Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Northwestern University: Spotlight on Women in Science & Modern Career Paths

Women in Science Career Panel, from left to right: Dr. Stacey Tobin, Dr. Sadie Wignall, Dr. Stephanie Knezz, Dr. Dimitra Georganopoulou, and Dr. Jen Griffiths.

We recently visited the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University, where we hosted a day of educational activities for graduate students and postdocs, including a career panel of women in science who chose to follow a range of traditional and alternative career paths.  Dr. Jen Griffiths from our Washington, DC office shared insights into the world of scholarly publishing and was joined by Northwestern alumni in traditional and non-traditional careers. During this engaging, informal session, attendees were able to ask questions, learn about challenges and opportunities the representatives had encountered, and hear some great advice and tips from successful women in science.


“I realized fairly early on that an academic career wasn’t for me, and I started seeking out seminars and roundtables on ‘alternative careers.’ “


Dr. Stacey Tobin noticed that unlike a lot of her peers, she really enjoyed writing as a graduate student. “I realized fairly early on that an academic career wasn’t for me, and I started seeking out seminars and roundtables on ‘alternative careers,'” she said. “One focused specifically on science writing, and the entire panel was made up of PhDs who found careers in various types of science writing—from journalism to regulatory writing, continuing medical education to advertising.” She also joined professional organizations as a student member, including the American Medical Writers Association and the Council for Science Editors, to take advantage of their educational programs and sought outside opportunities to write. “I contributed articles to the department newsletter, and took any opportunity I could to write and edit.”  Stacey built up her reputation as a skilled writer and knowledgeable scientist before starting her own firm, The Tobin Touch.


“When I discovered that I wanted my career to focus on teaching, I found my campus program that focuses on STEM teaching opportunities for graduate students and post-docs.” 


One common thread of the discussion was the importance of pursuing opportunities outside the lab to both discover interests and talents, as well as to gain practical experience. Dr. Stephanie Knezz, Assistant Professor of Instruction and Co-Director of General Chemistry Laboratory at Northwestern University says, “When I discovered that I wanted my career to focus on teaching, I found my campus program that focuses on STEM teaching opportunities for graduate students and post-docs. I was able to implement a project at a local community college “flipping” a traditional chemistry class and working on the corresponding curriculum development for a few lessons in the course.” She says that the experience not only gave her a better idea of the duties of an instructor and but also inspired a renewed motivation to continue her degree now that she could focus on a specific career goal.


“I’ve found that networking can be a great way to learn about career possibilities, and that informational interviews can be very helpful for learning about day-to-day aspects of a career.”


Dr. Sarah Kamper now oversees intellectual property protection for various chemistry and materials technologies as Invention Manager at the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) at Northwestern. “I learned about IP law through attending a career panel focused on careers outside of academia or industry.” she says. “It sounded like a great way to stay connected to science while transitioning into more translational aspects away from the bench.”  Sarah also realized the power of networking by talking with former members of her lab who worked at law firms in tech transfer. “I’ve found that networking can be a great way to learn about career possibilities, and that informational interviews can be very helpful for learning about day-to-day aspects of a career.” Sarah also suggests looking to campus groups as a way to begin networking: “If anyone is unsure of where to start, some organizations have student or young professional networking events where you can efficiently meet many people in a few hours!”


“My best piece of advice is to figure out what aspect of your science you are most passionate about, find opportunities where you can get first-hand experience delving into that aspect, and use careful time management to make it work with your research.” 


We also asked the panelists what actions they recommend students take or what was especially helpful to focus on for graduate students and postdocs. Stephanie suggested spending some time and effort to uncover your interests and finding ways to take advantage of related opportunities. “My best piece of advice is to figure out what aspect of your science you are most passionate about, find opportunities where you can get first-hand experience delving into that aspect, and use careful time management to make it work with your research.” And she added, “If you are doing something you love (even if it’s not at the bench), you will almost definitely be more efficient in the lab than if you’re coming to lab everyday with the primary goal of just ‘getting through it.’ ”

 

 

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Welcome to RSC Americas!

Welcome to the Royal Society of Chemistry Americas blog! We wanted to create a space to let you know about what we do in North and South America and first we wanted to introduce you to our team:

The Washington DC office

 Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

The Washington DC office (L to R): Rebecca Trager, Marika Wieliczko, Jennifer Griffiths, Jenny Lee

Jennifer Griffiths (Editorial Development Manager, Americas) received her Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Duke University before moving into publishing. She started with the RSC five years ago as our first publishing representative in the US. She currently manages the team that develops our publishing activities in North and South America. Before joining the RSC, she was a Managing Editor at the ACS for Analytical Chemistry and several other journals. Jen has a wide variety of interests outside of work, including knitting and needlework, running, Pilates and has recently started volunteer work teaching English as a second language.

Jenny Lee (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2014 after completing her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in synthetic organic chemistry with sustainable applications. Jenny enjoys meeting researchers and discovering opportunities to share knowledge and support research advances throughout North America.  She looks forward to interesting conversations with the researcher and scholarly communication community, most recently through a Society for Scholarly Publishing Fellowship.  If she’s not at a conference or visiting institutions, Jenny can be found learning new things at events across the city, doing yoga, or cooking experimentally in her kitchen “lab”.

Marika Wieliczko (Assistant Editorial Development Manager, North America) joined the RSC in 2017 after finishing her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Emory University. She always felt that the best part of science and research is sharing it with the rest of the world so jumped at the chance to move into publishing to help others share their work. With a non-profit like the RSC she is able to combine this love of science with a passion for community service! In this position, she most enjoys learning about all the new research that she never had a chance to pursue, getting to know the scientists who inspired her, and helping young people gain the experience and skills they need to become the next generation of global leaders. In her free time, Marika enjoys athletic activities, especially running, tennis, and horseback riding, learning, watching, and playing games, planning fun activities for friends and family, listening to podcasts and reading about movies and books instead of watching and reading them.

Rebecca Trager became the US Correspondent for the RSC’s Chemistry World magazine in September 2014 after writing for the magazine on a freelance basis since 2007. She tracks and covers all news coming out of North America that impacts the field of chemistry, including policy developments. With a background in policy, and a passion for journalism, she has found her niche covering the world of science policy since 1997. Rebecca’s interest was sparked after spending summers during college as a press intern for the US National Institutes of Health. Before joining Chemistry World, she was the US Editor for Research Europe, reporting on the White House, as well as government departments and US agencies. She is also the former managing editor of The Blue Sheet, an Elsevier biomedical research and health policy publication. She studied philosophy and political theory at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

The São Paulo office

Elizabeth Magalhaes

Elizabeth Magalhaes is the RSC Manager for Brazil and Latin America. She started with the RSC almost six years ago as our representative in the region. Beth received her Ph.D. in analytical-inorganic chemistry from University of Campinas-UNICAMP. She now manages the RSC office in São Paulo working with the community to develop skills and promote knowledge in Brazil and South America. Before joining the RSC, she worked as Editorial Manager at the Brazilian Chemical Society for Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society (JBCS). Beth’s interests outside of work range from Formula 1 to Football in sports. She enjoys cooking and collecting stones from places she visited.

 

 

 

 

 

Look for further updates soon!

 

 

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