Summer Institute helps doctoral students plan for academic careers
Fellows in the 2010 Academic Career Preparation Summer Institute included, from left, front row: Sridhara Kunjeti, plant and soil sciences; Danielle Hansgen, chemical engineering; Sudarshan Dutta, plant and soil sciences; and from left, back row: Bishwa Poudel, education; Huijian Dong, economics; Megan Pell, education; and David Lane, sociology and criminal justice.

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12:57 p.m., July 26, 2010----Seven highly motivated doctoral students from a range of disciplines dedicated a week of their summer, July 19-23, to participating in the Putting Your Ph.D. to Work: Academic Career Preparation Summer Institute, co-sponsored by the University of Delaware's Office of Graduate and Professional Education, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Bank of America Career Services Center.

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The institute focused on the dual goals of preparing students for the academic job search and successful transition into the first year of an academic appointment.

Co-facilitated for the second summer by Gabriele Bauer, associate director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Marianne Green, assistant director of the Career Services Center, the morning sessions -- held from 9 a.m. to noon -- provided a framework for understanding and preparing for the academic job search process and aspects of faculty careers.

The afternoon sessions -- held from 1:30-4 p.m. -- were devoted to developing and honing job application documents such as the CV, cover letter, research statement, teaching statement and ePortfolio, with the help of instructor feedback and peer review.

In addition to online resources in Sakai and their text, The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career, the institute fellows benefited from the real-world perspectives shared by UD faculty Nicole Donofrio, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences; Elizabeth Soslau, newly appointed assistant professor, clinical studies, School of Education, and an alumna of the 2009 institute; Peter Feng, associate chair, Department of English, and Ann Ardis, interim deputy dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

Fellows in the 2010 Academic Career Preparation Summer Institute were Sridhara Kunjeti (plant and soil sciences), Sudarshan Dutta (plant and soil sciences), Bishwa Poudel (education), Huijian Dong (economics), David Lane (sociology and criminal justice), Danielle Hansgen (chemical engineering), and Megan Pell (education). Their successful completion of the institute will be recorded on their official transcript as UNIV 608.

Kunjeti said of the institute, “As an international graduate student, I needed to learn all the do's and don'ts for an academic job search in the U.S. The Institute was a great resource for me.”

Pell noted, “Hands-on opportunities and lots of feedback, plus knowledgeable speakers have given me important tools to transition to an academic position.”

Hansgen also pointed out several benefits of the program. “The institute has given me the confidence to be a successful candidate. Learning about CVs and the other documents doesn't take place in any academic course,” she noted. “It was really nice having a group of peers to share with, who were going through the same process I was.”

The Academic Career Preparation Summer Institute will be offered again in the summer of 2011. Information about next year's Institute will be available next spring. Visit the website for more information.

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