Past Graduate Student Seminars

  • Effective interactions between graduate students and faculty, November 15, 2016: Dr. Anne McNabb, graduate student ombuds, led a discussion of keys to building a constructive relationship with your graduate advisor.
  • Cognitive Biases and Decision-making, November 17, 2015: Monique McKay, Graduate School Ombudsperson discussed the “myth of the rational man,” cognitive biases and decision-making. This interactive seminar focused on how cognitive biases may affect our decision-making abilities and the important decisions we make in graduate school. 
  • Preparing for a Career in Academia as a Graduate Student, October 5, 2015: Dr. Karen DePauw, Dean of the Graduate School, discussed what graduate students should be doing while in graduate school to prepare for an academic job. She shared specific opportunities and resources available to graduate students at Virginia Tech.
  • How to Make a Compelling Job Talk, February 26, 2016: Dr. Rachel Diana, Psychology, Dr. Jake Grohs, Engineering Education, and Ms. Donna Ratcliffe, Director, Career Services, engaged in a structured question and answer session on how to ace your job talk in an academic job interview. 
  • Mentoring in the Academy, April 25, 2016: Dr. Ellen Plummer, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration, and Ms. Rachel Gabriele, Faculty Affairs Project Director, led a discussion on what to expect and how to get the most of mentoring relationships.
  • Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement, April 20, 2015, Dr. Shelli Fowler from the Department of English and Learning Technologies shared strategies for writing a strong teaching philosophy statement.
  • Women in Higher Education, March 19, 2015, Dr. Claire K. Robbins from Leadership, Counseling and Research discussed topics specifically related to issues that arise for women in higher education.
  • Mentorship, February 24, 2015, Ms. Ennis McCrery from the Graduate School discussed how to build successful mentoring relationships. 
  • Academic Job Search, November 11, 2014, Dr. Lissett Bickford from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and Dr. Sarah Ovink from the Department of Sociology have been at Virginia Tech for the past 2-3 years. As recently hired faculty members, they shared perspectives on the academic job market.
  • Faculty Search ProcessOctober 7, 2014, Drs. Mary Leigh Wolfe, Professor and Department Head, Biological Systems Engineering, and Debra Stoudt, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, have served on a number of faculty search committees and discussed the faculty search process.
  • Doing Interdisciplinary Work, April 25, 2014, Dr. Maura Borrego from the Department of Engineering Education discussed how to do interdisciplinary work.
  • Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War IIMarch 25, 2014, In celebration of Women's Month, AdvanceVT showed Top Secret Rosies, a film produced and directed by LeAnn Erickson.  The documentary highlights the contributions a group of female mathematicians made to World WarII.  
  • Principles of Grant Writing, February 21, 2014, Speaker Nancy Dudek, (Grants Coordinator, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) presented on the principles and process of grant writing.  
  • Presentation Strategies, November 8, 2013, Speaker Brandi Quesenberry (Advanced Instructor, Communication) shared public speaking tips for presenting at conferences.
  • Networking, October 9, 2013, Speaker Amy McPherson, Associate Director, Career Services, discussed strategies for working a room.
  • Preparing Your CV, October 25, 2012, Ms. Amy McPherson, Associate Director, Career Services, shared tips on how to prepare a curriculum vita to effectively represent one's skills and professional experiences.
  • Faculty Job Offer and Salary Negotiation, November 15, 2012, Ms. Alicia Cohen, Associate Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, discussed strategies for negotiating salary and benefits for faculty positions.  
  • How to Prepare for an Academic Job Interview, February 20, 2013, Dr. Erika Grafsky, Human Development, shared resources and tips to prepare for an academic job interview.  
  • Highlighting Women Faculty at VT, March 21, 2013, Dr. Jill Sible, Biological Sciences, and  Dr. Nancy Ross, Geosciences, discussed their paths when preparing for careers in academia.  
  • Work/Life Balance, April 25, 2013, Ms. Christine Dennis Smith, Co-Director, Women's Center, shared ways to cultivate a healthier work/life balance. 
  • Academic Job Interviews: How to Prepare and What to Expect, Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Interviewing for faculty positions is a unique process. Dr. Roseanne Foti, Psychology, provided advice about presenting yourself successfully in an academic job interview.
  • Tips for Pursuing Postdoctoral Positions, October 17, 2011, In many academic disciplines, students complete postdoctoral positions prior to becoming faculty members. Dr. Daniela Cimini, Biological Sciences, shared information about the many opportunities that postdoctoral positions can provide as well as things to consider when applying for a postdoctoral position.
  • Getting Started in a Faculty Career: How to Succeed on the Tenure Track, November 10, 2011, Dr. Lisa Belden, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences; Dr. Rajesh Bagchi, Assistant Professor, Marketing; and Dr. Tess Wynn Thompson, Associate Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, shared their perspectives on how to succeed as a new tenure-track professor. 
  • Strategies for Writing Successful Grant Proposals, February 27, 2012, Dr. Brenda Davy, Associate Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, and Dr. Amy Pruden-Bagchi, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, shared general advice for writing effective grant proposals as well as their experiences applying for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) grants.
  • Work/Life Balance Panel, March 13, 2012, This panel presentation, part of Virginia Tech's "Showcase of Female Scientists" event, addressed a topic of interest to all faculty and graduate students who struggle to fit an academic career into a fulfilling personal life. 
  • Workshops for Graduate Students, March 13, 2012, The "Showcase of Female Scientists" event also featured three concurrent workshops for graduate students and postdocs. Workshop topics included "Making a Life in Blacksburg," "Interview Skills and Curriculum Vita Preparation," and "Stress Management." 
  • Tips for Managing a Lab or Research Group, April 20, 2012, An important skill associated with success in a faculty career is managing others effectively. Dr. Marc Edwards, Charles Lunsford Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, discussed strategies for managing a lab or research group.
  • Making a Successful Transition from Student to Teacher, September 17, 2010, Speakers Eileen Shugart (Instructor and GTA Coordinator, Mathematics), Jessica St. Clair (GTA, Mathematics), and Alexis Johnston (GTA, Mathematics) discussed effective teaching strategies and how to make smooth transition from graduate student to course instructor.
  • Creating a Research Program from the Ground Up, October 20, 2010, Dr. Barbara Ryder (Professor and Chair, Computer Science) shared tips for developing a successful research program.
  • Getting Started in a Faculty Career: Perspectives from Teaching and Research Universities, November 12, 2010, Drs. Olga Pierrakos (Assistant Professor, Engineering, James Madison University), Morgan Wilson (Associate Professor and Head, Biology, Hollins University) and Julie Dunsmore (Associate Professor, Psychology, Virginia Tech) shared their experiences working at different types of educational institutions and strategies for success.
  • Negotiating Faculty Job Offers, February 8, 2011, Drs. Beate Schmittmann (Professor and Department Chair, Physics) and Ken Ball (L.S. Randolph Professor and Department Head, Mechanical Engineering) discussed what to expect when negotiating a faculty job offer and the types of resources and benefits that may be negotiable.
  • Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze, March 2, 2011, During this one-woman show, writer/performer Gioia De Cari shared her personal experiences being a professional woman in a male-dominated field.
  • Higher Education 101, April 4, 2011, Dr. Ellen Plummer (Assistant Provost) discussed how a university operates, including different types of educational institutions, governance, and challenges facing higher education in the U.S.
  • Research Careers in Industry and Academe, September 11, 2009, University of Buffalo Professor Esther Takeuchi spoke about her research career in industry and academe. Dr. Takeuchi is often cited as the woman with the most patents in the U.S. and was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004.
  • Contemporary Pedagogical Issues: How Do We Engage SOL-trained, Passive Learners?,October 12, 2009, Dr. Shelli Fowler, Director, Graduate Education Development Institute, discussed the need for active, problem-based learning in STEM classrooms.
  • Tips for Applying for an Academic Position, November 11, 2009, Professors Mary Kasarda (Mechanical Engineering) and Madeline Schreiber (Geosciences) offered advice on conducting a successful academic job search.
  • Strategies for Effective Grant Writing, February 4, 2010, Professor Maury Nussbaum (Industrial and Systems Engineering) shared strategies for writing successful grant proposals.
  • Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists, March 3, 2010, Noted author and consultant Dr. Ellen Daniell shared her experiences as a member of a group of women in science who have provided emotional and practical support for each other in facing professional challenges.
  • Balancing Motherhood and Academe, March 19, 2010, A panel of assistant professors and doctoral students at Virginia Tech discussed their experiences managing responsibilities at both work and home. Panelists included: Dr. Carla Finkielstein, Biological Sciences; Dr. Leyla Nazhandali, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Anamaria Bukvic, Urban Affairs and Planning; and Laurian Vega, Computer Science.
  • Tips on Writing for Publication, April 12, 2010, Dr. Fred Piercy, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, shared proven strategies for writing for publication.
  • NSF Career Grant Discussion, September 17, 2008, Professors Linsey Marr (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Maura Borrego (Engineering Education) spoke about the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, the most prestigious grant for creative junior faculty considered likely to become academic leaders of the future.
  • Academic Publishing, October 22, 2008, Professors Martha Ann Bell (Psychology) and Elisa Sotelino (Civil and Environmental Engineering) spoke about academic publishing, what journal editors look for in papers, how to be a good reviewer, and why you might want to be a journal editor someday.
  • Research University or Teaching College?, February 17, 2009, Associate Provost Pat Hyer discussed differences among higher education institutions in the United States, including faculty career paths and expectations for teaching and research.
  • Dr. Caitlin Kelleher, February 27, 2009, Visiting Scholar Dr. Caitlin Kelleher, a Virginia Tech computer science graduate currently an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, discussed her career path and current projects.
  • Quilting Together a Career in Science, March 2, 2009, Dr. Geraldine Richmond (Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon) celebrated the women scientists that she has been privileged to have as friends, colleagues and students, by sharing a series of pictures of wonderful handmade quilts that represent their choices, aspirations, and accomplishments.
  • Academic Job Interviews, March 19, 2009, Professor Roseanne Foti (Psychology) spoke on the ins and outs of academic job interviews and provided valuable advice on negotiation, preparation, and follow up.
  • Preparing for an Academic Job Search, October 4, 2007, Professor Janis Terpenny, Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering, and Associate Dean Nancy Ross, College of Science, provided tips on what to expect and how to prepare for a faculty job search.
  • The Academic Job Interview, February 5, 2008, Assistant Professors Leigh McCue, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, and Lisa Belden, Biological Sciences, gave their perspectives on what to expect during an academic job interview.
  • Negotiating Academic Job Offers, February 20, 2008, Department Heads Ken Ball, Mechanical Engineering, and Joe Merola, Chemistry, provide tips on what's negotiable in an academic job offer.
  • Your First Year as a Professor, March 17, 2008, Assistant Professors Padma Rajagopalan, Chemical Engineering, Lou Madsen, Chemistry, and Daniela Cimini, Biological Sciences, tell you what they wish they had known when they started their faculty positions.
  • AdvanceVT Visiting Scholar Lunch, August 31, 2006, Visiting scholar Dr. Vy Tran, NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Fellow.
  • Demystifying the Academic Job Search Process, October 10, 2006, Dr. Sam Easterling, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Ken Eriksson, Geosciences.
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation, October 30, 2006, Dr. Barbara Butterfield and Dr. Jane Tucker presented two workshops on negotiations and conflict resolution for young scholars, with a special focus on women.
  • Getting Started in a Faculty Career, February 20, 2007, A panel of assistant professors in the sciences and engineering discussed getting off to a good start as a faculty member and compared their experiences at a research university vs. teaching-centered institutions. Panelists included: Dr. Carla Finkielstein, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech; Dr. Leigh McCue, Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech; Dr. Irina Mazilu, Physics, Washington & Lee; and Dr. Dorsa Sanadgol, Engineering, Sweet Briar College.
  • Taking Humor Seriously, March 1, 2007, Jill S. Tietjen, P.E., presented on how humor can be a way to defuse stressful situations on the job and in the classroom and deflect inappropriate comments.
  • Negotiating Academic Job Offers for Dual-Career Couples, March 14, 2007, A group of administrators and faculty from Virginia Tech described their experiences and shared their wisdom on how to negotiate an academic position as part of a dual-career hire.
  • Changing Our World - True Stories of Women Engineers, March 19, 2007, Sybil Hatch, author of “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers,” a project developed with the support of a coalition of engineering and educational organizations designed to interest young women in engineering careers.
  • Thinking Outside the Box - Using Your Education for Fun and Profit, March 23, 2007, Betsy Dulin, engineer and attorney, discussed alternate career paths for people with scientific and technical degrees.
  • Becoming an Astronaut, March 26, 2007, Shannon Walker (PhD, Space Physics, Rice University, 1993) discussed her professional career in the NASA civil service and the Russian Space Agency, as well as completing Astronaut Candidate Training.
  • Reflections on Gender and Technology, March 27, 2007, Cornelia Brunner, Deputy Director of the Center for Children and Technology, discussed gender differences in attitudes towards technology.
  • Contemporary Pedagogical Issues: How Do We Engage SOL-trained, Passive Learners?, April 26, 2007, Dr. Shelli Fowler, Director, Graduate Education Development Institute, discussed the need for active, problem-based learning in STEM classrooms.
  • Elements of a CV/Dossier, June 20, 2005, Drs. Bill Knocke and Anne McNabb
  • Balancing an Academic Career with Family, September 12, 2005, Dr. Amy Bell
  • Academic Job Interviews: What to Expect?, October 4, 2005, Professors Nancy Love, Ann Stevens, and Eileen Van Aken shared their survival tips for faculty job interviews.
  • Professional Presentations: Making a Good Impression, November 1, 2005, Dr. Marion Ehrich from the College of Veterinary Medicine discussed keys to successful presentations for professional conferences and faculty interviews.
  • A Career in a National Lab, December 12, 2005, Dr. Annie Stunden
  • Grant Writing, February 23, 2006, Dr. Bob Porter, Proposal Development Team
  • Academic Interviews and Negotiating the Job Offer, March 24, 2006, Dr. Kathy Banks, Interim Head of the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. 
  • Surviving Academic Job Interviews, March 30, 2006, Dr. Ann Kilkelly and other Virginia Tech faculty members on preparing for academic job interviews through dramatizations and discussions of actual situations.
  • Frisbee Golf Strategies: Preparing for the Right Faculty Position, October 14, 2004, Dr. Deb Niemeier, Professor and former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis.
  • Applying for an Academic Position, April 21, 2005, Drs. Mary Kasarda and Madeline Schreiber, What should you be thinking about now to prepare for next year’s job search?

Advancing Diversity at Virginia Tech, including keynote speaker Dr. Terrell Strayhorn.

Future Faculty participant Charisse Crenshaw at Advancing Diversity keynote