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Ed panel summary 12...

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    Ed panel summary 12... Ed panel summary 12... Document Transcript

    • Unique careers for scientists in education December 9, 2008 The final career panel of 2008 addressed niche career paths for scientists in the education sector. Over 40 graduate students and postdocs attended this evening session. The majority of the discussion surrounded around the panelist’s own career path as well as their current roles and responsibilities. Additional topics of discussion are outlined below. GUEST PANELISTS* Brianna Blaser, Ph.D. Project Director of Outreach AAAS & Science Careers Michael Dougherty, Ph.D. Director of Education American Society of Human Genetics Lisa McDonald, M.B.A. Education Director J. Craig Venter Institute David Vannier, Ph.D. Professional Development Coordinator Office of Science Education, National Institutes of Health * Detailed bios are listed at the end of this document. ADDITIONAL TOPICS OF DISCUSSION What are the various career entry points for those interested in science education? • Curriculum development While teaching is the most obvious outlet, there are plenty of careers for those looking for options outside the formal classroom setting. Companies such as Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS), TERC and Education Development Center (EDC) create instructional materials for K-16 institutions. Individuals employed by these organizations work on teams to develop math and science textbooks and education materials that comply with the appropriate state and national education standards. These firms also employ in-house researchers to study the impact of curriculum reform on teaching and learning outcomes. Science curriculum development companies engage in a great deal of outreach initiatives and training workshops for
    • K-16 educators as well as collaborative research partnerships with agencies like the National Science Foundation. • Science education policy Groups such as the National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) and the Society for College Science Teachers work to better educate their own members as well as Congress on key science education issues in effort to increase funding for science and math education programs. Professional biomedical societies such as the American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) also engage in policy initiatives to improve science education and increase funding. Additionally, they employ education directors to coordinate training and professional development activities for their members (students, fellows, professors, etc.) at annual meetings as well as through the Internet. Policy focused fellowships such as AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and the National Academy’s Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program provide unique training opportunities for scientists looking to serve at the intersection of science and policy. These fellowships provide first-hand congressional exposure and mentorship. Students and fellows interested in addressing educational inequities and the nation’s achievement gap are encouraged to explore one of these formal policy fellowships as well as seeking out legislators and professionals actively engaged in these areas. • Science Centers/Museums All of the panelists noted that volunteering at science centers and museums is a solid resume builder and shows interest and commitment to education. These opportunities offer a unique opportunity to liaise with the general public as well as science educators. For additional information, visit the Association of Science-Technology Center’s website at www.astc.org. What is the best way to break into this sector/gain experience? • Networking!!! Each panelist agreed that the science policy/education field is a relatively small sector with a great deal of overlapping contact. Lisa noted that she often receives calls from others in the field asking about potential candidates for positions they are looking to fill. Make sure that each person you connect with has your updated contact info and/or CV. • Get on mailing lists. An easy way to stay abreast of events and activities. • Teach. While teaching opportunities may be at a premium at Hopkins, there are plenty of outlets to teach. Mike offered a creative venue. He built up teaching experience early in his career by volunteering to teach GED prep courses in prison. He also commented on other ways to become involved such as the ASHG’s Geneticist Outreach Educator Network- a network of human genetics professionals that volunteer their time on National DNA Day as well as throughout the year to assist science teachers in increasing understanding and awareness of the Human Genome Project and genetics among students and the general public.
    • • Become informed. Tune in to education policy issues. Aside from reading the newspaper and policy articles in scientific publications, attend meetings hosted by policy groups and think tanks in DC. What skills are required for work in this sector? • Writing. All agreed that there is a hefty writing component in their current role. Not only are there demands to produce quick and dirty statements, articles, commentaries, etc., you must have to be able to straddle the fence between technical as well as non- scientific audiences. • Communication and scientific fortitude. High degree of contact between internal as well as external constituents. Communication is particularly important for those working with K-12 audiences. In order to break things down in its simplest form, you need to have a strong mastery over the most technical aspects of the material. • Organization. The panelists all commented that running multiple projects at once, often times with different stakeholders involved is common place in their job. • Passion and dedication to teaching/education. One of the panelists joked, “We aren’t in this to break the bank”. While the pay is comparable to other scientific career paths, it’s not what drives most to excel in this field. What is the most rewarding part of your job/what most inspires you about your job? • Serving the genetics professional community and working towards developing policy initiatives directed at educational reform. - Mike • Developing programs and a global scale for scientists who need and value the services. Also, the travel. - Brianna • Teaching, inspiring children and generating an overall interest in science. – Lisa What are some of the things students can do while at Hopkins (volunteer, etc.) to position themselves for a career in this sector? • Volunteer/intern…Maryland Science Center, Port Discover, Aquarium, etc. • Look for the opportunity to get involved with Governor O’Malley’s science alliance programs. One of the panelists noted that various educational outreach initiatives that address critical thinking and technical skills for MD students/employees will crop up in the near future, presenting opportunities for scientists and others with advanced technical training. SPEAKER BIOSKETCHES: Brianna Blaser, Ph.D. Project Director of Outreach AAAS & Science Careers
    • Brianna Blaser is Project Director of Outreach for AAAS & Science Careers where she promotes Science Careers resources though career and professional development workshops to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career scientists. Brianna earned her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of Washington in 2008. Her dissertation, More than Just Lab Partners: Women Scientists and Engineers Married to and Partnered with Other Scientists and Engineers, examined how women scientists’ relationships with other scientists affect both their professional and personal lives. While at the University of Washington, Brianna was a research assistant at the Center for Workforce Development where she organized professional development activities, including a newsletter, a mentoring program, and workshops for graduate students in science and engineering. In 2002, Brianna earned her BS with University Honors in Mathematics and Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She has held internships with the Association for Women in Science and the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and worked with the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary Students. Michael Dougherty, Ph.D. Director of Education American Society of Human Genetics Michael Dougherty is Director of Education for the American Society of Human Genetics. He joined the Society in June 2008 after spending nine years on the biology faculty at Hampden- Sydney College in Virginia, where he taught genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry and conducted research on the epigenetics of yeast prions. During his time there, he also developed a research project and novel course for freshmen (Alien Abductions, Crop Circles, and Psychics: Caveat Credulous) to test whether belief in paranormal phenomena could be overcome through the development of skeptical thinking abilities. The results demonstrated that specific, inquiry-based experiences (but not the general “critical thinking” of a standard freshmen curriculum) could help students jettison paranormal beliefs. Dr. Dougherty has 15 years of formal science education experience, which began when he joined the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) as a curriculum developer in 1993. During his time at BSCS, he co-authored and/or directed curriculum projects in behavioral genetics, the neurobiology of addiction, as well as textbooks and full-year multimedia curricula for high school and college general biology. He also served as associate director of BSCS. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in molecular biology and biochemistry. He has been a Burroughs Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in Alzheimer’s disease, a Visiting Senior Lecturer and Member of Eliot College, University of Kent, UK, and the McGavacks of Loudoun Chair in Biochemistry at Hampden-Sydney College.
    • Lisa McDonald, M.B.A. Education Director J. Craig Venter Institute Lisa McDonald is Education Director at the J. Craig Venter Institute. She was a founding employee (1992) at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) where she concentrated on polymer chemistry and prokaryotic closure of some of the first genomes. She was responsible for the development and implementation of training new employees in the newly created sequencing facility. Lisa was then integral in the creation and development of the Education and Training department in the late 90’s which she also led. TIGR’s Education and Training Department was committed to providing education and professional development courses in the field of genomics. Building upon TIGR’s expertise in genomics, professional development and education courses were designed to expose participants to hands-on applications and to disseminate current genomic knowledge. These programs included several technical training courses for internal employees, external participants, TIGR’s Summer Fellowship Program, teacher education and student education. Lisa was a central member of the team that helped to pioneer the MdBioLab through a partnership with MdBio, Inc. and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI). MdBioLab, which began visiting students February 2003, is a mobile laboratory designed to enhance bioscience curricula for high school students and their teachers throughout the state of Maryland. At the Venter Institute, Lisa developed the DISCOVER GENOMICS! Science Education Programs from inceptions and now oversees all aspects of them including summer internship programs, organizational collaborations, and grant development. She also serves on many local and state science education committees. Lisa has substantial experience developing course materials and content to present complex scientific methods and theories to groups of various educational backgrounds in an age- appropriate manner, including K-12 student groups and adults. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the Catholic University of America and her M.B.A. from Mount St. Mary’s University. David Vannier, Ph.D. Professional Development Coordinator Office of Science Education, National Institutes of Health David Vannier is Professional Development Coordinator for the Office of Science Education, National Institutes of Health. In this role, he develops and conducts workshops and Web- based resources on using NIH materials for 45,000+ K-12 teachers across the US and Canada. He is also responsible for overseeing curriculum development teams of educators, scientists and multi-media specialist as well as analyzing national and local science education policies to design and evaluate NIH programs. Prior to NIH, David served as a NSF Science Policy Fellow in the Office of Legislative & Public Affairs where he wrote speeches that the NSF director delivered to legislators, business
    • leaders and the public and drafted press releases detailing scientific discoveries and education programs and policies. David also served as a Science Education Postdoctoral Fellow through the Science Education Partnership at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. David earned a B.S. degree from Allegheny College, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Microbiology. He has served as a summer camp instructor at the Smithsonian Institution and volunteer scientist with the High School Human Genome Project while a postdoc at the University of Washington.