2022 Department Retreat

Reunite, Relax, Refresh

The 2022 Department of Biostatistics Retreat 

Friday, November 11

Nelson Andrews Leadership Center, 3088 Smith Springs Road, Nashville, TN 37013

Join your teammates and colleagues at the VUMC Department of Biostatistics’ first in-person retreat since 2019! The theme is Reunite, Relax, Refresh.

    • A priority of this retreat is giving you opportunities to connect with other members of the department, many of whom you may not have seen in person recently and some whom you'll be meeting for the first time.  
    • This year's retreat has been designed with an emphasis on fun and interaction, with speeches and lectures kept to a minimum in favor of social activities. 
    • We hope the day will also provide enough of a break from your everyday routines so that you can go back to them recharged, with fresh perspectives and new energy. 
  • Times and details are tentative. We will indicate when they are confirmed.

    time (CST) session/topic speakers/facilitators notes
    8:30–9:00 a.m. Breakfast   Food provided by the department
    9:00–9:30 a.m. Welcome & Plans for the Day/Year/Decade Cindy Chen & Yu Shyr  
    9:30–11:00 a.m. Introductions, Icebreakers, and Interactions    
    11:00 a.m.–noon Wellness    
    noon–12:30 p.m. Group portraits Susan Urmy, photographer; Peg Duthie, coordinator See below for list of groups to be photographed
    12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch   Boxed meals provided by the department
    1:30–2:45 p.m. Group activities (4 options)   Descriptions to come
    2:45–3:00 p.m. Wrap-up    

    Throughout the day: prize drawings • Look Book on display

    Groups and teams may arrange additional activities (such as Thursday or Friday night dinner/entertainment) in conjunction with the retreat. Please consult your leader and Jena Altstatt prior to making travel reservations.

  • Cindy Chen, chair

    Jena Altstatt, primary administrative contact

    Cole Beck, Mario Davidson, Tan Ding, Alese Halvorson, Jamie Joseph, Yaomin Xu, Alex Zhao


  • How should I prepare for the retreat? 

    • We need you to RSVP on Eventbrite no later than 10-21-2022 so that we can finalize meals and other logistics. 
    • Please submit/update information and images for the Look Book. (Thanks to everyone who responded to previous calls—Peg will post a draft by early October, and the full first edition will be on display and circulated at the retreat.) 

    Who will be at the retreat?
    All current department members are strongly encouraged to attend: primary, secondary, and adjunct faculty members; administrative, analytical, and IT staff; postdocs, students, and other trainees.

    Will we be going over the strategic plan, research directions, etc.? 
    These topics will be covered in depth at future gatherings, particularly in conjunction with the department's 20th anniversary in 2023. This retreat is all about team-building and strengthening connections among us. 

    What should I wear? 
    Comfortable business casual. A VUMC photographer will be shooting group portraits for the department website and other publications, so please wear something appropriately professional for those, but the day's agenda will also include a lot of sitting and standing and moving around. 

    Will there be food? 
    Breakfast and lunch will be served, and snacks and drinks/coffee will be available throughout. 

    What accommodations will you make for food allergies/intolerances? 
    Please let us know about them when you RSVP, especially if they are severe and zero-contamination arrangements need to be made.  

    I live out of state—what should I do? 
    The department will cover travel expenses incurred by your attendance at the retreat, including hotel lodging for one night (checking in Thursday, November 10). We will coordinate your flight and local transportation as well. You can seek reimbursement for meals not provided at the retreat. Please let Jena Altstatt know if you are not local so that she can work directly with you on your travel arrangements.

    I’d like to carpool—are there options? 
    We’re collecting the names of those interested in carpooling via this worksheet (to enter your information, click the down arrow next to the "Open" drop-down button at the top, and select Microsoft Excel Online to edit).

    I am unable to stay the entire time—may I leave early? 
    We’d like for everyone to attend the entire retreat, but the activities during the last hour were scheduled to accommodate unavoidable early departures. If this is your situation, please let us know when you RSVP so we can best plan.

  • Final order & list TBD

    1. Full department

    2. All faculty & staff

    3. All faculty

    4. Primary faculty

    5. All staff

    6. Analytical staff

    7. IT staff

    8. Full graduate program (students, leaders, advisors, etc.)

    9. PhD students

    10. MS students