Office of the Provost

2018 Graduate Studies Retreat

Thursday, May 10, 2018
Location: Posvar Hall

The inaugural graduate studies retreat will bring together administrators, faculty, and students leaders from our 14 schools that offer graduate programs. This retreat will provide an opportunity for us to come together to share resources, understand gaps, and cultivate ideas. We hope to set action items that can be addressed collaboratively to enhance graduate and professional education and training.

9:00 - 10:15 am         Welcome, Patricia Beeson, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Room 2700                Opening Remarks, Nathan Urban, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives

10:30 - 11:30 am       Breakout Sessions 
                                   Diversity & Inclusion - Room 1500
                                   Philippa Carter, Director of Diversity Initiatives and Academic Affairs
                                   Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
                                   Chenits Pettigrew, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Diversity Programs
                                   School of Medicine
                                   Cheryl Ruffin, Manager of Affirmative Action
                                   Office of Diversity and Inclusion

                                   Moderator: Cynthia Bryce, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Graduate School of Public Health


                                   Mentoring Training from the National Research Mentoring Network - Room 1501
                                   Velpandi Ayyavoo, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Graduate School of Public Health
                                   Rosta Farzan, Assistant Professor, School of Computing and Information

                                   Moderator: Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Office of the Provost


                                   Professional Development - Room 1502
                                   Rachel Coombs, Doctoral Student in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences and GPSG President
                                   Bernard J. Costello, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine
                                   Deane Root, Chair, Department of Music in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
                                   Darlene Zellers, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Career Development in the Health Sciences

                                   Moderator: Bill Valenta, Associate Vice Provost for Professional Programs

11:45 - 1:15 pm         Lunch & Table Discussions
Rooms 2500 & 2501 Table 1: Career Outcomes and Trajectories, Kirill Kiselyov
                                   Table 2: Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development, Darlene Zellers
                                   Table 3: Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, April Dukes
                                   Table 4: Communicating Resources within Pitt, Stephanie Hoogendoorn
                                   Table 5: Data Sciences: Harnessing Data Science for Breakthrough Research, Education and Innovation, Taieb Znati
                                   Table 6: Development of New Professional Graduate Programs, Bill Valenta
                                   Table 7: Graduate Students and Anxiety and Depression – A Crisis?, Marian Vanek
                                   Table 8: International Graduate Students, Sara E. Jones
                                   Table 9: Making Smarter Matches: Mentoring Programs and How PeopleGrove Can Help, Jonathan Malek and Jennifer Sciullo
                                   Table 10: New Ombuds Program, Maggie Folan and Cheryl Paul
                                   Table 11: A Strategy for the Retention of Underrepresented Students, Chenits Pettigrew
                                   Table 12: The Teaching Center - Graduate Student Initiatives, Joel Brady
                                   Table 13: University-wide New Graduate and Professional Student Orientation, Jennifer Walker

1:30 - 2:30 pm           Resources to Help Students Outside the Classroom
Room 2700                Pam Connelly, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
                                   Katie Pope, Title IX Coordinator

2:45 - 3:15 pm           Supporting Graduate Student Applications for Fellowships - NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Room 2700                Patrick Loughlin, Professor of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering

3:15 - 4:00 pm           Reports from Breakout Sessions and Action Items
Room 2700

4:00 - 5:00 pm            Networking Reception and Dots Exercise
Room 2501

 

Descriptions of the Table Topics

 

Table 1: Career Outcomes and Trajectories

Kirill Kiselyov, Director of Graduate Studies, Biological Sciences

Programs in the Dietrich School are beginning to implement a new approach of sharing career outcome data. This action is aligned with the Statement on Doctoral Education Data Transparency issued by Association of American Universities Chief Academic Officers in September 2017 to provide prospective and current students with easily accessible information on doctoral programs. In this session, I will talk about careers in government and industry, based on our graduates’ experience. Work in progress from my department to provide career outcomes and trajectories can be viewed at http://www.biology.pitt.edu/graduate/life-after-pitt.

Table 2: Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development

Darlene Zellers, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Career Development, Health Sciences

In 2014, the University of Pittsburgh introduced the Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development and instituted A Developmental Approach to Professional Training (ADAPTTM) that allows trainees to align their professional development strategies with their corresponding stage of training. However, doctoral students are underutilizing professional and career development resources, especially during the early stages of their training; thus, leaving many students frustrated and unprepared to compete in a changing employment landscape. What are the cultural and programmatic influences that discourage doctoral students from participating in career development activities? How can these obstacles be overcome so that our trainees are well prepared for successful and satisfying careers in a wider range of employment sectors? 

Table 3: Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)

April Dukes, Pitt-CIRTL Coordinator

Need guidance on how to be an effective instructor, research mentor, or even how to get ready to apply and interview for a faculty position?  The CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a highly skilled national faculty.  The Pitt-CIRTL Community at the University of Pittsburgh provides access to the CIRTL Network's online and offers in-person on-campus professional development for the next generation of STEM faculty for several career stages - graduate students, Post-docs, and Early Faculty members. 

Table 4: Communicating Resources within Pitt

Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Senior Assistant to the Provost, Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost

Communicating effectively is a challenge for everyone. This past year Nathan Urban emailed a monthly newsletter to graduate and professional students that was forwarded to administrators. Also this past summer, a graduate studies resource website (http://www.gradstudents.pitt.edu/) and Twitter account (@PittGradStudies) was launched and a Wellness Resource guide was printed. In this session we will discuss these communications and other formats to distribute university-wide resources and communicate internally within Pitt.                                 

Table 5: Data Sciences: Harnessing Data Science for Breakthrough Research, Education and Innovation

Taieb Znati, Chair, Department of Computer Science

Harnessing the opportunities of data-enabled discovery and innovation requires experts, from a wide range of disciplines, to engage in substantive transdisciplinary research to address challenging problems in different domains. We will explore areas in which Pitt has the greatest opportunity to positively impact the field of data science through research, education and engagement. We will discuss what new strategies are possible to advance the state of the art in data science; how to draw on our multiple strengths to engage students in critical thinking with data; and what changes in cultures across the disciplines are needed to foster effective collaboration.

Table 6: Development of New Professional Graduate Programs

Bill Valenta, Associate Vice Provost for Professional Programs

The development of new professional graduate programs will directly benefit the University through additional revenue as well as address published and anecdotal evidence that suggests the need for such programs to fill regional educational and skill gaps. Our discussion will center on the process of developing new programs that will include market analysis; program options (degree, certificate, professional education and delivery options (online, blended, immersion, traditional). We expect a dynamic discussion. 

Table 7: Graduate Students and Anxiety and Depression – A Crisis?

Marian Vanek, Executive Director, Wellness Center

A recent study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology found that graduate students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population. Whatever the ultimate cause may be, there are ways the Wellness Center can help.

Table 8: International Graduate Students

Sara E. Jones, Associate Director, Office of International Services

Share ideas and discuss best practices for orienting and integrating new international graduate students to life at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table 9: Making Smarter Matches: Mentoring Programs and How PeopleGrove Can Help

Jonathan Malek, Director of Alumni Marketing and Business Development

Jennifer Sciullo, Alumni Coordinator, Graduate School of Public Health

We will discuss the benefits of mentoring programs within graduate schools and how technology like PeopleGrove can help broker smarter matches. PeopleGrove is a new online tool currently in an initial implementation at Pitt. It will help us reimagine our mentoring programs for students and professionals, allowing students, alumni, faculty and staff to make meaningful connections at scale.

Table 10: New Ombuds Program

Maggie Folan, Director of the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Science and Ombuds, School of Pharmacy

Cheryl Paul, Director of Student Services and Ombuds, Swanson School of Engineering

At the request of the Provost Office this past summer, most schools have designated an individual to help students access Pitt resources and navigate policies to address concerns. Some schools already had individuals in this role and for others the position is new. There are now 12 individuals in an ombuds role. Over the summer the ombuds aim to define the bounds for their roles, and the Provost Office will provide training to support their efforts and help communicated this program to our graduate and professional students.   

Table 11: A Strategy for the Retention of Underrepresented Students

Chenits Pettigrew, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Diversity Programs, School of Medicine

I will discuss transformational identity development as a strategy for the retention of underrepresented students in graduate and professional school.  I will describe the components of the process of going from student to scholar, teacher, investigator or clinician.

Table 12: The Teaching Center - Graduate Student Initiatives

Joel Brady, Teaching Consultant and Coordinator of the Graduate Student Teaching Initiative

The Graduate Student Teaching Initiative at the University Center for Teaching and Learning offers a variety of resources to prepare graduate student instructors to meet their teaching goals and responsibilities from the first day of class through the job search process. How can the Graduate Student Teaching Initiative’s university-wide support through consultations, workshops, and credentialing be better tailored to meet specific school and departmental needs?

Table 13: University-wide New Graduate and Professional Student Orientation

Jennifer Walker, Assistant to the Provost, Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost

The University-wide New Graduate and Professional Student Orientation is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG). It began as a resource fair and in recent years has expanded to include information sessions applicable to all graduate and professional students. How can we further develop this program to benefit more graduate-level students?