2015 New Fellow Orientation

July 8, 2015 - July 09, 2015

2014 Hertz Fellows at Summer Retreat


Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

My Experience in the Hertz Community

By: Gene Katsevich

This summer, I had the privilege of participating in the 2014 Hertz New Fellow Orientation, which took place in beautiful Sonoma, California. To me, the Orientation was a warm welcome into the Hertz family. This two-day event balanced informative presentations about the Fellowship and the Foundation with ample unstructured time to get to know the other Hertz fellows and Foundation staff. I came into the orientation as a slightly intimidated new Fellow not knowing what to expect, and I came out knowing that I have the support of the dedicated Hertz staff and am part of a unique network of Fellows.

One of my first experiences at the Orientation was meeting the Hertz staff, which felt a bit like discovering a group of caring relatives who are devoted to my success and well-being as a graduate student. I learned during the course of the Orientation that in addition to providing excellent funding, the Foundation also offers a mentorship program to guide Fellows through their graduate experiences. I realized that whenever I need, the Foundation will help me take full advantage of the freedoms and privileges of the Hertz Fellowship. In addition, I was delighted to learn that the Foundation helps Fellows develop professional and social bonds through workshops, retreats, and many smaller Hertz events across the country.

A few older Hertz Fellows came to the New Fellow Orientation to share their stories with us. These illustrated that Hertz Fellows really have the freedom to forge their own paths through graduate school. It was inspiring to hear how they did not allow themselves to be constrained by traditional boundaries and designed research projects according to their own intellectual curiosity. I also realized that even Hertz Fellows sometimes go through difficult times in their studies, and that in those situations the Foundation encourages open communication and does everything it can to help.

Meeting the other 2014 Hertz Fellows was another highlight of the New Fellow Orientation. We went for a nice hike in Annadel State Park and spent some down time in the evening together. I greatly enjoyed the company of the other Fellows; I found that we have a lot in common, academically and otherwise. The Orientation helped ease me into the community of Fellows, who I look forward to keeping in touch with through the many Hertz Foundation events.

Gene Katsevich
Hertz Fellow 2014
Stanford University