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Student Perspective: Daniel Chitwood


Daniel Chitwood

Graduating Class of 2009

Undergraduate: University of California, Davis

George A. and Marjorie H. Anderson Fellow
NSF Graduate Research Fellow

I almost didn’t apply to the Watson School; the history of Cold Spring Harbor Lab—McClintock, Hershey, Delbrück, etc.—was intimidating. Yet, after a year now as a student, I realize this reputation is what drives the intensity of the science here. Expectations are high from the beginning. The classes are demanding, the interaction with faculty exceptional, and the constructive criticism for improvement constant. The Lab’s meetings, seminars, and diverse research continually challenge the way you think about biology and multi-disciplinary collaborations between labs are common. The research itself is of high-caliber and vigorous.

The Watson School’s best qualities, though, are anything but intimidating. Classes are small (six to ten students) and most students live together their first year. Friendships form fast and getting to know your classmates is rewarding. The Lab, too, is small and the familiarity with everyone that works here makes Cold Spring Harbor—surprisingly—one of the most unimposing places you’ll ever know.