Last year Tahoe, this year Pt Reyes: The UC Davis Neuroscience Retreat


Photo taken by Dr. Tony Simon @22qUCDMIND

Every summer, at UC Davis, a handful of first and second-year neuroscience graduate students work together with the amazing administrators of our graduate group for one purpose: organize, plan and execute the annual UCD Neuroscience retreat at one of two locations: Lake Tahoe or Point Reyes. Planning includes everything from: recruiting faculty and student speakers from the group, inviting a special guest lecturer, securing deposits and assigning rooms, choosing snack and coffee packages, coordinating rides and setting up the entertainment portion of the evening. This year, our hard working organizers were: Lauren Fink, Jamie Krueger, Jon Wong and Tyler Manning and our special guest lecturer was Dr.John Huguenard from Stanford University.

The keynote lecture by Dr.Huguenard was less of a lecture and more of a classroom-style conversation. Alongside interesting data and historical facts, Dr. Huguenard peppered our group with “quiz questions” to keep us engaged and actively participating.


The UC Davis Neuroscience retreat is an annual event and, as such, includes a few key traditions:

  • Hats in honor of Dr. Barbara Chapman (next year, let’s do more of these)
  • Officially welcoming our first-years into the cohort
  • Celebrating the achievements of our group
  • Fun, lively (and fiercely competitive) gaming


… and we also added a few new items to this list, which we hope will develop into long-standing traditions:

  • We were joined by students and faculty at UC Merced
  • We began tweeting like there was no tomorrow (#neuroretreat15)
  • We eventually took the evening dance party outside to a huge field and danced the night away under the moonlight


As games begin to wind down, this group (left to right: Dr. Elva Diaz, Danny Sanculi, Jenny Mohn, Darlene Archer) start pumping the music and warming up the dance floor 

 As always, we couldn’t have done this without our lovely administrator Cristeta Rillera – so thank you. Until next year!


Cristeta Rillera & Anahita Hamidi enjoying lunch and “coffee talk” at Marconi Center


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