Synapse newsroom staff circa 1955.

Welcome Back!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Welcome back to Synapse’s 68th year of publication! In the past year, UCSF has slowly moved towards a new normal, with many seminars and events being held in-person again. I look forward to showcasing our vibrant student life this year. While we embrace the new normal, I urge everyone to nonetheless remain vigilant and keep our community safe and healthy.

My name is Cindy, and I am your new Synapse editor-in-chief for the 2023-2024 academic year. A little bit about myself; I am a second-year graduate student in the developmental and stem cell biology program. I am an international and first-generation student. I joined Synapse last year as a contributing writer, wanting to dip my toes in a student-led publication. I found Synapse to be a safe space to do just that - discuss ideas with my peers and learn how to report and write for a newspaper. 

As your new editor-in-chief, I strongly believe that there is a story waiting to be told, hiding in every corner on campus, whether big or small. I have found that a lot of the stories that have touched me arose from chatting with people on the shuttle or at campus events. At Graduate Division’s orientation event this past Friday, I met many new faces who shared wonderful story ideas with me - just a small testament to the potential of the student body.

At Synapse, we take interest in the voice of the student body. If you have any bit of interest in student-driven journalism, but don’t know where to start, there is no better way than to write for us. Whether you are a one-time only or regular contributor, you will work closely with me and be mentored by our managing editor, a professional journalist who can provide you, the budding writer, with helpful writing tips. Synapse provides all interested writers a platform to communicate change, strengthen our UCSF community, and raise awareness about current affairs or fun topics, via the written word. Want alternatives to writing? We also welcome storytelling through podcasting and photography!

Previous Synapse publications include: an interview-podcast with Prof. Anita Sil about the realities of HBO’s “The Last of Us”, an article on UCSF’s efforts to reduce and recycle waste on campus, what ChatGPT thinks a graduate student does, and an opinion piece on traumatic grief and dismantling anti-brownness in the aftermath of the Uvalde school mass shooting. Synapse also holds an annual Storytelling Contest, where you can submit your works in creative writing, science writing, nonfiction, and photography. Thank you to all of the contestants who submitted in the 2023 edition, and readers, do look out for the winning and runner-up entries that will be published throughout the year.

If you are interested in contributing, join us at one of our editorial meetings. Synapse meets two times a month, and you can find the meeting schedule and RSVP link here. Feel free to come to our meetings whenever best for you during the year. We love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and ideas during the discussions and hash out potential stories together. Each published article earns you a $25 gift card!

If you have any questions about becoming a new writer, want to collaborate, or have feedback for us, feel free to reach out to us at To our loyal readers, we see you and we appreciate your support throughout the years. To the new students and trainees on campus, welcome to UCSF!

Hope to see you all at the next meeting!