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

Ramirez, Julio via FUN_Mail fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org
Fri Aug 29 15:35:39 EDT 2014


Terrific idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

Julio

From: Megan Hagenauer [mailto:hagenaue at umich.edu]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 2:49 PM
To: Michael Loose
Cc: Ramirez, Julio; FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org; Calin-Jageman, Robert
Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] FW: FW: FUN Newsletter - President's Message and Conversation

Thank you so much for initiating this conversation!


In response to Ian's question:

"the backgrounds that most of us share prevent us from having
much, if any, first hand experience outside of our own career experiences... How can
we thoughtfully guide our students down unfamiliar roads most of us have
never traveled?"


Something that I have discovered works well:

Instead of having my students fill out an interests notecard on the first day of class, I have them create a LinkedIn profile (a professional networking website) and link to me as well as their classmates. Then, as the semester progresses, I encourage them to browse my LinkedIn contacts (which now includes hundreds of alumni!), see what careers are out there, and then let me know if they would like to be introduced to anyone.

When a student asks to be introduced to one of my professional contacts, I suggest a set of questions for them to ask that includes quality of life questions like:
"Are you happy in your current career?  If you could go back in time, would you do it again?"
"What is the work/life balance like in your career? Do you feel like your career is compatible with having children?"
"How much does your career determine where you live?"

At the same time, I encourage them to job shadow as much as possible before choosing a particular career.

When students meet with me in person, I let them know about my personal reservations regarding careers in academia, law(!!!), and medicine (e.g., the extremely high rate of depression amongst medical residents!), as well as deep concerns I have regarding attending an expensive master's program with the intention of just bolstering grades for applying to medical school. In particular, I try to make sure that the students pursuing these career paths do so because it is truly what they want and not simply because *they don't know what else is out there*, they are afraid of losing momentum if they take time off from school to try out other careers (!), or because their parents are pushing them towards a particular career (!!!).
At the same time, I let them know that this is just my perspective and encourage them to talk to people in their field of choice via LinkedIn.

Overall, the students seem quite thankful for this approach. Many times the alumni help them find internships, give advice regarding applications for companies and graduate schools, and even help them find housing in new cities. :)

Best wishes,
Megan Hagenauer


By the way: If you would like to start using this approach but feel like your LinkedIn network is too small to make it effective, feel free to link to me. Perhaps if many FUN members get involved we can all expand the networks available to our students!

(The career centers at many schools also have alumni networks available.)







On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM, Michael Loose via FUN_Mail <fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>> wrote:
SFN is running a workshop prior to the meeting this year that is focused on
a science writing career, one option besides the PhD route.  Undergrads can
apply for funding.

*Apply for the Science Journalism Student Award*
SfN wants to help two outstanding science journalism students attend
Neuroscience
2014
<http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/45254598:27660896453:m:1:1236686905:BFE61F99617247F9B4E60797A1677B73:r>.
Are you a current or recent undergraduate or graduate student who is
passionate about science journalism? Are you interested in pursuing a
science writing career? Apply today and you could win complimentary meeting
registration, four nights’ lodging in Washington, DC, and $750.
Applications are due October 10. Learn more and apply today
<http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/45254599:27660896453:m:1:1236686905:BFE61F99617247F9B4E60797A1677B73:r>
.

Mike Loose
Professor of Neuroscience
Oberlin College

On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM, Ramirez, Julio via FUN_Mail <
fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>> wrote:

> 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><tel: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><mailto: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><mailto: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><mailto:
<mailto:%0b>> 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><mailto:
<mailto:%0b>> 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><mailto: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>
> <mailto: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<tel:765%2F361-6286>
>
> 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><mailto:rcalinjageman at dom.edu<mailto:rcalinjageman at dom.edu>>> wrote:
>
> From: Fox, Cecilia [mailto:foxc at moravian.edu<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><mailto: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<tel:610-861-1426>
> cfox at moravian.edu<mailto:cfox at moravian.edu><mailto:cfox at moravian.edu<mailto: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<mailto: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><tel:520-621-6626<tel:520-621-6626>>
> fax: 520-621-8282<tel:520-621-8282><tel: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<mailto: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<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<mailto:rosenbo at earlham.edu>><mailto:
> rosenbo at earlham.edu<mailto:rosenbo at earlham.edu>>
>
>
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>
> --
>
> *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<tel:%28309%29%20794-7243>
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--
Megan Hastings Hagenauer, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Molecular, Behavioral Neuroscience Institute
Instructor in the Department of Psychology
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor




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