Skip to main content
Explore URMC

Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - February 11-15, 2019

Opportunities to Explore - February 11-15, 2019

Vol 5, Issue 7 | Trainee News

A newsletter for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees |@UR_SMD_CPD|@TraceyBaas

| CPD & GEPA Events Calendar | URBEST Program Calendar

(*) Designates Onsite Events at URMC or River Campus

OTE Online

Opportunities to Explore is also available online. To view the web version, please visit The web version is optimized for viewing on tablets and smart phones.

SMD Ombudspersons for Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Appointees, and Preparatory Program Trainees

While graduate, postdoctoral, and pre-graduate study are exciting and intellectually stimulating times in a trainee’s career, occasionally problems arise. There are many people to whom trainees can turn for advice when facing problems: faculty advisor(s), committee members, graduate program director, department chair, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. However, sometimes trainees may feel unable to approach any of these people for help, and this is when a trainee should turn to the Ombudsperson.

There are three ombudspersons available:

Bob Freeman, Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology
Medical Center room 4-6718
Phone: 585-273-4893

Krystel Huxlin, Professor of Ophthalmology
Medical Center room G-3186
Phone: 585-275-5495

Chris Seplaki, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences
Saunders Research Building Room 3.238
Phone: 585-273-1549

Each of these ombudspersons is a faculty member who can provide confidential, neutral, independent, and informal advice to help trainees address their concerns.

The Ombudspersons provide a resource for and information about institutional policies, act as facilitators to help trainees resolve their problems and connecting trainees with those who can help, accompany the trainee in discussions of problems or issues with faculty or administrators, and act as an informal mediator between the trainee and faculty or administrators. The Ombudspersons can also help to effect positive change by providing feedback on patterns of problems and complaints to appropriate administrators. Trainees can contact any of the three Ombudspersons for general questions. Discussions with the Ombudspersons can be through phone or in-person.

Meet The Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs Team

Sharon McCullough, Director, Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs

Sharon McCulloughSharon serves as deputy to Dean Libby and directs the day-to-day operations and staff in the office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA).

While students and postdocs are welcome to meet with Sharon to discuss any topic, trainees typically meet with Sharon to discuss Center for Professional Development initiatives, trainee organization matters (including the Graduate Student Society and Postdoctoral Association), postdoctoral policies/appointments and related concerns, and student HR/payroll matters. To request a meeting with Sharon, please contact Steve Naum at (585) 273-4650 or email Stephen Naum to request an appointment with Sharon.

This Week

(*) URBEST: Sharing Science In a Social World

Monday, February 11 | 12:00 pm-1:00 pm | Hawkins Room (1-7438), URMC
Emily Boynton and Molly Miles from UMRC’s Department of Public Relations and Communications will discuss how the Medical Center and other academic institutions are sharing science in the social world we live in. They will provide examples of different types of visuals and videos that get great engagement on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. URBEST and The Public Relations and Communications team will accept original visuals and videos from students and trainees that highlight UR innovation and research until February 14. Three prizes will be awarded for best science storytelling, and the winning pieces will be featured on the UR Medicine Facebook page (URMC’s flagship social media page) and URBEST blog. Healthy Trash Plates (from will be provided! Please register at:

(*) Graduate Students Raising Families Hosts: An Open Q&A Panel Discussion

Tuesday, February 12 | 10:00 am-11:00 am | Natapow Conference Room (1-9545), URMC
Raising a family in grad school & early career: What is it ACTUALLY like? Need not be a parent to attend! Unique perspectives from local scientists with firsthand experience: Elizabeth Blecher & Jules Rhoo, PhD Candidates; Dr. Jacques Robert, Professor; Dr. Sarina Bellows, Analytical Chemist at ThermoFisher; and Dr. Elaine Smolock, CPD. Coffee, tea & snacks provided!

(*) How to Navigate and Work the Career Expo!

Tuesday, February 12 | 12:00 pm-1:00pm | Dewey Hall, Greene Center Conference Room 4-200, URMC
Never been to a career expo and not sure what to expect or do?! Need tips for making a great first impression and making connections with potential employers? Join us for “How to Navigate and Work the Career Expo!” on Tuesday February 12th from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Greene Center, 4-200 Dewey Hall

In this interactive session, we will discuss insight and tips for what to expect at the Spring Career Expo on Wednesday, February 13th 2019 as well as: How attending the expo can help you explore what you might like to do and make better decisions; What to say to employers (whether or not they have internships or jobs available for you) and how to craft your “elevator pitch” ; Learn basic networking etiquette for any event and how to start making meaningful connections to help you in your career development whether you’re just getting started or ready to land a great internship or full-time position! FREE PIZZA for all attendees will be provided! Don’t miss this chance to build your confidence to attend the expo (as well as future employer events), explore your options, and be more prepared!

(*) The Regeneron Way: Reinvent Invention

Tuesday, February 12 | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | Dewey Hall, 2-110D
Come interact with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc! They will be on campus to share insight into their company, unique culture, potential career paths, and internship/ co-op opportunities. The target audience for this experience includes students pursuing their bachelors, masters and PhD degrees.. We look for students in the following major categories: Life Sciences, Engineering, Computer Science or related. We encourage you to come meet us!

(*) Managing Your Scholarly Identity

Wednesday, February 13 | 11:30 am-1:30 pm | 2-7544, URMC
Learn how to manage your scholarly identity and to connect with colleagues, discover collaborators, manage research data, find funders, and expose your work to new audiences. Complimentary lunch provided. Register for this event at this link. For more information, please contact Adele Coelho at .

(*) University of Rochester 2019 Spring Career Expo

Wednesday, February 13 | 11:00 am-2:00 pm | Frederick Douglas Building, River Campus
Over 50 employers from various industries will be in attendance. The Gwen M. Greene Center invites you to our 2019 Spring Career Expo! Explore entry-level and internship opportunities with companies that are looking to recruit University of Rochester undergraduate and graduate students. Employers will be on-site from industries including advertising, banking, engineering, finance, healthcare, marketing, and many more! Find the complete list on Handshake at

BioCareers presents: Job Search: “Building a Positive On-line personal brand Using LinkedIn, Blogs, and other Social Media Tools”

Wednesday, February 13 | 1:00 pm-2:00 pm | Online Webinar
In this seminar, Propel Careers provides guidance for how to build and develop a professional on‐line personal brand using sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. The seminar will dive deep into Functionality of LinkedIn and how to customize a profile. Propel will discuss the importance of highlighting your background and experiences and ways to develop thought leadership to compliment your resume. Propel will discuss how organizations utilize these tools to identify talent for open positions. Propel will also discuss ways to leverage these tools to identify career opportunities. Register for this webinar online at this link.

(*) Environment Health Science Center (EHSC) Seminar Series: Dr. Tamarra James Todd

Thursday, February 14 | 11:00 am-12:00 pm | EHSC Conference Room (4-8820), URMC
Dr. James-Todd will present a seminar as part of the Environmental Health Sciences Center Seminar Series entitled:  Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Women's Health:  A translational epidemiological approach to environmental reproductive health.

(*) Students 2 Startups

Friday, February 15 | 3:30pm-5:00pm | Schlegel Hall 207, River Campus
Interested in a gig or internship at Rochester-based venture? Wondered what’s going on in the startup community in Rochester? The University of Rochester’s Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and Greene Center for Career Education & Connections invite you to an evening of innovation and networking. Companies and entrepreneurs will share their venture in a 3-5 minute pitch to student entrepreneurs. For additional information on this event, please contact Kathy Driscoll at .

Upcoming Events

(*) URBEST Making a Name for Yourself

Tuesday, February 19 | 10:00 am-11:00 am | CEL 2-7520, URMC
Rebecca Crocker, Creative Marketing Program Manager at University of Rochester, will share ideas and discuss ways to create a positive professional image of yourself as a scientist through social interactions and social media.

(*) Sponsored by CETL, CPD, and URBEST: Page-Turners for Teaching

Wednesday, February 20 (bi-weekly) | 10:00 am-11:00 am | 1-6200D Miner Classroom, URMC
Curious about how best to teach and train others? Considering an academic career? Lacking opportunities or time to teach as a busy researcher? Looking for ways to keep your CV up-to-date on teaching even if you are not currently doing it? Join “Page Turners For Teaching,” a bi-weekly discussion group offered through a collaboration between the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), Center for Professional Development (CPD), and URBEST for grad students, medical students, postdocs, and residents interested in exploring their teaching practice with like-minded colleagues! Get a FREE copy of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us to discuss this spring! Register to reserve your free book. For questions about this event, please contact Kyle Trenshaw at

(*) What are you going to do with your PhD? (Career Planning for early stage doctoral students)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | 12:00 pm-1:00 pm | 2-7536, URMC
Sponsored by The Center for Professional Development (CPD)

Planning for the future is something that many individuals will put off until it is time to make a decision. Sometimes those decisions can be difficult and not what we were hoping to achieve. This workshop will look at resources and ways to help you in planning for the future and how to navigate the career planning process. Item’s to be discussed include… how to utilize your IDP in your career planning, resources available through the University of Rochester, and strategies on developing a plan to make the career planning process manageable during your graduate school experience. 

(*) Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) Presents...Using Functional Genomics to Explore the Interface Between Viruses and Hosts

Wednesday, February 20 | 2:00 pm | K-307 (3-6408), URMC
Sara Cherry, Ph.D. - Professor of Microbiology; Scientific Director, High-throughput Screening Core; Director, Program for Chemogenomic Discovery University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Host: Dr. Lynne Maquat

(*) Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) Presents...Steering Through the Ups and Downs of Research Science

Thursday, February 21 | 3:00 pm | Class of ’62 Auditorium (G-9425), URMC
Sara Cherry, Ph.D. - Professor of Microbiology; Scientific Director, High-throughput Screening Core; Director, Program for Chemogenomic Discovery University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Host: Dr. Lynne Maquat

(*) URBEST The Grand Gesture

Monday, February 25 | 10:00 am-12:00 pm | Louise Slaughter Conference Room (1-9555)
We’re providing the Grand Gesture by reserving a room and providing hot coffee and snacks to all graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff who would like to attend. You provide Deep Work, getting those large important tasks and projects accomplished. No lectures, no discussion, just quiet, coffee and 2 hours of Deep Work. What you focus on is completely up to you! If you want to learn more, read Deep Work by Cal Newport or watch this summary on his book: at this link.

(*) Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) @UR presents “Teaching with Technology”

Thursday, February 28 | 12:45pm-2:30 pm | 2-7545, URMC
Sponsored by The Center for Professional Development (CPD) and Center for Excellence in Teaching (CETL)

Technology can help us improve teaching effectiveness and student learning. Digital tools such as blogs, wikis, collaborative spaces, social media and mobile applications, are increasingly being used in the college classroom to advance learning. Join a CIRTL@UR viewing party of 'Teaching with Technology' workshop, at which some of these tools will be introduced and unpacked. Registration is not required, but to be guaranteed a seat, please register at . For more information, please contact  

The Graduate Student Society hosts…A Daytrip to Corning Museum of Glass

Saturday, March 2 | 8:30am-5:30 pm | Corning Museum of Glass
Ticket includes: Bus transportation to and from Silver Clock Circle. Make your own glass ornament experience. Admission to the museum. Pizza for lunch. All URMC grad students welcome! Space is limited; get your tickets at the GEPA Office (G-9556) soon!

See more upcoming events here.  

Happening Now (Grant, Travel Award, and Conference Info)

Fulbright Scholar Competition Now Open 

The 2020–21 Fulbright Scholar Program competition offers nearly 500 teaching, research, or combination teaching and research awards in over 125 countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars. Visit to learn more and explore the catalog of awards.

The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (K99/K00)

The purpose of the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) is to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students recognized by their institutions for their high potential and strong interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers. For full description and application instructions, please visit Application due date is February 22, 2019.

2019 University of Rochester Diversity Conference: Finding the Courage to Lead- Poster Presentation Submission Deadline: Friday, March 8, 2019

The poster submissions should demonstrate personal/professional research or community projects that connect to the conference’s overall theme. All poster proposal submissions are due Friday, March 8, 2019 by 5pm, EST. More information on display requirements, poster content, etc. can be found here.

ComSciCon 2019: Applications Now Open!

Applications are now open for ComSciCon 2019! The 7th annual Communicating Science workshop will be held in San Diego, CA, on July 11-13, 2019.Graduate students at U.S. and Canadian institutions in all fields of science, technology, engineering, health, mathematics, and related fields are encouraged to apply. The application will close on March 1st. Acceptance to the workshop is competitive. Attendance is free, and travel support and lodging will be provided to accepted applicants.

Participants will build the communication skills that scientists and other technical professionals need to express complex ideas to the general public, experts in other fields, and their own peers. In addition to panel discussions (on topics such as Creative Storytelling, Science Journalism, and Diversity/Inclusivity), ample time will be allotted for networking with science communication experts and developing science outreach collaborations with fellow graduate students. Apply here!

Center for Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning

Diversity in the Classroom (Registration Close Date: February 18, 2019)

In this course, explore what is known—and theorized—about the ways that diversity affects learning and, in turn, help educators develop practical classroom strategies that address "equity," "inclusion," "diversity," and related terms. We will examine personally meaningful definitions of “equity,” “inclusion,” “diversity” and related terms, consider research on bias, and build a community of inquiry around ways diversity affects both our teaching and student learning. When you leave this course, you will have constructed: 1. a personally meaningful definition of "diversity" and related terms 2. knowledge of some of the fundamental literature on diversity that pertains to STEM and SBE (social/behavioral/economics) fields 3. a rationale for why you include the content you do in your teaching, and an understanding of how the selection of this content is influenced by your definition of diversity 4. a toolbox of tips and ideas on how you might address diversity in future courses you will teach (demonstrated in the Inclusive Teaching Plan assignment and the Diversity Statement Workshop activity) 5. a community of peers who are a resource for your teaching career 6. experience with learning in an online environment with students from diverse institutions Course Schedule This 9-week course has weekly online sessions on Tuesdays at 11:30AM - 1PM ET / 10:30AM - 12PM CT / 9:30 - 11AM MT / 8:30 - 10AM PT from February 26 to April 23. Workload Your instructors estimate participants will need to spend 2.5-3 hours per week on work outside of class sessions. For more information or to register for this course, please visit

Engaging Students in the Teaching of Statistics (Registration Close Date: March 11, 2019)

This course provides current and/or future instructors in statistics--in statistics departments or departments that make considerable use of statistics such as psychology, ecology, etc.--with a solid grounding in sound pedagogical practices that will engage their students. Instructors will focus on how backwards design, active learning techniques, and inclusive instruction can benefit all students. The course will include presentations on key points including teaching tips, group discussions, and a small-group mini-project focusing on integration of the five leaning objectives. Students who complete this course will: 1. Comprehend the role that backwards design plays in successful teaching 2. Be able to use Bloom’s taxonomy in developing learning objectives and teaching plans 3. Be able to construct assessment tools 4. Comprehend the importance of student background and diversity 5. Be able to employ inclusive teaching practices with a focus on active learning. Course Schedule This 4-week course has weekly online sessions on Thursdays at 2-4PM ET / 1-3PM CT / 12-2PM MT / 11AM-1PM PT from March 21 through April 18 (sessions are 3/21, 3/28, 4/11, and 4/18). Workload Your instructors estimate participants will need to spend about 2 hours per week on work outside of class sessions. For more information or to register for this course, please visit

Spring 2019 Online Workshops

Teaching with Technology (Registration Closes February 22, 2019)

Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 1:00 pm (EST) | Online in CIRTL Blackboard Collaborate
Technology can help us increase teaching effectiveness and student learning. This workshop will introduce participants to a variety of digital tools to engage students in learning. Examples of digital tools are blogs and wikis, collaborative space, audio-video, social media, and mobile applications. Registration opens December 10 and closes February 22, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. For additional information and to register for this webinar, please visit

For a full list of upcoming Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning Workshops, please visit The majority of events are online and requires advance registration. For information on any of the courses or programs, please contact .

AAU Campus Climate Survey

The University will soon ask all students to participate in a climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct, in partnership with the Association of American Universities (AAU). Universities use climate surveys to understand their students’ experiences with sexual violence, harassment, relationship violence, and other sexual misconduct in order to align resources and prevention efforts with the areas of greatest need.

Here are the key details for students:

  • All University of Rochester students—undergraduate or graduate students in any school or college—are encouraged to take the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct.
  • The survey link will be in your University email starting Monday, Feb. 4.
  • It should take about 20 minutes to complete
  • Some students will receive a $5 Amazon gift card online after completing the survey. (gift card recipients are randomly selected by the survey administrators)
  • It’s anonymous. The data will be analyzed by the research firm Westat, and then AAU will release aggregate results from participating universities and provide each institution with its own data set to decide how to share. The University’s results will be communicated broadly in fall 2019.
  • Achieving a good participation rate for this survey is really important to the University in order to fully understand the areas that need more resources or attention.
  • The survey ends on March 5.

Anyone in need of support or information regarding reporting sexual assault should see:

Relevant Reads

A Short Guide to Writing About Biology

By Jan A. Pechenik. Visit the CPD’s Lending Library catalog to see this and other titles of interest. To borrow a book, stop by our office in G-9627 or email us with your request.

New Grad Student Chapter Tackles Underrepresentation in STEM

Rochester becomes the 11th local chapter of the national Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering, bringing graduate students together across backgrounds and disciplines.

Career Go in Chapters

The metaphor is particularly useful for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars for many reasons- some obvious and others less so, writes Chris M. Golde. Read Career Go in Chapters

Nature: Postdoctoral Mentorship Key to Career Success

Nature covered a study published in Nature Communications that determined that “scientists who incorporate ideas and techniques from multiple mentors while still forging their own paths are the most likely to succeed in academia” and that “mentoring received during postdoctoral training has a bigger impact than mentoring received during graduate school.” The study authors recommended that PhD graduates seeking postdoctoral positions should search for labs that lack their skill set and labs in which the lab head has mentored many trainees.


“Need accommodations for any CPD or GEPA event?  Contact at least three business days prior to the event.”

Visit for a calendar of all our events.  Review the Opportunities to Explore archive.

Center for Professional Development | | (585) 275-4522 |

Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training | | (585) 276-7348 |