help launch graduate students
At an oak-shaded, rustic conference center just south of Chapel Hill, 36 N.C. State University doctoral candidates two apiece from 18 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departments gathered recently to cap their graduate school experiences and learn a little more.
They were meeting at the annual Professional Development Workshop. The three-day program, originally initiated by College Dean James L. Oblinger to provide students with an edge in the professional marketplace, is in its 16th year.
And, says Marcy Bullock, the Colleges director of career services, it works.
We hear students tell us that this is the highlight of their time in graduate school, she says, adding that the workshop addresses potential needs that are not typically part of graduate students academic curricula.
The workshop kicked off with an alumni panel, student sketches of their experiences and expectations, and a wine and cheese social. An overview was offered by Paul Zorner, formerly a senior scientist for Dow Chemical Co., now with the company CellFor, which clones elite lines of conifers. On the second day, students participated in Myers-Brigg Personality Type Indicator tests and a stress management session. There followed sessions on scientific ethics, interfacing science and the public, and balancing family and career. Afterward, Dean Oblinger met with the group in a fireside chat format.
The third days workshops covered grant proposal writing, employer expectations, and college teaching, before University of North Carolina president emeritus William Friday offered closing remarks on True Success in Todays World.
members served on various panels during the three-day session, including
Dr. Ken Esbenshade, associate dean and academic
programs director; Dr. Stephanie Curtis, Genetics
Department head; Dr. Margo Daub, Botany
Department head; Mike Gray, Communications
Services Department head; and Dr. Brian Farkas, Food