University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Getting Involved!

Graduate Student Workshops Committee - The GSWC is a student-run organization within the Department of Chemistry that creates high-quality programs of relevance to the department’s graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, with special emphasis on career preparation and professional development.

Mentorship Program for Aspiring Chemistry Teachers (MPACT) (pronounced "empact"), is designed to provide additional teaching experience and guidance for graduate students and postdocs who are interested in an academic career at the college or university level. This is a volunteer activity for both the mentor and mentee.

Outreach - A wide variety of outreach activities are available for graduate students to be active in the local community. See our departmental Outreach Page for more details.

Peer Advising - This program was started in the Fall of 1989 to help entering graduate students become acclimated to graduate student life at the outset. Several volunteer senior graduate students offer their guidance and friendship in this process. The senior graduate students advise the entering graduate students about what to expect in graduate school and the Twin Cities and give tips on how to cope and take advantage of opportunities and resources. There are several meetings held over the year in which the peer advisors cover a range of topics from selecting a research advisor to preparation for exams. The relationships built among these students during their first year are beneficial throughout their graduate career and beyond.

Career Workshops - The Department sponsors a variety of career-oriented workshops and seminars throughout the year. Some of the topics covered in these workshops are: Academic Careers: Teaching and Research in a Liberal Arts College vs. a University Setting; Careers in Industry; Career/Family Balance; and Combining Chemistry and Management.

Nontraditional workshops have dealt with self-esteem issues, strategies for coping and preserving self-worth both in graduate school and in subsequent careers, and discussions of how to have a fulfilling life along with a career. These workshops are designed to make graduate school a positive experience, to help students prepare for their future, and to encourage them to develop and see the process through.

Chemistry Wise Team - Since 1989, the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry has sponsored workshops designed to increase retention of women in this department. Since 1995, the Chemistry Department WISE team, composed of faculty, staff and students, has taken over this program. Most of the activities target graduate students at various stages.

Past workshops have been held on the following topics:

  • job hunting and resources for finding jobs
  • writing your resume and/or Curriculum vitae
  • interviewing skills
  • academic vs. industrial job searching
  • non-traditional careers in Chemistry
  • dealing with motivational slumps
  • goal assessment and development
  • choosing an advisor
  • oral pre-lim exam help session
  • study skills in graduate school and dealing with procrastination
  • post-doc guide to the department, university and Twin Cities area
  • Celebrating Women Chemists informal lunch seminar series
  • Special WISE Seminar (once per year a prominent women chemist is invited to present a Departmental Seminar)