Your friendly neighborhood RGSs

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Hi Class of 2021!! Welcome to Princeton!

RGS is short for “Resident Graduate Student.” We are graduate students who live in the dorm alongside you and hopefully help make your experience at Princeton both more fun and more intellectually fulfilling. Most of us are PhD students from a diverse array of disciplines, from English to math to public policy to (in my case) atmospheric science. [FYI Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences is only a grad program here, but if you’re interested in this topic, Geosciences has a bunch of relevant classes and is a great department! Check it out.] In your first few weeks here you’ll have more resources thrown at you than you immediately know what to do with (a good problem, I assure you) but there are a few particular reasons why RGSs are special, and you should get to know us: 

1) PERSPECTIVE: We have all been through undergrad somewhat recently, and have a few years perspective on all the decisions you’ll be making over the next few years, but not so many years that we forget what it’s like. What major? How many/which extracurriculars? Research/internship over the summer or travel? Who to live with and where? Sleep vs work vs play? Come find us at dinner, or invite us to eat with you– we are more than happy to talk about any/all of this (that’s why we took the job!).

2) FOOD: We have our own kitchens in the dorms, and will periodically host evenings where we provide you with lots of delicious things to fuel your studying. Become friends with us and we will make whatever your heart desires (well within reason…foie gras might be a bit beyond my culinary talents haha).

3) COOL STUFF TO DO (academic, fun, and otherwise): A big part of our job is planning programming within the residential colleges. In my time as an RGS I’ve organized dinner discussions on gender issues in science, Jack-O-Lantern carving, TED-inspired talks by the RGSs on their research, trips to museums, Chinese dumpling making, outings to local yoga classes…If you have a great idea for some activity for the college, let us know and we would likely love to help make it happen.

4) INTELLECTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT: If there’s one thing that unites PhD students, it’s our passion for research. But part of research is dealing with its ups and downs. If you’re super excited about your quantum mechanics or East Asian Art class, we’d love to nerd out with you, and share some of what we work on too! But if you’re just not feeling inspired by your classes come talk with us too. Figuring out what motivates you is a journey, and we are happy to help lend an ear or give a pep talk while you traverse down yours.

Excited to meet many of you when you get here!

Author Profile

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Jane Wilson Baldwin, Ph.D. '17
Resident Graduate Student

I was born in the Big Apple, but grew up in suburban Weston, CT and hyper-urban Tokyo, Japan, where I lived from the age of 7 to 12. I went to Harvard for college, where I pursued many interests starting with E’s—Earth and Planetary Science, East Asian Studies, Environmental Policy. Following my junior year, I took a one-year hiatus from undergraduate study to work as a fashion model abroad in Athens, Milan, Tokyo, and New York City. I am now a 5th year PhD student in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program at Princeton, where I study the dynamics of earth’s climate. During the day I am usually immersed in computer code and scientific papers at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at Forrestal Campus—a government-funded lab that develops mathematical models of the climate system. I also expore the environmental policy implications of my work via a fellowship with Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. In my non-science time, I was an active ballet and modern dancer, but now I focus on yoga, fitness, skiing, and scuba diving. I also enjoy seeing art exhibits, practicing my Mandarin Chinese, and perfecting gluten-free baking.

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