Professional Development Panel Sessions

[We are excited to announce that MEEC 2015 will be hosting panel sessions on Saturday afternoon that focus on a variety of topics related to professional development. The panel sessions will be approximately 50 minutes and split evenly between panel presentations and Q&A.

How to Get Into and Survive Grad School
Dr. Spencer Hall (former director of admissions, current graduate program director for IU Ecology, Evolution & Behavior) will discuss what professors look for in graduate school applicants and how graduate recruitment differs from undergraduate, including some common mistakes to avoid. A panel of graduate students will follow with tips for surviving graduate school, highlighting the best, worst, and most surprising things about being a graduate student in biology.
(This session is geared towards undergraduates.)

Grant Writing
Two IU faculty members will discuss key points for writing a successful grant proposal and opportunities at funding agencies across Ecology and Evolution.

  • Dr. Leonie Moyle (Associate Professor of Biology at IU) teaches a graduate class on grant writing and has written many successful grants on ecological and evolutionary genetics, primarily to NSF.
  • Dr. Rich Phillips (Associate Professor of Biology at IU)  has written many successful grants on ecosystem ecology and soil processes to NSF, DOE, and USDA.

(This session is geared towards graduate students, but appropriate for advanced undergraduates.)

Teaching College Science
Dr. Adam Maltese (Associate Professor of Science Education at IU) and Dr. Mimi Zolan (Professor of Biology at IU) will discuss challenges and strategies for teaching science in a college setting, including the importance of knowing your students, active learning techniques, “flipped classroom” course design, and how to assess student learning.
(This session is geared towards graduate students and faculty, but appropriate for educators at all levels.)

Science Outreach
Panelists will discuss their experiences in science outreach, focusing on what they’ve found most rewarding and successful, specific challenges they’ve encountered, and the lessons they’ve learned.

  • Dr. Armin Moczek (Professor of Biology at IU) directs an outreach program that collaborates with a local science museum (Wonderlab) and serves area K-12 schools.
  • Jean Schick (Science Coordinator and Teacher in Monroe County Schools) coordinates science outreach from the public school & teacher perspective.
  • Marta Shocket (PhD student at IU) is an organizer for Bloomington Science Cafe, a group that hosts monthly presentations by scientists for the general public.
  • Jessica Hite (PhD student at IU) is the founder and organizer of Swifts in the City, a project working on Chimney Swift conservation in Bloomington.

(This session is geared towards graduate students and faculty, but appropriate for educators at all levels.)

Recruiting & Retaining Underrepresented Students
Panelists will discuss recruiting and retaining underrepresented students in college science programs, including common challenges, suggested strategies, and programs at IU for pre-college and college students.

  • Melissa Ward (Director of IU’s Office of Community and School Partnerships) works to provide pre-college programming and create an educational pipeline from K-12 schools to college for underrepresented youth and their families.
  • Mary Ann Tellas (Teacher at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis) plays a key role in IU’s Jim Holland Summer Enrichment Program and the Lilly Scholars Program.
  • Two additional panel members to be determined, with experience working with currently-enrolled underrepresented college students.

(This session is geared towards faculty, but appropriate for others interested in the topic.)

Research, Restoration, and Outreach in an Urban Forest: A Guided Walk through Dunn’s Woods
Dr. Heather Reynolds (Associate Professor of Biology at IU) will lead a tour through Dunn’s Woods, at the heart of Indiana University’s campus. Dr. Reynolds will discuss the importance of urban woodlands, share natural and cultural history, and highlight ongoing research, restoration, and educational activities. More information at Bloomington Urban Woodlands Project.
(This session is for a general audience.)