Proposed Innovation in Graduate Student Curriculum

In the last year of my PhD, I worked as a Lead Graduate Assistant for the CICT program. My role was to mentor other graduate assistants, assist with professional development mini-conferences, and complete two leadership projects. One of the projects I completed was a proposal for an innovation in college teaching. I decided to focus this innovation on graduate student education because as I reached the end of my degree, I recognized that this is an area with a lot of opportunity for improvement, particularly within my university and department. With recent changes in the post-graduate job market, and severely limited faculty positions, graduate students can benefit greatly from being prepared for multiple career avenues outside of academia. To identify specific areas for improvement, I surveyed the graduate students in my department and asked about what professional development opportunities were available to them, and which ones would be most helpful to include in future curriculum. I also asked about preferences for delivery of these topics. I presented the results of this survey at the CICT Lead GA Innovation Showcase in May 2020 (powerpoint slides) and provided a written proposal with recommendations to the chair of the PSU Environmental Science and Management Department chair.