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  • Your Work Is Vital, Tell the World about It

    Laura Adamovicz is hard at work saving the world — one turtle at a time. Last year Laura, a PhD candidate in Comparative Biosciences, won first place in Research Live! — a competition that challenges graduate students to describe their work in three minutes or less. In her talk, titled “Turtles in Trouble: Applications of Health Assessment for Conservation,” Laura explained how her work combines math, science, and medicine to study the impact of the environment and infectious diseases on several box turtle populations, with the ultimate goal of improving conservation efforts in animal species.

    We checked in with Laura (who will serve as a judge at this year’s competition) to hear about why she decided to participate in Research Live! and to see where her research and fieldwork has taken her this past year.

  • Working from Home with Kids

    The past several months have presented many of us with new challenges: stress and uncertainty, eroding boundaries between work and the rest of our lives, new and often not ideal workspaces, isolation, and more. Add kids to the mix, and things get even more challenging. 

  • Working from Home: Take a Breath

    Like many of us, I’ve recently and suddenly found myself working from home. While the work I’m doing is pretty different these days, working from home is bringing back memories of writing my dissertation on fellowship. With nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, I would spend days (and nights) hunched over my laptop. 

  • Words we wish to share.

    We are living through a challenging time that demands we reflect deeply on our values and actions.

    Against the backdrop of stress caused by the pandemic, this nation has seen racism and xenophobia continue to deny people opportunities, services, access to education, and even life itself. Most recently, we grieve the tragic death of George Floyd along with too many others who have senselessly lost their lives.

    We are moved to share our thoughts with our graduate community.

  • Wired to Connect

    As human beings, we are wired to connect in real life. Communicating with others calms our nervous systems and assures us that we are not alone in the world. We are, after all, social creatures. So how are we supposed to find meaningful connections while social distancing? 

  • Where Are They Now? Tori Davis

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Tori Davis graduated from the Illinois Professional Science Master’s Program in December 2015 with a master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. A month later, she started her career with AB InBev as a Group Manager in the Research Pilot Brewery. In this role, she supports the development of new products as well as the continuous improvement of AB InBev's current products and processes. 

  • Where Are They Now?: Shantel Martinez

    Shantel Martinez graduated from the University of Illinois with a Ph.D. in Communications & Media from the Institute of Communications Research in 2016 after earning an Ed.M. in Educational Policy Studies in 2011. She currently works as the Assistant Director of the Otter Cross Cultural Center at California State University, Monterey Bay where she oversees the daily operations of the center.

  • Where Are They Now?: Sarah Eckhardt

    Whether going to museums, taking classes, or creating her own pieces, Sarah Eckhardt was always fascinated with art. While working at the Krannert Art Museum as a graduate student in Art History (MA in 2003 and PhD in 2012) she discovered that art curation was the right career path for her. Now, she works at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as an Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. Working in a team, she chooses and interprets the works of art displayed at the museum.

  • Where Are They Now?: Sam Chadwick

    Triple Civil Engineering Alumna, Sam Chadwick's career as a Rail Engineer for WSP USA in Chicago, IL took her all the way around the world to teach at the Tashkent Institute of Railway Engineering in Uzbekistan. Read all about her career trajectory which started at Engineering Open House back in 2008!

  • Where Are They Now? Ryan McConnell

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: “Where are they now?”.

    Ryan McConnell works at salesforce as a Senior Demo Engineer, writing code for applications that show off what the company’s software can do. After completing his PhD in Classical Philology, Ryan McConnell eagerly began work as a visiting assistant professor. But with the uncertainty of the faculty job market, Ryan began exploring new career paths and found that his hobby in computer programming could actually be a career.

  • Where Are They Now? Rick Deja

    Landing a teaching role outside of the US was always a goal for Rick Deja (PhD, musicology, '16). So when he was offered a job teaching in South Africa, he simply couldn’t pass it up. Deja is currently a lecturer (the equivalent to an assistant professor position) in ethnomusicology at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he teaches courses on music and culture from Africa and other world regions, advises graduate students’ research and writing, curates a collection of traditional and historical instruments, and leads a student music ensemble performing Pan-African Jazz and Popular music.

  • Where Are They Now? Norman Atkins, Jr.

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Norman Atkins, Jr. graduated from the university with a customized joint MBA/PhD (Neuroscience) in 2009. He joined the team at Shire Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Medical Science Liaison for US Neuroscience Global Medical Affairs. After a series of promotions within the company, in June 2016, Norman was promoted to Franchise Global Medical Lead on the Shire Neuroscience Medical Affairs team. In this new role, he heads a cross-functional Global Medical Team for one of the company’s ADHD products. This entails being responsible for articulating the medical strategy for educating/supporting healthcare providers regarding ADHD disease state and clinical/scientific data regarding the company’s ADHD therapies. He also contributes medical/scientific input as a member of the larger Product Strategy Team for the marketed product.

  • Where Are They Now? Nile Blunt

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this new monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Our first interviewee, Nile Blunt, completed his PhD in History in 2011. After leaving Illinois, he began work at Phillips Academy, an independent secondary boarding school in Andover, MA. There, he serves as an instructor in history, the curator of the Academy’s Collection of Art and Antiques as well as the Academy’s Geographer at Large. 

  • Where Are They Now?: Morgan (McClain-McKinney) Limo

    Morgan (McClain-McKinney) Limo graduated from the University of Illinois in 2011 with an M. A. in Political Science. Roughly a day after walking across the stage in her cap and gown, she was on a plane bound for Washington, DC to pursue her dream of a government position. Now, she works as a Foreign Service Officer at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and is based in Conakry, Guinea where she supports strategic planning, budget, and communications for a variety of sustainable development and post-Ebola recovery programs.

  • Where Are They Now? Michelle Voss

    Michelle Voss earned her PhD in Psychology with a focus on Brain & Cognition (now Cognitive Neuroscience focus) at the University of Illinois in 2011. Now, she works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, she runs a lab that does research on how the brain changes with aging and brain injury, how these changes to the brain impact the way we think, perceive, and act, and what factors (like exercise) improve cognitive and behavioral outcomes associated with aging and brain injury.

  • Where Are They Now? Michael Santana

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Michael Santana was the recipient of a Ford Predoctoral Fellowship from 2013 - 2016. He graduated from Illinois in 2016 with a PhD in Mathematics. Now, he is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University, which is located in Allendale, MI. In this capacity, he is a teacher, mentor, and advisor to the students at the university and an active member of his department, college, university, and the mathematics community.

  • Where Are They Now? Mert Bay

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Mert Bay completed his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engingeering (ECE) in 2012. Now, he works as principal data scientist at Conversion Logic, an early stage marketing analytics startup in Santa Monica, California. In this capacity, he builds models that are deployed in the company's software product to help their clients understand the effectiveness of their marketing investments in online and offline media channels.

  • Where Are They Now? Meredith Sellers

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Meredith Sellers graduated in 2011 with a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Now, she works as a Managing Engineer in the Materials and Corrosion Engineering Practice at Exponent Failure Analysis Associates. She specializes in proactive materials characterization and reactive incident investigation, particularly as they relate to oil and gas pipelines, integrated circuit fabrication, and chemical process safety.

  • Where Are They Now? Marios Georgiou

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Marios Georgiou graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in August of 2014. He currently lives in Orlando, Florida, where he works as a Value Engineer for Addison-HVAC, a brand of Specified Air that specializes in 100% outside air units. In this position, he's responsible for eliminating waste in every manufacturing process for Addison-HVAC.

  • Where Are They Now? Mariela Fernandez

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Mariela Fernandez graduated from Illinois in 2015 with a PhD in Recreation, Sport and Tourism and a minor from the Latina/Latino Studies Program. Now, she works at Clemson University as an Assistant Professor. Her research examines why lack of access to park and recreation resources occurs in Latino communities, what the health implications of this are, and what strategies can be used to address the problem.

  • Where Are They Now? Madeline Meyer

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Madeline Meyer graduated from the University of Illinois Professional Science Master's Program in December 2014 with a master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. Now, she works for Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) as a Regulatory Affairs Associate where she supports domestic life cycle management initiatives for the Infection Prevention business unit, including performing regulatory assessments and submitting new drug application supplements to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Where Are They Now?: Lexi Shurilla

    Lexi Shurilla graduated from the University of Illinois in 2015 with an M.S. in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism with a Sport Management focus. She currently works for AmPride Communications, Inc. as the Editor-in-Chief of Community Concierge Magazine (CCM), a quarterly magazine featuring the best of the Champaign-Urbana community. She is responsible for the content and quality of CCM by ensuring stories are accurate, engaging and informative.

  • Where Are They Now?: Keith Taylor

    Growing up in the rural Midwest, Keith Taylor never thought that he would make a home near the sunny, sandy beaches of California. Keith earned his PhD in Human and Community Development in 2013 and now has his dream job as a Community Economic Development Specialist (another way of saying Extension Professor) at the University of California at Davis. In his position, the community is his classroom, and he works with community economic development stakeholders on research and development.

  • Where Are They Now?: Karen Barton

    Karen Barton graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013 with an M.S. in Library and Information Science and certificates in Community Informatics and Youth Services. She currently works at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), where she is the Liaison to the School of Health Professions and Community Engagement Librarian. Karen is the single point of contact for library services for students, faculty, and staff for one of five schools within the institution and works on various campus and community engagement initiatives to promote library resources and services in support of education, research, and community health.

  • Where Are They Now?: Irisbel Guzman Sanchez

    Irisbel Guzman Sanchez graduated from the University of Illinois in 2015 with a PhD in Biochemistry. After graduation, she became a Presidential Management Fellow which led to a full-time position in Health Informatics for the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). She is currently a Health Science Specialist for the VA New England Healthcare System, where she analyzes data and develops new tools for decision-makers to better understand operational healthcare databases and analyses.

  • Where Are They Now? Irene Aninye

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Irene Aninye earned her PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology (MIP) in 2012. She currently serves as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In this capacity, she conducts laboratory research to study the genetic pathways that regulate thyroid hormone action in the brain. She also works as an Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, where she teaches biology courses. 

  • Where Are They Now? Heather Salus

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?". Heather Salus graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Poetry) in 2010. She works as a permissions researcher at The Permissions Group in Glenview, Illinois where she helps writers connect with the permissions they need to include third-party work in their own writing.  

     

  • Where Are They Now? Hannah Chan-Hartley

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Hannah Chan-Hartley graduated with a PhD in Musicology from the University of Illinois in 2014. Now, she works as the Managing Editor and Musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In this capacity, she oversees the production of the TSO’s program books and other print publications such as the subscription brochure, which includes the creation, commission, editing, and proof-reading of content. She also works with graphic designers and printers to shape the look of these publications.

  • Where Are They Now?: Geethika Yalamanchili

    Geethika Yalamanchili graduated with a PhD in Chemical Engineering in December 2017 and now works at Ancestry DNA as a Computational Research Biologist and Research Scientist. Her work takes her back-and-forth between Salt Lake City and San Francisco where she completes research and brainstorms ideas and project with other scientists. More specifically, she studies the unique genetic code of human beings to understand what makes them similar and at the same time so very different from each other.

  • Where Are They Now?: Fatimeh Pahlavan

    Fatimeh Pahlavan lives at the intersection of law, business, and technology. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a JD in 2016 after previously earning a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2018, she founded Legal Intelligence to Entrepreneurs LLC (LITE), a law firm devoted to providing proactive and holistic legal advice to early-stage entrepreneurs.

  • Where Are They Now? Daniel Harnos

    A close call with a tropical cyclone as a child led Daniel Harnos to become fascinated with the weather. This led him to earn degrees in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois in 2010 (MS) and 2014 (PhD). Now, he works as Meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Climate Prediction Center where he helps others prepare for weather and climate changes by delivering real-time meteorological information and forecasts.

  • Where Are They Now? Christine Herman

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Christine Herman graduated from Illinois in 2012 with a PhD in Chemistry and then again in 2014 with her MS in Journalism. Now, she is a multimedia producer at Illinois Public Media, working on a new statewide talk show called "The 21st." Every day, she monitors the news and social media platforms to get discussion ideas for the daily radio talk show. She also reaches out to potential guests and assists the host of the show prepare questions to guide the conversation. 

  • Where Are They Now? Cecily Garber

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    Cecily Garber completed her PhD in English (literature) in 2014. Now, she works as a Communications Officer and ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Public Fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges, an association that supports small liberal arts colleges. There, she runs social media channels, updates a website, writes and edits, helps organize a large symposium, and occasionally edits video and audio all with the goal of promoting the liberal arts.

  • Where Are They Now? April Warren-Grice

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

    April Warren-Grice completed her PhD in Educational Policy Studies in 2014. Now, she works with K-12 public school districts and schools on issues of equity in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska while also teaching graduate courses in the graduate social justice certificate program as the Coordinator for Professional Development and Assistant Professor of Curriculum Instruction at Midwest Equity Assistance Center (MEAC) at Kansas State University.  

  • Where Are They Now?: Amber Hendricks

    Amber Hendricks graduated from the Illinois Professional Science Master’s Program in 2011 with a master’s degree in Agricultural Production. She has held multiple research positions in the agricultural industry and currently works for Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™ as a Production Research Scientist at the Johnston, Iowa campus. In her role, she uses data to inform decision-makers on best practices for improving corn seed quality and cornfield yields.

  • Where Are They Now? Alison Goebel

    Where can a graduate degree from the University of Illinois take you? In this monthly series, we catch up with one recent Graduate College alum and ask the question: "Where are they now?".

  • Where Are They Now?: Adam Brandt

    Adam Brandt graduated from the University of Illinois in 2014 with his PhD in Animal Sciences. With his love for teaching and research (some of his studies have focused on African elephants and the Hispanolan solenodon), a university job fit his career goals perfectly. Now, as an Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wisconsin), he teaches a variety of undergraduate courses including general biology, animal behavior, disease ecology, and African wildlife conservation & health, and conducts research in the field of molecular ecology.

  • What We Learned at the Faculty Job Search Retreat

    On an especially hot and muggy day last month, nearly 250 graduate students and postdocs peeled themselves away from the bench, left the library, set aside their dissertations, and trekked over to the Illini Union for the Graduate College’s seventh annual Faculty Job Search Retreat.

    The retreat featured sessions on application documents of all kinds (cover letters! teaching philosophies! research statements!), helping attendees get ready to write excellent materials. But as it is every year, the highlight of the day was a panel of faculty members who offered a window into everyday life and hiring practices at their very different institutions. This year’s guests were: James Matthews, Associate Professor of French at Illinois Wesleyan University; Angela Glaros, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Eastern Illinois University; and Jeremy Guest, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois.

    Since not all of you could attend this year, we thought we would share some highlights in the form of 3 tips from our panelists....

     

  • What to Do Immediately After an Interview

    You just finished a job interview. Moments ago, you hung up the phone or arrived back at your hotel room. What should you do next?

    In his most recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Derek Attig talks about things you can do in just 15 to 30 minutes to set yourself up for success in the next stages of the hiring process and beyond. This advice applies to any kind of job search -- whether in or outside academe.

  • What's It Like to Compete in Research Live? Hear from a few pros.

    Each year, the Graduate College hosts the event Research Live!, which gives graduate students a chance to share their work with the campus and community and to practice their communication skills. The catch? Contestants only have 3 minutes to describe their work and it needs to be accessible to a generalist audience. Last year, a number of students took the challenge. We interviewed four about their experience and got some of their tips for public speaking. 

  • What I Wish I Had Known while Writing my Thesis: Tips and Advice from Grad College Staff

    When Emily began working at the Graduate College, she had just taken her final exam and was revising her dissertation. This task coupled with working full-time ended up being much more stressful than she could have imagined. Little did she know that Coble Hall is full of talented individuals who knew first-hand the struggles of completing a thesis and were happy to share their stories and advice. Read on for some of the feedback she found helpful!

  • What exactly is professional development, anyway?

    When people talk about ‘professional development’, they tend to emphasize the ‘professional’ part. The type of capital P professional development, that in many people’s minds, is a formal process with a defined beginning and end. But this type of thinking minimizes the ‘development’ part, which is really where the growth takes place. 

  • What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities?

    It’s well-known that academic jobs are in short supply for humanities PhD graduates right now, but the question ‘what can I do with a PhD in the humanities?’ should have less to do with a lack of academic positions than it should the sheer number of career possibilities. That was the focus of ‘What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities?’, a 5-week Graduate College workshop run by Derek Attig that I attended last Spring. The workshop covered advice and resources for finding jobs beyond academia, weekly conversations with humanities PhD graduates working in fields like public radio to environmental advocacy, and self-assessments of values and skills. The self-assessments were particularly illuminating, and they allowed each of us to approach the broader workshop questions with a focus on our own goals and interests.

  • Welcome to Grad Life, a New Blog about the Illinois Graduate Experience

    Welcome to Grad Life. With over 10,000 graduate students on the Urbana Campus, there are as many narratives to the University of Illinois Grad experience as there are individuals.  Our grads hail from all corners of the world and are researching, studying, and teaching to try to solve some of the toughest problems of our time. Whether you’re attending classes in person or online, pursuing a Master’s degree or a PhD - this is a place to share and shape your graduate school experience.

  • Using Job Ads for Career Exploration

    Reviewing advertisements of all sorts can help you identify appealing job types and sectors that you may never even have heard of, advises Derek Attig in this post originally published on Inside Higher Ed.

  • Thesis Summer Reading List

    No matter if you’re studying for exams or working on your thesis, chances are your summer reading list is full of books and articles that pertain to your research area. But why not mix things up a little by adding a few to help with your writing and research skills?

    Emily asked several campus experts to recommend books that could help students who are working on their theses. Their suggestions range in topic from strengthening your writing and research skills to conquering productivity to finding relaxation. Check out their suggestions!

  • The Art of Proposal Writing: Proposal as Roadmap

    In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the proposal as a genre — the story of your journey into uncharted intellectual territory, driven by a vision of your contribution to your discipline and beyond. Your reviewers are excited! They want to help you complete your journey! But, they want some details. The proposal is the roadmap you provide.

    There is no right or wrong way to structure a proposal. There may be disciplinary norms or funder guidelines, which is why it is essential to look at successful proposals in your discipline and read the program solicitation carefully.  Regardless of the structure, there are some commonalities in proposals across all disciplines and funders. Here are some tips for putting together a good roadmap for the reviewers...

  • The Art of Proposal Writing: Proposal as Genre

    Mystery and suspense, a hero going on a quest…why am I talking about this in a blog post about proposal writing?  Because when you write about your research, you’re writing a story of ideas that explores uncharted intellectual territory. As you’ve developed your skills and knowledge of the field, you’ve identified a gap in what we know and a means by which you believe you can fill it. That’s what makes proposal writing a special genre.

  • Teaching and Performing to Find Her Voice

    The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is a hub for exquisite music, cultural performances, ballet performances, theater, opera and lively events. From performances by musical virtuosos, symphony orchestras, ensemble groups to events like PechaKucha Night and Noche de Baila- Krannert is bustling with performers and audience goers year-round! The Lyric Theater at Krannert brings colorful and vibrant pieces of opera from throughout the ages alive to the audience!

  • Teaching (and Learning) Beyond the Classroom

    For many Illinois graduate students, the classroom is just one avenue for teaching and learning. We asked three graduate students to reflect on their experiences working with programs that served middle school, high school, and incoming graduate students. Although their research interests and programs differ, they shared a common outcome. Through mentoring, they’d learned as much as they taught.  They shared their thoughts with Grad Life.