The Bioinformatics Club at IUPUI (BCAI), which represents students in the BioHealth Informatics Department at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, was chosen to receive an Inclusivity Award at the 2019 IUPUI Student Organization Awards on Monday, April 22.
Jiannan (Johnny) Liu, the club president, said, “Winning the Inclusivity Award really excited our club members. It is the first award we have won since the establishment of our organization a year ago and all members feel honored by winning this award. I think this award can be regarded as a recognition of our successful internal management strategies. I hope the next generation of our organization management team could take our tradition and do a better job of serving the IUPUI community.”
According to Liu, the club has four main missions: To help bioinformatics students or students in any other majors make improvements in both their academic life and career life; to anonymously gather suggestions, ideas, and dissent from students and convey through proper channel to the faculty or staff members; to create a platform for individuals in the bioinformatics community to communicate effectively among one another; and to broadcast academic events, student-life activities, and other major events on and off campus.
Official BCAI members must be bioinformatics master’s and Ph.D. students, but all events the club hosts are open to all students campus-wide.
Since its establishment in mid-2017, the club has promoted various events. Last fall, club members joined the Regatta boat racing with a team named “Bioinformatics Club at IUPUI”, set up a table in SoIC’s lawn party to recruit new club members, and successfully built an official Facebook page with hundreds of followers. All these efforts were made to strengthen the impact of the club as well as their events.
The club’s core management team has tried to create a self-organized student organization where every member in the club can express ideas about the event planned. To prepare for the event, every member is assigned his or her own tasks to complete; core management team just needs to approve the tasks and oversee the events. The club has successfully hosted several events in this manner.
BCAI has already built a signature event series called Lighten-Up that is very well recognized by the BHI Department and students and that has successfully delivered professional knowledge, skills, and experience to students. Topics for the Lighten-Up series included “Young generation professor” to which the club invited Dr. Chi Zhang, a young professor who joined IU School of Medicine two years ago. Zhang gave a talk on the experience of being a professor in an academic field and how students can successfully prepare to be a professor.
The club also presented “Genome Browsers”, to which they invited Rajneesh, a senior Ph.D. student in the BHI Department who is a professional on genome data analysis. Rajneesh gave a talk on how to use main genome browsers and tricks to use when applying those technologies.
For more information on the Bioinformatics Club at IUPUI, visit their website at The Den or find them on Facebook.