Meet and Greet, Dreams and Teams, Walk and Talk

 Individual profile collages created by the trainees.

Individual profile collages created by the trainees.

 Director and PI Laurent Pilon (MAE) welcoming the 2018-2019 trainees.

Director and PI Laurent Pilon (MAE) welcoming the 2018-2019 trainees.

 Walk and talk through UCLA Botanical Gardens.

Walk and talk through UCLA Botanical Gardens.

Our first cohort has arrived, and we enjoyed a meet and greet event on September 21st! We had an excellent round of introductions using individual profile collages made by the trainees. The collages included the following categories: your dream, your best team experience, who you are, your academics, your work experience and aspirations, and your cultural preferences. Not only do we know what department each trainee is studying in, but we also found out that there are figure skaters, pizza lovers, travelers, settlers, hikers, and teachers among us! A big thanks to UC Berkeley’s Teaming by Design research for this great activity on how to build teams.

I was reminded today on how interconnected varying disciplines can be and how we should not stay in our personal bubbles if we want to grow as individuals and make a significant impact with our work. We definitely have a lot to learn from each other, and I am excited to be in a community that not only promotes this, but requires this! 

-Stephanie Kawecki (Bioengineering)


Following our introductions, Colin Mangham and Marty Meisler of Biomimicry LA led the group on a walk and talk through UCLA Botanical Gardens: “How biomimicry shapes sustainable design and innovation”. Fun fact: Velcro was inspired by seed attachment/dispersal mechanisms!

All in all, a fantastic day! Looking forward to seeing what these bright, talented, and unique trainees will bring to the INFEWS program, UCLA campus, and our surrounding communities!