[FUN_Mail] FW: FW: FUN Newsletter - President's Message and Conversation

Ramirez, Julio via FUN_Mail fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org
Tue Aug 5 11:43:27 EDT 2014


Thanks for the great information, Deanne.

SOMAS used to run grad student panels in conjunction with Michael Zigmond and Beth Fisher's Survival Skills workshops right before SfN meeting. Michael and Beth ran career panels during same event. Well attended and very useful information on careers beyond the bench.

We can try to resurrect these panels as FUN or we can work with Professional Development Committee of SfN to see if there might be interest in doing so during the meeting (if not done already).

Best

Julio

Sent from my iPhone (please pardon typos)

Julio J. Ramirez, Ph.D.
R. Stuart Dickson Professor
Director, Neuroscience Program
co-Director, Neuroscience Scholars Program
     Society for Neuroscience
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience Program
Box 7017; Watson Building
Davidson College
Davidson, NC 28035

Voice: 704-894-2888<tel:704-894-2888>

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny...”
― Isaac Asimov

On Aug 5, 2014, at 10:42 AM, "Buffalari, Deanne M via FUN_Mail" <fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>> wrote:

Hi all,

I thought this link might be useful for some- there is an entire conference devoted to these sorts of issues for PhD level students and postdocs:

http://www.beyondacademia.org/conference/

While the information provided might not be directly relevant to undergraduates, just scanning the topic list provides excellent perspective on how a PhD in Neuroscience can prepare students for a remarkably diverse set of careers.

More formally, it might be beneficial to contact the conference organizers and/or presenters to gather information regarding which of these career paths may be accessible without a PhD, as well as what sorts of training would be beneficial in terms of the undergraduate framework that would prepare students well for such endeavors.  Maybe a future FUN meeting could contain a session regarding these types of career paths and best training practices with some of these speakers?

Deanne Buffalari, Ph.D
Westminster College
319 S Market St
New Wilmington, PA
dmbuffalari at gmail.com<mailto:dmbuffalari at gmail.com>


________________________________________
From: FUN_Mail [fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org>] On Behalf Of Harrington, Ian via FUN_Mail [fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>]
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 9:19 AM
To: Karen Gunther
Cc: FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>; Calin-Jageman, Robert
Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] FW: FW: FUN Newsletter - President's Message and        Conversation

Hi Everyone,


As great as the Ithaca workshop was I do wish we had had some more formal
time to deal as a group with the issues raised in Jeff’s editorial and in
the comments that followed. From a number of smaller conversations it was
clear that many of us are concerned about how we should be advising our
undergraduate neuroscience majors about their post-graduation plans, and
the expectations we should be fostering at the undergraduate and graduate
levels about what the future holds for those who hope to obtain a PhD in
neuroscience or a related field.


I have no idea how the graduate system should be transformed, but I have
more pressing concerns. Whatever the realities of the tenure-track
pipeline, now and in the future, for those of us whose primary
responsibility is undergraduate neuroscience education, when we establish
admission to a PhD program in the neurosciences as *the* benchmark for
student success, we do so at the detriment of the vast majority of our
students, including some of those who will actually achieve that benchmark.
[As a venture, that seems about as sustainable as running an ice cream
store whose only flavor is mint chocolate chip. Sure, some people will be
thrilled but a lot of others are going to be really disappointed and still
others will only later (if never) find out that there were other flavors
they would have preferred.]


Of course our programs should prepare students for admission to graduate
school, but they should do more. Most importantly, this “more” should not
just be found by accident and out of desperation by those who “failed” to
get into a PhD program, and these “alternatives” should not always engender
feelings of shame in the student or disappointment in the mentor.


What I think a lot of us will need help with, however, is in understanding
where the best opportunities are for these other successes given our
students’ skills and knowledge. As I said at the workshop, perhaps
clumsily, the backgrounds that most of us share prevent us from having
much, if any, first hand experience outside of our own career experiences.
I know as much about what it’s like to have a career in industry, science
writing, or law as I do about being left handed (which I am not). How can
we thoughtfully guide our students down unfamiliar roads most of us have
never traveled?


Open to suggestions,

Ian


On Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 10:18 AM, Karen Gunther <guntherk at wabash.edu<mailto:guntherk at wabash.edu>> wrote:

One point that hasn't been brought up yet is our ability to increase
scientific literacy in our students, which might be even more important in
students who don't end up as professional scientists - too little of the US
population understands and "believes in" science - we need more
knowledgeable people out there spreading the word.

Related to increasing scientific literacy, and Michael's point about
taking some time away from content to teach more life skills (critical
thinking skills, etc.), and Cecelia's point about more advocacy, I have
been thinking of adding a new exercise next time I teach intro
neuroscience, having my students write a letter of advocacy to politicians
expressing concern for funding in neuroscience and the behavioral sciences
(since our neuroscience courses are currently housed in the psychology
department).  I plan to invite a Rhetoric faculty member to speak to the
class about writing persuasive statements.  I will not require the students
to actually send in their letters, but they can if they wish.  Any that I
find particularly strong, I will encourage to be sent in.

- Karen

*******************************
Dr. Karen L.  Gunther, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
Wabash College
Baxter 322 (Hays 002 for the summer)
301 W. Wabash Ave.
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
765/361-6286

Sent from my iPad that I won in the WBAA Purdue NPR fund drive drawing!  :)

On Jun 30, 2014, at 9:29 AM, "Calin-Jageman, Robert" <
rcalinjageman at dom.edu<mailto:rcalinjageman at dom.edu>> wrote:

From: Fox, Cecilia [mailto:foxc at moravian.edu]
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:45
To: Hildebrand, John G - (jhildebr)
Cc: FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] FW: FUN Newsletter - President's Message and
Conversation

Many thanks to all of you for this interesting series of comments.  As
neuroscience professors at liberal arts institutions, we have the
opportunity to cross many disciplines when teaching concepts related to the
brain and behavior.   In fact, I encourage my majors to not only study
neuroscience, but to double major or minor in another area of interest.  Of
course, some like to stay within their comfort zone of the sciences
(Chemistry or Physics) but recently, a larger number of students are also
taking clusters of courses in photography, ethics, music, business and so
on, since they want to have a breadth of experiences that may serve them
well in their future career path.

In advising these students, many have aspirations of attending medical
or graduate school.  As we all know, some will succeed and some will not.
As their academic advisor, I have always viewed my role as one that
encourages these aspirations but provides realistic advice.  I ensure every
major has a "plan B" should their first choice not be realized upon
graduation from college.   It has been essential to work with our Career
Center to help identify particular marketable skill sets in our students.
As was mentioned earlier, the development of critical and creative
thinking skills are important for the future success of our majors.  In
fact, as technology advances, we may actually be training our students for
careers that do not even exist right now!

We need to be proactive and develop skill sets in our students that will
serve them well beyond areas in scientific disciplines (communication,
computer science, business, social justice, etc).   Some of my majors who
have gone on to pursue graduate degrees are engaged in professions ranging
from lobbyists to researchers to art directors.   In my view, the "tenured
track PhD professor" may easily be considered the "alternative" career
rather than the norm.

But, if we are to continue training future neuroscientists, it is also
our responsibility to serve as advocates for our cause.  We need to contact
our local political representatives to express the importance of educating
this next generation of physicians, scientists and educators.  As an
organization, we need to ensure that funding for NSF and NIH remains strong
rather than dwindles....as has been the case in recent years.  We can
engage our local SfN chapters in this effort to provide a consistent and
cohesive message.  As someone who serves on the SfN Governance and Public
Affairs committee, I have seen the value of this work first hand.  The key
is to not only share our voices, but those of our undergraduates.  When
organized, they can provide the heart and soul of this message as it
relates to the future of our country's well being and prosperity.

Kind regards,
Cecilia Fox

Cecilia M. Fox, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Director of the Neuroscience Program
President of the Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience Chapter
Moravian College
1200 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
610-861-1426
cfox at moravian.edu<mailto:cfox at moravian.edu><mailto:cfox at moravian.edu>

On Sat, Jun 28, 2014 at 5:13 PM, Hildebrand, John G - (jhildebr) <
jhildebr at email.arizona.edu<mailto:jhildebr at email.arizona.edu><mailto:jhildebr at email.arizona.edu>> wrote:


I heartily endorse the message (below) from Bob Rosenberg. It's right on
target in every respect! Thanks for posting it, Bob!

***************************************************************
John G. Hildebrand, Ph.D.
Regents Professor and Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of
Sciences
Department of Neuroscience
University of Arizona PO Box 210077
1040 East 4th St.
Tucson  AZ  85721-0077
USA
tel: 520-621-6626<tel:520-621-6626>
fax: 520-621-8282<tel:520-621-8282>
email: <jhildebr at email.arizona.edu<mailto:jhildebr at email.arizona.edu><mailto:jhildebr at email.arizona.edu>>
Website: http://neurosci.arizona.edu/
****************************************************************


-----Original Message-----
From: FUN_Mail [mailto:fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:
fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org>>] On Behalf Of Bob Rosenberg
Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2014 9:38 AM
To: FUN Mail
Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] FUN Newsletter - President's Message and
Conversation

>From my perspective, having been a professor at a research-intensive
medical/graduate school (UNC-Chapel Hill) and now a professor at a liberal
arts college (Earlham College), I have some disagreements with Jeff.

1. There are no "alternative" career paths anymore. Graduate students
understand from very early on, i.e in their first year, that their career
path is unlikely to lead to a tenure-track position. All career options
(e.g. research positions in academia or industry, R&D in any commercial
setting, grants management, clinical research management, science writing
and editing, working for professional organizations) are considered as
options from early on in grad school. All of them are considered legitimate
by most students and their professors. Many professors still hope their
students will become their clones, but most are realistic that that's
unlikely. Maybe students at Stanford and Harvard are deluded into thinking
they can be a tenured professor if they want, but at the grad programs I
was affiliated with in Chapel Hill, students knew the score. Most of them
are using their PhD very productively even if a small percentage are
tenure-track professors.

2. Undergraduate education is not vocational education, it's
life-enriching education. We can hope that neuroscience students will
pursue neuroscience after they graduate, but we mustn't be disappointed if
they follow other paths that aren't in science at all, and we mustn't think
of those paths as failures. Students become neuroscience majors because at
this point in their lives they're passionate about learning about the brain
and behavior, and that should be reason enough. Their lives will be better
for following that passion even if they don't pursue it past the BA or BS.
If they use the skills that they learn as neuroscience majors -- thinking
critically, being able to communicate their thoughts, understanding complex
ideas and data -- in any career, their education was worth the effort. Even
if they become real estate agents, bartenders, or stay-home parents, their
college education enriches their lives.

3. We must be honest with students who express an interest in graduate
school about the possible career paths, and we can't be too sanguine about
their chances getting onto and then surviving the tenure track, but I think
it would be a mistake to discourage students from following their passion
for further education. Unless we actively delude students into thinking
that the tenure track is a likely outcome, we are not part of the problem.
The problem is when students, both graduate and undergraduate, are deluded
into having unrealistic goals about academic career paths. As long as we
don't do that, there is no major problem.

Bob Rosenberg
Professor of Biology
Earlham College
801 National Road West, Drawer 142
Richmond, IN 47374

office: (765) 983-1464
fax: (765) 983-1497
email: rosenbo at earlham.edu<mailto:rosenbo at earlham.edu><mailto:rosenbo at earlham.edu>


MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org><mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org><mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG

MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG




--

*Ian A. Harrington, Ph.D.*

Augustana College, Psychology

Director, Program in Neuroscience

639 38th St., Rock Island, IL 61201

011 Evald Hall, (309) 794-7243
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
_______________________________________________
--remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --

FUN_Mail mailing list
FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG



More information about the FUN_Mail mailing list