Author: joecannella1

Teresa Mastin,
Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Teresa Mastin, Ph.D. (Michigan State University) is the Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. She is charged with showcasing diversity and inclusion efforts occurring within the FSM community and with initiating and supporting efforts that work to embed diversity and inclusion as a core element of the FSM culture. Issues frequently discuss in the FSM diversity and inclusion space include pipeline programs, implicit bias, cultural humility, holistic admissions, cultural competency, etc. Mastin transitioned to this position after approximately 20 years as a professor of public relations and advertising where she used her teaching, research, and leadership endeavors to shed light on media coverage of women and minority health issues and on the construction of media advocacy as a change agent. She advocates on behalf of groups less likely to advocate for themselves because of lack knowledge, ability, access, and or time. The ultimate goal is to provide resources that lead to awareness, knowledge, and access that help vulnerable groups become change agents in regard to issues that impact their lives. Mastin has served as a Fulbright Specialist in eastern Africa, Rwanda (2008); Kenya (2011), addressing health communication issues that impact disadvantaged women and children. She serves on several editorial boards, Health Communication and The Howard Journal of Communications, and as a board member for a community based mental health organization, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4).

This is the 2016 Conference Announcement


April 23, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF)

Hear from speakers who have parlayed their graduate educations into impactful careers outside of the academy. Sessions on career exploration will feature guest panelists who will describe their journeys from graduate school to careers outside the academy. The sessions’ Q&A format will allow panelists to share practical advice and innovative thinking about how to prepare for and pursue careers outside the academy.

Keynote Speaker: David Sarno, founder Lighthaus Inc.

Keynote Title: “Very Specific Success Advice You Can Use Immediately”David Sarno Picture

Sarno will pull from his career in journalism, Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, and couch-bound unemployment, to offer a few bite-size lessons you can actually use in work and life. Like how to get started on stuff, how to give and take criticism, the power of giving examples, and why ‘empathy’ is more than a precious self-help buzzword.

Biography: David Sarno is the founder of Lighthaus Inc, a San Francisco-based digital storytelling company. A technology journalist at the Los Angeles Times for 8 years, David started Lighthaus in 2013 to use video game-based technology to tell stories in media, healthcare and education. Lighthaus has worked with the Stanford Children’s Hospital, Whole Foods Market, the Dallas Morning News, the BBC and others to create interactive stories that make complex subjects engaging and accessible. David was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University in 2013. He has a degree in computer science from Yale University, and a degree in fiction writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Do to technical difficulties this event is being rescheduled. Sorry for any inconvenience. 

Matt Drebek,
Content Specialist, ACT
PhD Philosophy, University of Iowa.

Matt specializes in designing assessments and doing research on assessment constructs in post secondary education and the workforce. He’s particularly interested in the role played by critical thinking and related cross-cutting capabilities as important markers for college and career readiness, and their importance throughout a person’s life. His first book, Classify and Label: The Unintended Marginalization of Social Groups, a study of how people are affected by classification, was published by Lexington Books in 2014.

Angela Miller Keysor,
Assistant Professor, Allegheny College
PhD History, University of Iowa.

Currently an Assistant Professor of History at Allegheny College.  Angela teaches classes focused on the history of women, the history of healthcare and the body, the history of Colonial and Revolutionary America and Atlantic World history. Specificall
y, she is interested in understanding the transition from community healthcare to institutional healthcare in American society and how this shift affected care of the poor.

Be confident and persevere!  I found success on the job market when I shifted my attitude from one of: “Oh, God, I really need an academic job and if I do not get one my world will end!” to “I am talented and have a range of skills.

Angela suggests emphasizing the teaching skills you have gained at the University of Iowa when you are on the job market.  These skills are very appealing to small, liberal arts colleges and are somewhat rare among recent PhD recipients.  Create a detailed section on your CV to address your teaching skills/experiences.

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Matthew McNeil
Bioinformatics Scientist, Integrated DNA Technologies
PhD Neuroscience, University of Iowa

Miami University (undergraduate) – Research into neuro-muscular junction formation in pupating fruit flies using electron microscopy.

U Iowa. (PhD) – In Rob Cornell’s developmental biology lab, I studied the importance of a cation channel (TRPM7) to the development of skin pigmenting cells, dopamine producing neurons, and swimming.

U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Post doc) – Studied the neuronal and molecular substrates of food reward processing in honey bees. For this work, I developed an ISH labeling and 3D analysis method, and I collected and analyzed hundreds of bee brain transcriptomes using RNAseq.

After moving back to Iowa City with my wife for her job, I was able to secure a platform talk at the Integrated DNA Technologies NGS symposium in October of 2014. After my talk, I was offered a job as a contract worker (paid by hour) to help out with their bioinformatics needs. Later, I was able to translate that into a full time position working in bioinformatics.

At Integrated DNA Technologies, I write software and run analyses to help the company develop products. These products are designed to be purchased mostly by researchers who want to ask biological questions. My work often involves developing the assay itself and testing that it works for the desired purpose.


Eliza Sanders
Writer for Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago
PhD English, University of Iowa

Currently the writer for Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Eliza writes grants and reports to corporate and foundation funders, interviews scientists and educators, and creates content for her whole team to use in their work. She also gives the occasional behind-the-scenes tour and helps with evening events like exhibition openings and galas.

“Getting a non-academic job is more like dating, though–employers looking for “the one” are more likely to go on a first date with the person their friend recommends than with the stranger with the most glowing online profile or resume, right? Wouldn’t you be?”

Eliza acknowledges that academic writing is persuasive writing at its heart, and she uses her academic training to persuade her readers. When come time for interviews, Eliza suggests being prepared with pieces of writing that aren’t your dissertation. She used an abstract for a conference, and a piece she wrote for the introduction of the Gen. Ed. Lit. Norton Anthology.

“Anything you have that makes something complicated accessible for the general, B.A.-holding, in-a-hurry reader is what they want to see. Non-profit development is a growing field, and grant writing positions are a good way to get your foot in the door and learn the ropes while being respected for your writing skills. After all, if you get the job, your words will be bringing in the money!”


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Lenore Maybaum, PhD
Assistant Professor of English, Kirkwood Community College
PhD Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of Iowa

1) Where do you work now and what do you do there?

I teach full-time as an Assistant Professor of English at Kirkwood Community College. I began as an adjunct back in 2005, the year I started my Ph.D., and I kept a foot in the door for the next few years, before being hired for a tenure-track position while I completed my dissertation. I teach a 5/5 load of first and second-year composition and serve on college committees, such as the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, as well as attend monthly English Department meetings.

2) How do skills or interests from your time as a grad student intersect with your job?

 My M.A. degree is in English, and this concentrated background in my discipline, particularly composition theory and rhetoric, qualified me for the basic requirements of teaching. But it was my interdisciplinary doctoral work in Language, Literacy, and Culture that helped me stand out as a candidate while on the job search for community college positions. Beyond my M.A. studies in Postmodern American poetry and Critical Theory, my Ph.D. course work in writing pedagogy, cultural studies, and the history of schooling in the United States demonstrated my investment in the craft of teaching– and the role of education in shaping a culture. I could speak not only to the ways the humanities increase a capacity for empathy, but also to the transformative, democratizing role of open-door institutional policies, such as those of the community college, as well as to the ways schooling runs the risk of reinscribing social, cultural, and economic hierarchies. And my graduate school education gave substance to those ideas, my scholarly investment in the craft of teaching on equal footing with my scholarly investment in language and literature.
3) What advice do you give for graduate students who want to follow a career path like yours?

 Right now, before you graduate, make connections to the local community college as a graduate student, and consider any local community tutoring opportunities, too.   In years past, at least half of our applicants for tenure-track lines in English possessed a Ph.D. in the humanities, typically English, but also American Studies and Communication Studies, or an M.F.A. in Nonfiction/Fiction. The degree alone will not make you stand out. You must demonstrate a real investment in teaching, particularly to diverse student populations, semesters before applying for a community college position. Similarly, shape your cover letter and c.v. around your background in teaching and pedagogy, not literature and film, or creative publications. A community college English position will be heavily writing-focused, so foreground the teaching of writing over your own publications and literature-focused course work. Finally, and this is important: With a 5/5 load, make sure you find pleasure in teaching if you’re going to do it full-time at a community college.


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