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Beyond the Bench: STEMulating Career Conversations

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SC45: One Year Anniversary Episode

A milestone reached! Celebrating one year of the podcast with a compilation favorite quotes and words of career advise from the Beyond the Bench guests over the past year.


SC44 Hot Topic: Open Letter to STEM students

A little over two years ago, I wrote an open letter to STEM graduate students about preparing for their next steps. Today, I give voice to the letter!


SC43 Hot Topic: Success Questions

There are no right or wrong answers. You will not have to share your responses with anyone. All you have to do is be honest and the answers just may reveal the key to your success. 1. When you measure your successes, whose measuring stick do you use? 2. If “success is a failure turned inside out”, how many of your failures have you turned into successes? 3. How often has a fear of success prevented you from pursuing your dreams? 4. What is your plan for sustaining your success once you...


SC42: From STEM Researcher to College President Tuajuanda Jordan

Ascending to the position of college president is likely not at the forefront of one's mind while doing scientific research in graduate school or when beginning as a new faculty member. It definitely was not the case for Dr. Tuajuanda Jordan, but after heeding the advice of a mentor, she accepted an opportunity to explore the other "enlightened" side academia. Though she loved teaching and doing research, this initial experience in administration was one that would change the course of her...


SC41: Dr. Angela Ragin Wilson is a Chemist Leading a Public Health team at the CDC

Chemists are needed in the public health sector. When Dr. Angela Ragin-Wilson completed her Master's degree in chemistry, she landed a position as a bench scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. It didn't take long, however, for her to realize that she needed more. With the support and encouragement of a strong mentor, she enrolled in a PhD program. The next steps on her path led her to begin a rewarding and unexpected career at the Centers for Disease Control. After spending a few...


SC40: The PhD-JD Career Path of Kenrick Vidale

A PhD in a STEM field combined with a JD is a powerful combination and has afforded our guest an exciting career path. In this week's conversation, Dr. Kenrick Vidale shares his journey from a PhD in organic chemistry, through going to law school part time while working a full time job in the pharma industry, to passing the Bar in multiple States, and now a full fledged attorney who has worked in both pharma and the chemicals sectors. Connect with him on Facebook or Linked In!


SC39: Latane E. Bracket, III-The Electrical Engineer Who Creates Mental Morsels for Leadership

An internship at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) was a great experience for the budding electrical engineer because it prompted him to seek careers outside of the traditional lab environment. Over the course of his career, he gained experiences in a variety of fields spanning foods to pharmaceutical manufacturing and held roles at levels of increased responsibility. At each step, he learned and observed some valuable leadership skills which he now coins as "...


SC38 Hot Topic: What Does your Yes Mean?

If you never say no, what does your yes really mean? Your ‘yes’ may have various meanings, but in this Hot Topic we explore what a ‘yes’ means in the context of 1.) association 2.) prioritization 3.) prioritization.


SC37 Hot Topic: Celebration, Motivation, Vacation!

Celebrating the success of others can serve as a motivator.


SC36: Dr. Gloria Thomas- Researcher, Leader, Mom and Teacher

Keeping an open mind is one of the things that has been critical to the successes of Dr. Gloria Thomas. A series of professional and personal events led her back to her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she has expanded her STEM wings and now serves as the Director of the Center for Academic Success at Louisiana State University. This superwoman mom is a prime example of how marketable and valuable a STEM degree is. She is also a member of a distinct group of scientists who have...


SC35:Dr. Melissa Vaught-the Biochembelle of Social Media

Dr. Melissa Vaught, known on social media platforms as @biochembelle, started her STEM journey at a community college in Virginia with initial hopes of going into a medical field. However, she fell in love with chemistry and her career path took a turn which led her down the road to a PhD, two postdocs, and two very rewarding positions--one on the East Coast, the other on the West Coast. Listen in as @biochembelle not only shares her STEM journey beyond the Bench, but also talks about why...


SC34: DEA Laboratory Director Mr. Darrell Davis

When Darrell Davis completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry, he had aspirations of teaching. However, a networking connection at a NOBCChE conference temporarily altered that path, and he began his career as a forensic chemist with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Though several years of hard work and being open to opportunity, he became the laboratory director for the South Central District of the DEA. He became an expert in clandestine laboratories, and he made sure he...


SC33: The Truth About STEM Diversity and Inclusion

How do you give meaning and action to Diversity and Inclusion? It's not simple, and it will make most uncomfortable. If we truly want to become more diverse and inclusive in the STEM community, we must provide opportunities to and take risks on those who are not mirror images of ourselves. @drqualls on Twitter


SC32: The Wright STEM Career Transitions- Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually and Physcially.

In Episode 22, we met the newly minted PhD Dr. Melody Wright and she shared her joys of landing her first role outside since obtaining her degree. She transitioned into a role that was atypical for someone with her background, but with hard work and determination, she landed the role. Fast forward 3 months, and she gives an update that she has resigned from that position. Stress seriously impacted her mental, emotional, and physical well being. Her message as to why and what prompted her...


SC31 Hot Topic: Growth Areas

When you look back over your career journey, what are the areas that you can see personal and professional growth?


SC30 Hot Topic: 28 Days of Growth

February is Black History Month but did you know it was also Growth Month?


SC29 Hot Topic: February 1 is my PhD Anniversay!

February 1st marks the anniversary of my journey Beyond the Bench. In this episode, I share advice on the STEMulating conversations I would have liked to have had as a graduate student.


SC28: Started in the Academy and Now Back Again with Dr. Yaihara Fortis

When she started graduate school, her plans were to be in the academy. However, after having conversations with her labmate and networking with fellow alumni of her institution, the journey beyond the bench took a different course. Dr. Fortis was open to opportunity which led her to a AAAS policy fellowship, the National Science Foundation, New York Academy of Science, and now as the director of postdoctoral affairs at Memorial Sloan Kettering. We also discuss how Hurricane Maria has...


SC27: Who is @HeyDrWilson?

A Mississippian, an HBCU graduate, a PhD immunologist with postdoctoral training from an Ivy League institution, yet he sums up his journey beyond the bench with a simple phrase: be good to the people around you; be good to the people you care about, but most importantly be good to yourself! Dr. Caleph Wilson shares his journey from the bench to a career in industry--first as a research scientist at an emerging biotech/biopharm, and now as a technical sales specialist and consultant for a...


SC26: The Journey from Durham to DC: Kenneth Gibbs Jr., PhD

If you've ever wondered about a career in the policy world, this week's guest shares his journey from the North Carolina School of Math and Science to his current role at the National Institutes of Health. He also gives candid, yet helpful advice for those who are conducting job searches. Follow Dr. Kenneth Gibbs, Jr. on Twitter at: @KennyGibbsPhD @STEMPhDCareers Also mentioned in this episode: Meyerhoff Scholars at University of Maryland, Baltimore County Leadership...