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PGSS NYC Meet-up 1-19-2019

posted Feb 4, 2019, 11:29 AM by Janet Hurwitz

Thanks to Katie Wu (PGSS 2004) and Luna Dai (PGSS 2003) for organizing the PGSS NYC Meet-up last week. Thanks to Muriel Liberto (PGSS 1986) for hosting at her law firm's office. 
Katie led a Quiz Bowl using middle-school level questions because the questions are impossibly hard. Everyone enjoyed the activity, especially once we switched to just science and music.
As an example of the difficulty level, this is an example of

a middle-school science question. It's very hard to figure out the answers from the first couple of sentences, but the last sentence is usually a dead giveaway.

11. It’s not a form of chromatography, but this technique has preparative and analytical types. The quantities resulting from this technique are non-additive and defined in units of time, but they’re more frequently expressed in (*) svedbergs. This technique eventually results in a pellet and a supernatant, and a common example of its use is isolating plasma from the other components of blood. The ultra form of this technique subjects samples to forces of up to one million g’s and high RPM. For 10 points, name this laboratory technique that separates mixtures by spinning them very, very quickly. ANSWER: centrifugation (accept word forms, like centrifuge)

PGSS DC Meet-up 1-30-19

posted Jan 31, 2019, 7:34 PM by Janet Hurwitz

Simon Krauss (PGSS 2006, RLD 2018) sent this review of the DC meet-up on a day of record cold temps. "A group of DC govies braved the cold to meet up at The Board Room last Wednesday. Though we didn't get a chance to explore their game collection (next time!), we had plenty of time to reminisce about PGSS and talk about the paths our lives took afterwards. Pictured attending are: Simon Krauss ('06, RLD '18), Aaron Brundage ('90), Ann Corsi ('86), Tyler Badgley ('07), Arthur "AJ" Argall ('06) (Left to Right)"
Thanks to Simon for organizing.

Luke Patton (PGSS 2018) speaking at HS assembly

posted Dec 21, 2018, 7:53 AM by Janet Hurwitz

When PGSS Campaign was invited to speak about PGSS at a student assembly at a high school in IU 1, Luke Patton (PGSS 2018) volunteered to drive the hour to share his experiences at PGSS and encourage students to apply. We thank Luke for his commitment to PGSS.

PGSS Seattle Meet-up

posted Dec 9, 2018, 2:36 PM by Janet Hurwitz   [ updated Dec 9, 2018, 2:45 PM ]

To kick off December, about a dozen PGSS alumni living in the greater Seattle area converged for fun conversation, PGSS updates, food, and beverages at Queen Anne Beerhall. The group spanned alumni from ’85 through ’13 and had fun connecting and talking about our current interests and catching up on the state of PGSS today. We also reminisced about CMU housing during PGSS, favorite classes, projects, and TA-led activities from our respective summers. We hope to get together again in the spring! (submitted by Garett Nell) We thank Garett (PGSS 1998 and Lisa Kong (PGSS 2013) for arranging this meet-up.

Benefit Concert 12/27/18 with Melissa Lessure (Assistant to PGSS Director)

posted Nov 27, 2018, 10:19 AM by Janet Hurwitz

There will be a benefit concert at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh on December 27 for the Tree of Life, and Sterling and Strings will be performing a piece. Melissa Lessure, Assistant to PGSS Director Barry Luokkala, is part of this group. You can get more information at:


Leigh Ann Larkin (Broadway's Little Night Music and Gypsy)

Chris Jamison (The Voice)

Sophie and Dalya Knapp (Broadway's Once and Les Miserables National Tour)

Billy (Broadway's Sideshow and Footloose) and Elizabeth Hartung

Donna Groom (The Skyliners)

Joe Grushecky (The Houserockers)

Higher Voice Children’s Choir

Sterling and Strings

Will Reynolds (Passion, Off Broadway's Daddy Long Legs)

Sara Jean Ford (Broadway's Phantom of the Opera and Cats)

Zachary Prince (Broadway's Honeymoon in Vegas, On A Clear Day..., Jersey Boys)

Lucy Anders (Something Rotten National Tour)

Erik Cavanaugh (America's Got Talent)

Milly The Band

Howard Elson (Fiddler on the Roof, Evita,  Chicago)

Kailee Graham (Charlotte's Web and SkippyJon Jones: Snow What?! National Tours)

Noah Budin (The Fantastiks, La Cage Aux Folles)

Charles May and the CAMA Ensemble 

Avi Diamond

Samantha Harris (Fiddler on the Roof, The Wedding Singer)

Gina Morgano (National Chorale at Lincoln Center)

Philadelphia Meet-up 11-11-18

posted Nov 13, 2018, 10:06 AM by Janet Hurwitz

At the Philadelphia reunion on Sunday, PGSS alumni from 1987 - 2018 met up at University of Pennsylvania. We played games like Mastermind and Uno as we discussed the differences between our PGSS years. While Ultimate in 1987 has been switched for tennis and running in 2018, the positive memories of  PGSS are consistent.  As we reminisced over past summers, we watched old videos from 2016, 2017, and 2018. It seems that Sweet Caroline and Country Road are RLD favorites! Thanks to Chloe Glynn and Lena Armstrong for the arrangements.

PGSS at JPL 11-12-18

posted Nov 13, 2018, 4:57 AM by Janet Hurwitz   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 12:07 PM ]

PGSS alumni held a reunion at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday 12 Nov. In attendance were Laura De Lorenzo (2005), Scott Cohen (1999), Aaron Hammond (2018!), Paul Tripodi (1982), Nualhathai Songsanand (1986), and JPLers Al Cangahuala (1982), Joe Simon (2002, Tutor 2005), Hui Ying Wen (2003), and Gary Doran (2005), along with family members and significant others. The event began with a tour of the lab, including scale models of the Voyager spacecraft and Curiosity rover, as well as a view of the assembly and testing of the Mars 2020 rover. We also spent some time in the JPL ‘Dark Room,’ where engineers will be monitoring the Mars landing of the InSight spacecraft in two weeks. Hui Ying gave a brief overview of the GRACE Follow-On mission and her work on it as well. From there we adjourned to a nearby Japanese steakhouse, where we were joined by Amy Zhou (2014), and shared experiences from PGSS, life in SoCal, and discussed the ongoing fundraiser. Kudos to Aaron Hammond and his family for traveling the furthest (from PA!) to join us today; we hope you all can join us for future reunions Alberto Cangahuala

London Meet-up

posted Oct 31, 2018, 10:13 AM by Janet Hurwitz

Several UK folks were not able to make the meet-up in London last week but Eric Britton (PGSS 1986) and Matt Weidner (PGSS 2013), who had just arrived in the UK for a masters at Cambridge University, got together and had some great discussion. Always good to find govies wherever you go.

Boston Reunion

posted Oct 9, 2018, 4:24 PM by Janet Hurwitz

Boston-area PGSS alumni met at 730 Tavern in Cambridge on Thursday evening. In attendance were Elena Glassman, Janice Lee, Peter Lu, William Woodford, and PGSS Campaign president David Reiley.  Remarkably, the group included four MIT PhDs and one Harvard PhD. The group came up with some excellent ideas for PGSS Campaign and PGSS.

PGSS San Francisco Reunion 9-18

posted Sep 24, 2018, 8:33 AM by Janet Hurwitz   [ updated Sep 24, 2018, 8:34 AM ]

Thanks to Jen Lloyd (PGSS 1984) for hosting the recent SF reunion. She sent this review, "The Bay Area Reunion was held in San Jose in the Analog Devices office.  We had about a dozen PGSS alums, ranging in PGSS attendance year from 1982 through 2003.   We were graced with the attendance of Paul Karol, faculty at CMU.  Paul is one of the professors who wrote the original proposal for PGSS many years ago in addition to teaching the nuclear chemistry elective. There was only one set from the same year (Jon Stahlman and Jeremy Hurwitz from 2003), however there were coincidentally quite a few MIT folks in the group, so there was a lot to talk about.  After delicious food and socializing, we took up playing some games brought to us by David Reiley.  We all ended up working on a large crossword puzzle with a twist - a multilayer puzzle in which intersecting letters could be mapped to other letters. Throughout the game, it was great to chat and compare notes about PGSS and our lives after!"

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