Welcome Back

Monday, September 13, 2021

Welcome to the start of a new academic year and Synapse’s 66th year of publication. As 2021 has transported us back to obligatory digital meetings and we continue to speak through our computer screens, I want to thank everyone for keeping the UCSF communities together and safe.

Looking back, this past year was a wild ride, but the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines has felt like a triumphant turn for science and medicine. As we proceed with caution into the delta variant and beyond, each of us will face questions of what the pandemic means to us and our place in the world.

Thank you one and all to our contestants in the 2021 Annual Synapse Storytelling Contest. We received a record number of entries this year, and prizes were awarded in the categories of creative writing, science writing, nonfiction, and photography. Keep an eye out for the winning and runner-up entries as they are published throughout this year.

Let me introduce myself. I am a graduate student in the neuroscience program, and I joined Synapse in 2019 as a contributing writer. Synapse turned out to be a great way to connect to other UCSF students and staff. The time I have spent with Synapse has helped evolve my authorial voice and given me an outlet to hit refresh when a failed experiment gets me down.

As your Editor-in-Chief this fall, I hope to work with new student writers and help them find their voices at UCSF. If that new writer is you, definitely send us an email at synapse@ucsf.edu.

Synapse is here to provide a platform to those who want to strengthen UCSF, promote change, or just share their excitement and teach us all something new. Previous articles include: an account of a first-year medical student and his mixed feelings about being first to get a vaccine, an interview with a UCSF member of President Biden’s COVID Advisory council, and an opinion piece about the relation of climate change and healthcare workers. We recently published a three-part series by incoming medical student Woodger Faugas offering the historical backdrop and context of Haiti’s concurrent political and geological crisis.

Whatever your story, I want to encourage students and trainees — new and returning — to join us at Synapse to share your experiences and opinions. Synapse meets twice a month, and you can find our meeting schedule with links to RSVP here.

We are always looking for writers and photographers to contribute to the newspaper. With our latest expansion of Synapse, we are also looking for budding podcasters. If you are interested in having the metaphorical ear of UCSF, come with your story ideas or simply your curiosity. Each published article earns you a $25 gift card (no crypto, sorry).

Hope to see you at the next meeting!

Victoria Turner