Enormous bubbles sparkled with rainbow streaks in the sun as they floated off and burst in a soapy shower at the annual EEB spring picnic. Dozens of graduate students, faculty, postdocs, staff and their families and friends (furry and not so much) celebrated another successful academic year together at Island Park in Ann Arbor along the Huron River.

This year, a local Ann Arbor high school student jazz band entertained the crowd with their lively music. The foursome was led by Community High School student trumpeter Clarence Williams. His Community and Pioneer High School friends played saxophone, bass and guitar.

Besides sharing a scrumptious meal and mingling together, picnickers played yard games such as soccer, bean bag toss and Frisbee and created gigantic bubbles (thanks to Charles Davey for bringing this crowd-pleasing activity). It wouldn’t be springtime without the youngsters and sure enough, babies, toddlers, puppies and goslings made their requisite and adorable appearances.

EEB Professor and Chair Diarmaid Ó Foighil welcomed new babies and announced student awards, including the coveted best paper award, which went to Chuan Li for her Science paper, “The fitness landscape of a tRNA gene.” Web news about the paper is forthcoming with further information.

Congratulations to all and special thanks to the social committee for their efforts in creating an all-around fun affair. The social committee includes: Robyn Burnham, Mackenzie Caple, Michael Ehnis, Laura Eidietis, Jill Myers. Additionally, thanks to Carol Solomon for help organizing, to Nancy Smith for picking up the delicious cake, to Ó Foighil for finding the band and to everyone who pitched in to set up and clean up, especially Nagarjun Vijay.

And, if you remember the lovely photo on the picnic invitation, Mackenzie Caple took it of the blooming magnolia trees that were taken down to make way for the new Biological Sciences Building. Happy spring! 

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