Creating Pathways for Diverse Jobs for PhDs and Postdocs, with Dr. David Fruman and Dr. Harinder Singh – Ep #21

In the early 2010s, there were a number of reports from different national organizations that highlighted the need to broaden training for PhDs and postdocs. Grad students and trainees needed to be prepared for a wider spectrum of careers beyond academia. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) responded to this need by funding 17 programs around the country to test approaches for tackling this challenge. How did their efforts pay off? Was the return worth the investment of those funds? Here to talk about their NIH funded program at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is Dr. David Fruman and Dr.


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How the Landscape is Changing for Postdocs, with Dr. Chris Smith – Ep #20

What recent changes have altered the landscape for postdocs? Are there more opportunities out there or fewer? What are universities and professional associations doing to help postdocs navigate these changes? Dr. Chris Smith joins the podcast to shed light on this critical topic.

Chris’s work focuses on training a scientific and biomedical workforce that is flexible and well-prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st Century. He has over ten years of experience conducting neuroscience research investigating the role of dopamine in reward, valuation, and decision making processes in the human brain.

Chris currently serves as the Postdoctoral Affairs Program Manager at North Carolina State University.


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Valuing the Role of Introverts in the Workplace, with Dr. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler – Ep #19

Does your organization value the role of their introverts in the workplace? Are you an introvert who has struggled to find your voice? Do you want to help your workplace become more equitable for introverts? Here to help us understand introverts and how we can best empower them is Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler.

Jennifer is an author and global speaker hailed as a “champion for introverts.” Her bestselling books, “The Introverted Leader,” “Quiet Influence,” and “The Genius of Opposites” have been translated into sixteen languages and help introverts throughout the world expand their leadership capacity.

Jennifer has been invited to deliver keynote speeches and seminars in Australia,


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Why Enthusiasm and Storytelling are Crucial in Postdoc Research, with Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson – Ep #18

What would you say are the most important aspects of postdoc research? Would the learning environment or the availability of mentors rank high on your list? What about the role of passion and enthusiasm for your field of study? Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson joins Mark in this episode of When Science Speaks to highlight the role of enthusiasm and storytelling in postdoc research.

Sarah is the Assistant Provost of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs at Boston University. She is responsible for providing services and programming for all postdoc scholars at Boston University, as well as supporting the development of University policies related to postdoc scholarships.


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Making a Difference in Your Career, with Christine Cruzvergara – Ep #17

Have you ever felt stuck in your career? Did you ever face a moment where you wish you had some degree of insight that could help you move forward? What if there were a way to navigate your career path and ultimately locate that perfect fit where you could make a difference? Christine Cruzvergara joins Mark in this episode to talk about her work helping students and professionals find the right fit in their career.

Christine currently serves as the VP of Higher Education and Student Success at Handshake.


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Professional Networking and Re-evaluating Your Definition of Success, with Dr. Christine Ponder – Ep #16

Do you ever find yourself so caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of your research that you don’t know how to take advantage of professional networking opportunities? When was the last time you ventured out of your daily work routine and explored new professional development opportunities that piqued your interest? On this episode of When Science Speaks, you’ll hear from Dr. Christine Ponder as she touches on the need for professional networking and evaluating your definition of success.

Dr. Ponder is the Director for Postdoctoral Affairs at the Washington Square campus of New York University (NYU). She established the program in 2011 and has since been part of two large projects in postdoc career development,


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Grand Challenges and Setting Ambitious Goals, with Michelle Popowitz – Ep #15

With the start of a new year, many Americans commit to resolutions and ambitious goals they hope to accomplish throughout the year’s end.

Many organizations have ambitious goals as well, but all too often they fail to make these goals specific and connected to a deadline. UCLA’s creation of so-called “Grand Challenges” is a bold departure from such fuzzy, timid-by-comparison initiatives. UCLA’s Grand Challenges are inspiring endeavours to solve the most difficult societal problems by a fixed date by harnessing the University’s deep, diverse resources across disciplines. Leading UCLA’s Grand Challenge program is Michelle Popowitz. 

Michelle is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Co-Founder of UCLA Grand Challenges.


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How to Ask More Questions, and Unleash Your Power to Spark Change, with Frank Sesno – Ep #14

When was the last time you spoke with someone who made you feel they were genuinely interested in what you had to say? The drive to ask more questions is something that we all possess from an early age. Have you spent time with a young child recently? They love to ask questions. What happened to that drive? Yet, for many adults, instead of asking more questions, talking and long monologues crowd out listening during interactions, a major missed opportunity for many of us to explore new ways of thinking and acting. Frank Sesno, in his brilliant book “Ask More”,


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Encouraging Mentoring Relationships, with Dr. Valerie Fako Miller – Ep #13

What is the value of investing in and encouraging mentoring relationships? As you look at the progress you’ve made in your career, can you point to a mentoring relationship that made a significant impact on your development? Leading the charge and championing mentoring relationships at the University of Chicago is Dr. Valerie Fako Miller.

Dr. Fako Miller is the Assistant Director of Postdoctoral Affairs in the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. She was a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the National Cancer Institute where she served as the liaison between NIH fellows and training directors of NIH institutes.


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Why We Need More Internship Opportunities for Postdoc Researchers, with Dr. Shoba Subramanian – Ep #12

For too long, research and postdoc studies have been limited to an exclusively academic environment. It’s time for a change in the form of increased internship opportunities. Raising this important call in postdoc studies is Dr. Shoba Subramanian. 

Dr. Subramanian is the Director of Curriculum and Educational Initiatives at the University of Michigan Medical School. In her current role, she uses her scientific background for curriculum innovation and leads the career and professional development team in the office of graduate and postdoctoral studies. Shoba holds a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and completed her postdoctoral training at UCSF and also Carnegie Mellon during which time she had a productive research career in Molecular Biology,


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