If you are considering career paths outside the academy and faculty track, register for these mid-February events.

Schedule of events:

February 5: Community Outreach and Engagement Career Panel

Friday, February 5, 2016, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 175 Brody Hall

Professionals working inside and outside higher education will talk about their community outreach and engagement career paths and give advice about getting started in the field. Panelists will represent MSU Extension, public policy at state and federal levels, nonprofits and foundations, and non-tenure track positions in higher education. The panel will conclude with a generous question and answer period, so come prepared to ask your questions. Register here.

In partnership with University Outreach and Engagement.

February 10: Federal Government Careers for Advanced Degree Holders

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM, 110 Chittenden Hall; Reception 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Chittenden Commons

Federal government employees will lead a panel discussion on career opportunities for PhD- and master's-degree holders across a variety of government agencies and types of careers, including research, engineering, and management. Agencies represented include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Personnel Management, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Geological Survey. All disciplines are invited; discussion will be most relevant for scientists, engineers, and social scientists. There will be a reception from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM in Chittenden Commons (Room 10) following the panel. Register here.

  • Dr. Mary Anne Evans is a scientist at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center where she contributes to the coastal ecology program. Her current research focuses on river influences in western Lake Erie, associated harmful algal blooms (HABs), nutrient and algal dynamics in other river influenced nearshore areas of the Great Lakes, and mathematical modeling of coastal eutrophication and hypoxia. Prior to joining the USGS, she studied hypoxic “dead zones” in Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico as a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and recreational lakes in Michigan as a post-doctoral scientist at Michigan State University. She received her PhD in Biology from the University of Michigan, studying the phytoplankton ecology of the arctic lakes, and a BS in biology from the University of Louisville.

  • Lauren Fry leads the water level forecasting mission at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District Office of Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology. She earned a B.A. in physics from Gustavus Adolphus and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Her graduate studies focused on the interactions among water supply technologies, sanitation, health, and watershed hydrology, and involved Peace Corps service in Cameroon and field studies in Bolivia. Postdoctoral research experience included Great Lakes hydrological modeling at Michigan Tech and at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

  • Paul Harris graduated from Western Michigan University with a BA degree in criminal justice (concentration in Law Enforcement). While attending WMU, he completed an internship with the Kalamazoo Police Department. He acquired his MA degree in Criminology from Eastern Michigan University and served as a Social Worker for approximately 2 years and served as a Family/Probation Counselor for close to a decade working with at risk youth. Mr. Harris entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy as a Special Agent candidate in 02/1997. Upon completion of the FBI Academy, his first office of assignment was Chicago, Illinois, where he served as a Special Agent working on a Federal Task Force on Gangs. In 2001, he returned home to Detroit, Michigan, where as a Special Agent he was responsible for overseeing the security of the Super Bowl which took place at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, in 2006. As a Special Agent, he has also worked White Collar Crime, Domestic Terrorism, and Public Corruption/Civil Rights violations. He is currently serving as Detroit FBI full-time Applicant Recruiter. Mr. Harris has been married to his beautiful wife, Barbara, for 28½ years, and is blessed with two wonderful sons, Rodney and Rodrick.

  • Edwin Martínez-Martínez is the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations (ASTC-FO) at the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA – NRCS) in the state of Michigan. As an ASTC-FO, Mr. Martínez is responsible for the management of two areas covering 20 field offices in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula. Prior to working as an ASTC-FO, he worked for five and a half years as the District Conservationist for Clinton County, Michigan, a diverse agricultural county known for its dairy production. Mr. Martinez has vast technical and management experience which includes, supervision of USDA and state employees, development of cooperative working agreements with federally recognized tribes, and development of training courses at national and state levels. He is a highly skilled professional with more than 10 years of progressive experience in the natural resources field with a background covering work in several states (Puerto Rico, Nebraska, California, and Michigan).

    Mr. Martinez has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Agronomy and Soil Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus. In 2014, he earned his Doctoral degree in Soils from Michigan State University. During the completion of his undergraduate and graduate degrees at MSU he completed courses and conducted research in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Departments. Mr. Martinez has conducted research related to water resources conservation and computer modeling in four well know institutions: University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, Cornell University, University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University.

  • Special Agent Renee Reeve has been with Federal Investigative Service (FIS) since October 2006. She began her career as a federal agent after working as a probation officer for the Michigan 73B District Court for approximately nine years. Since she began her career, Special Agent Reeve has conducted security clearance investigations throughout Michigan. She has also served on special details in Ohio, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Special Agent Reeve has also served as a field training agent. She is currently assigned to work in the central part of the state to include the campus of Michigan State University. Special Agent Reeve holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University.

  • Dr. Christal Sheppard joined the USPTO in 2015 as Director of the Midwest Regional USPTO in Detroit. Prior to joining the USPTO she was an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska, where she co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law at the Law College. Dr. Sheppard has a M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Cornell University Law School. She has over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy experience including as a practicing attorney at Foley & Lardner and the United States International Trade Commission and internships with Judge Rader at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2005, Dr. Sheppard completed Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Senior Managers in Government program, and in 2014, she completed George Mason University’s Law and Economics Institute program.

    Her successful career in intellectual property law and policy includes her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation's intellectual property laws in over 60 years.

In partnership with the MSU Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP).

February 12: Expanded Careers Conference

Must register to attend; $10 registration fee

Friday, February 12, 11:30 AM - 6:00 PM, MSU Union, Lake Huron Room

Doctoral students and Postdoctoral scholars are invited to a half-day event devoted to exploring careers beyond the professoriate, including career paths in policy, nonprofits, writing and communications, innovation and IP, higher education administration, management consulting, and data science. There will be opportunities for networking with PhD alumni and other professionals with advanced degrees working in these career paths. The event also includes lunch and a LinkedIn photo booth. Register today to secure your spot!

Driving: Parking lot 6, accessible from Grand River, has metered parking spots. View map.

Bus: CATA Bus #1 stops on Grand River at Abott, which is directly in front of the MSU Union.



  • 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Check in
  • Struggling to figure out what jobs are out there and what comes next? In our keynote address, Oystir co-founders Rudy Bellani and Zach Marks aim to demystify the job search process by breaking down the different career paths and job archetypes that exist for graduate students, explaining how to determine which ones are a good fit, and how to successfully prepare and apply for jobs.

    Rudy Bellani is co-founder and CEO of Oystir, a company dedicated to helping advanced degree graduates (PhDs and MSs) find jobs for free. Prior to Oystir, Rudy was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he served pharmaceutical and technology clients. At McKinsey, Rudy specialized in innovation and talent development strategies including how to identify and hire talent from non-traditional backgrounds. In addition to his client work, Rudy helped lead PhD recruiting for McKinsey's New York office. Rudy received a PhD in Neuroscience from Rockefeller University where he studied the developmental origins of brain asymmetry. He is passionate about traditional archery and has an extensive collection of vertebrate brains. Note, these two interests are not directly related.

    Zach Marks is co-founder and COO of Oystir, where he helps employers source and hire talented PhDs. Prior to Oystir, Zach was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he developed strategies to hire talent from non-traditional sources. He advised large public, private and social sector clients on a range of organizational strategy topics with a focus on economic development, including an engagement designing South Sudan's first national agriculture plan. Zach received a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University. He is writing a book on chai wallahs, India's roadside tea vendors.

  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Breakout Sessions
    1. Presented by Oystir

      Oystir will share the landscape of consulting opportunities for graduate students and postdocs, and the advantages and tradeoffs of going to a large and small firm - it's not as obvious as you would think! Then, we will cover how to get past the initial resume screen and share advanced interview techniques.

    2. Panelists:
      • Ty Forquer has served as arts and culture editor for City Pulse newspaper since January 2015. Founded in 2001, City Pulse is an alternative weekly newspaper serving Lansing, Mich., and its surrounding communities. City Pulse provides a weekly journal of news and opinion on civil, social and political issues, as well as arts and entertainment coverage in the Lansing area.

        Ty holds degrees from Central Michigan University (Bachelor of Music, minor in religion), Portland State University (Master of Music) and Michigan State University (Doctor of Musical Arts, cognate degree in music theory). Prior to joining City Pulse, Ty taught music for four years, holding adjunct positions at Lansing Community College, Olivet College and Spring Arbor University and teaching private lessons at the MSU Community Music School and the Music Center of South Central Michigan.

        In 2011, Ty founded 517 Shirts, an apparel company specializing in Lansing- and Michigan-themed shirts. Through a web store at 517shirts.com, the company has shipped hundreds of shirts to customers across the country. 517 Shirts also has created a line of shirts that benefits local nonprofits like the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and the REO Town Commercial Association.

      • Jason B. Almerigi, Ph.D. is a Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Consultant in the Department of School Quality at Oakland Schools. He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Michigan State University, completed post-doctoral training from Tufts and Harvard Universities, and has additional training in program evaluation from the Evaluator’s Institute and the American Evaluation Association. He specializes in longitudinal assessment of children and youth and is currently involved in several evaluation and research projects that assess the short- and long-term effects of school-based programming on K-12 students’ academics, health, safety, and nutrition.

      • Karla Loebick is a fifth year doctoral student in the MSU Higher, Adult, & Lifelong Education program. She is also working towards a graduate certification in Community Engagement. She has a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College in International Studies, Business, and Spanish, and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University in Second and Foreign Language Education. Karla has experience working in adult education, K-12, community college, and at MSU and has extensive international experience through work, learning, and volunteer opportunities. Karla’s research interests focus on teaching and learning, international education, student development, and experiential learning.

    3. Panelists:

      • Tom works with faculty and researchers in agriculture, natural resources, and natural science to protect intellectual property and engage in commercial partnerships to bring the technologies to market. Tom also facilitates screening of MSU’s technology portfolio, including coordinating the intern program and managing relationships with external service providers. He joined MSU Technologies in 2004. Prior to working at MSUT, Tom was the intellectual property coordinator at a biotech start-up company in Madison, Wisconsin. Tom holds a doctoral degree in plant pathology from Cornell University, where he was a USDA National Needs Fellow. He completed post-doc research at the University of Wisconsin, where he also received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology. He is a 2012 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law with a concentration in intellectual property law and a registered patent agent.

      • Since joining The SearchLite in 2014, Visha has drawn upon her research ability and passion for innovative technology to work on several market discovery challenges in the life science, medical device, pharmaceutical, software and architecture industry. Visha is responsible for overseeing and managing market discovery challenges for The Searchlite and managing the Innovators-in-residence program. Visha has been active in life science research for almost ten years. Prior to joining The SearchLite, Visha was a Business Development Intern with the University of Michigan’s TechStart Program as well as a Technology Transfer Fellow with the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer where she took up several assignments which focused on the commercialization aspects of new technologies in the life science, medical device, pharmaceutical, software, education and mobile-apps industry. Visha holds a B.Tech in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, India and a Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemical Biology from the University of Michigan, where she investigated the mechanism of RNA interference and its therapeutic implications.Outside of school, Visha is passionate about child education, health and welfare. She was the President of “Asha for Education-Ann Arbor”, a fully volunteer-run non-profit with a mission to catalyze socio-economic change in India through education.

      • Dr. Bott focuses her practice on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries advising clients on a wide range of intellectual property issues. She helps clients to obtain robust patents in the United States and worldwide, and to develop effective global patent strategies. She possesses a technical background in biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and immunology, and has extensive in-house experience as patent counsel for Pfizer and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

        • Holds Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan
        • Prosecutes global intellectual property portfolios
        • Manages global patent portfolios and provides patent filing strategies
        • Counsels large and small companies regarding product life-cycle management and freedom-to-operate
        • Advises clients regarding Hatch-Waxman issues such as Orange Book listings and patent term extension
        • Negotiates, drafts and reviews agreements related to intellectual property transactional matters
        • Advises and helps position small companies for partnering with large biotech and pharmaceutical companies
        • Renders legal opinions on patent validity and/or patent non-infringement
        • Conducts intellectual property due diligence for transactional matters

      • Nadia Ayala-Lopez is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at MSU. Her research focuses on studying norepinephrine handling in perivascular adipose tissue to understand the mechanism underlying hypertension in obesity. She received her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist (American Society for Clinical Pathology). Before coming to MSU, she worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center. She has research experience in immunotoxicology and neuropharmacology. In addition to scientific research, Nadia has special interests in scientific communication and facilitating graduate student professional development.

  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Breakout Sessions
    1. Presented by Oystir

      Oystir will discuss how to get a job in data science, including the many roles available to MSs and PhDs, the major trends, the techniques employers are asking for, how to find a job, and how to best position yourself when applying.

    2. Panelists:
      • Dr. Lillian Brooks is an Assistant Director of Regional Locations at Western Michigan University. She oversees academic programs and enrollment activity, as well as contributes to the university’s involvement in the tri-county Lansing area’s academic and business communities. Before starting her career in higher education, Brooks worked in the fields of marketing and hospitality management. She shifted gears when she became a marketing instructor at the University of Phoenix and expanded into teaching sales management and integrated marketing communications. While working towards her Ph.D. at Michigan State University (MSU), Brooks was appointed program coordinator of the College of Education’s Summer High School Scholars Program in which she managed and implemented a program designed to interest students in the College of Education, as well as MSU. While studying at MSU, Brooks served for four years on the Council of Graduate Students as the College of Education’s representative. She completed extensive research for her dissertation on displaced workers’ transition to community college. Brooks then joined the division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Lansing Community College. There, she was instrumental in the planning and execution of the Encore! Plus 50 Expo from 2013-2015. Brooks holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international management from Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from University of Detroit Mercy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) from Michigan State University.

      • Terence Hallamon is a native Detroiter. He started his engineering career at General Dynamics where he worked on several military land systems projects. During his employment at General Dynamics he started a Masters degree in Business. Dr. Hallamon then began his twenty year career at General Motors where he worked for Saturn, Electric Vehicle, Auto show vehicles and taught for General Motors University. Also, while at GM, Terence completed his Masters degree in Business and also obtained a PhD in Instructional Technology from Wayne State University. Terence ended his career for GM at GM Europe and China.

        Dr. Hallamon began a new career at Central Michigan University as an Assistant Director of Career Services, where he made many contributions to Global campus program and new trends in the field of career service implementation. Then he moved to Ford Motor Company where he contributed to warranty improvements and built a new exterior lighting evaluation lab. He completed his contribution at Ford Motor Company working for the Global core engineering group based in Cologne Germany.

        Dr. Hallamon currently works for a division of Toyota called AISIN and works as a Warranty Quality Engineer consultant and owns a career coaching company named Global Innovative Strategies LLC. With a mission to help people reach their life contribution goals, Dr. Hallamon continues to use his diverse experience to assist others with achieving their full potential.

      • Caitlin Kowalsky is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University in Tim Whitehead's lab. She received her B.E. in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York City. Her research interests are in method development for probing protein-protein interactions. While at Michigan State, she has developed a method for rapid epitope mapping and is working on combining experimental datasets with computational tools to improve antibody-antigen docking predictions.

    3. Panelists:

      • Paul Elam, Ph.D., president of Public Policy Associates, is a skilled team builder, project manager, and researcher with expertise in corrections, child welfare, and justice issues. He is a collaborative leader who brings an abiding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to his public policy work. Dr. Elam believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably. He is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment. His doctorate is in family and child ecology with minors in criminology, community services, and measurement and methods from Michigan State University.

      • Jeff Guilfoyle is a vice president at PSC. Mr. Guilfoyle specializes in school finance, tax policy, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and issues pertaining to Michigan’s economy and the state budget. He also has particular expertise in early childhood issues, serving as a contributor to the Office of Great Start’s Great Start, Great Investment, Great Future: The Plan for Early Learning and Development in Michigan. Prior to joining PSC, Mr. Guilfoyle was president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC), an independent nonpartisan public policy research institution. As president of CRC, he developed CRC’s research agenda and edited all of CRC’s research. He also frequently presented CRC’s research to a wide variety of audiences and stakeholders. Mr. Guilfoyle also served as the director of the Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis in the Michigan Department of Treasury. His responsibilities included forecasting and tracking state tax receipts, estimating the impact of legislation on state tax revenues, and providing economic research support to the state treasurer. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University.

      • Joseph Cialdella is a Program Manager for the Michigan Humanities Council in Lansing, where his primary responsibility is for the Heritage Grants Program, an initiative that provides funds to cultural organizations to explore local histories of race and ethnicity. During graduate school, he explored career paths and developed skills through several experiences. In 2014, he was a fellow in the Learning and Interpretation division at the Detroit Institute of Arts. During 2012-2013, he was the Enid A. Haupt Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens. Prior to this, he was a summer intern at the Smithsonian, as well as at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. Additionally, Joseph serves on the board of the Washtenaw County Historical Society, where he volunteers on the collections and membership committees. He also collaborated with Cliveden, a historic site in Philadelphia, as well as the National Park Service, and grad-student colleagues in the history department to research and write a National Historic Landmark Nomination for the property. He completed a Ph.D. in American Culture in 2015 and a Museum Studies Certificate in 2011. His dissertation, “Gardens in the Machine: Cultural and Environmental Change in Detroit,1879-2010,” is an urban environmental history of Detroit viewed through the lens of parks and gardening projects in the city.

      • Petra Hendrickson received her Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University in August 2015. She is currently a fixed-term Assistant Professor in political science at MSU. Her dissertation examined the relationship between coups d’etat and civil conflict onsets, and she is currently researching other topics concerning political violence. From 2013-2014 she was a part-time lecturer in political science at Eastern Michigan University.

  • 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM: Coffee Break
  • 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM: Resume Writing Session (led by Oystir)
  • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM: Networking Opportunity & LinkedIn Photo Booth

Must register to attend; $10 registration fee

Co-sponsored by Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) and the College of Engineering at MSU.

February 13: Managing Your Digital Identity - Boot Camp

Saturday, February 13, 2016, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, 110 Chittenden Hall

The event consists of a one-day intensive boot camp for participants to learn about tools for managing their digital identity, discuss the uses and issues, learn to implement these in order to improve their identity online. The boot camp will begin with a brief review of the concepts of digital identity management. Following this, a number of tools will be reviewed including Twitter, Facebook, Academic.edu, LinkedIn, About.me, and personal websites such as WordPress. Each of these will be introduced and discussed in terms of its professional and educational use. Next, the individuals participating in the boot camp will have the opportunity to use the tools, develop them to fit their identity and help each other learn how to use them. The goal of the boot camp is to give participants a jumpstart into managing their digital identity by being introduced to tools, discussing their uses and using the tools themselves. By the end of the boot camp, attendees will have a general understanding of what they want their digital identity to look like and how to use the tolls to achieve this. A special focus of this session will be digital identity and the job search. Register here.

In partnership with GradHacker.

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