dressed in academic regalia poses in front of a hedge
Yelena Zhuravlev, PhD    May 13, 2018

defended her Dissertation, Molecular interactions at play during Cytokinesis, on July 14, 2017, was selected from all applicants to give the student speech to graduates, faculty, and families. Dr. Zhuravlev's speech focused on applying the tools she gained by working in a lab to the issues her generation faces, and how graduates can use these tools to make the world a better place.

I to question and think critically.... Critical thinking is a skill that seems to be in decline in America and, let me be so bold as to say, around the world. Extreme views, from both ends of the spectrum, are becoming more common. Fake news. Manipulated data. Propaganda. Will we let ourselves get swept up in the hype? Or, as I sincerely hope, will our experience here give us the foresight to remain objective and look for the truth?

Throughout her speech, Zhuravlev reminded the graduates that they have both a professional responsibility to carry forward the knowledge and values learned at Columbia, and a personal responsibility to create work/life balance and to take care of themselves and others.

I hope we will share the products of our efforts with the world in a positive way, in the spirit of Columbia's mission. Let us remember to take care of ourselves--not just our physical health, but our mental as well. Let us remember to be kind to others, even if they do not always deserve it. And let us remember to keep building our relationships with our family friends, and others.

Dr. Zhuravlev is now a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Urology. 

Congratulations to Yelena and to our other graduates: Dr. Kyle Kaniecki, Dr. Michael Smith, and Dr. Sedef Tinaztepe. 



Excerpts from Dr. Zhuravlev's speech printed with the author's permission.