Peer Networking and Professional Development Program

The Peer Networking and Professional Development Program (PNPDP), provides guidance to first and second year graduate students by their peers in the department. We plan to continue this program, tailoring the lecture series to topics students are interested in and need/want guidance in. This program be valuable to first year graduate students as they prepare for preliminary exams, as some of the topics will cover reference management tools, poster and podium presentations, grant writing, etc. We also hope to offer interaction with the department’s esteemed faculty, improving communication within the department. We will also continue interactions with alumni from the department, allowing students to explore their career options beyond fgraduate school and gain insight into successful graduates’ path through the program.

Look for [PNPDP] emails for information on upcoming events

Past Events

Delivering Podium Presentation Skills Workshop

PNPDP hosted its last skills session for the Spring 2016 semester on Delivering Podium Presentations one Monday, May 16th. Veteran grad students Lisa Lohmueller and Adam Gustafson shared their best strategies to formulate a coherent story and captivate an audience. This session included both didactic training and interactive exercises. This session was intended to be immediately useful for all first years in the program who were presenting prelim proposals in the next couple weeks after and it was highly encourage you to attend. However, students at any stage in their graduate career were also welcome to attend since this session would benefit those preparing for upcoming conference presentations as well.


Goals for this workshop were to understand:
  1. how to structure and script a digestible coherent oral presentation
  2. good slide aesthetics and proper use of animations

Background Research and Literature Search

The Peer Networking and Professional Development Program (PNPDP) had its first skills session of the Spring 2016 semester on Background Research and Literature Search immediately after seminar on Thursday, April 7. In this session, senior grad students Matt Oborski and Sossena Wood graciously offered their time to give tips on how to dissect journal articles and how to create and maintain a reference library. Both these skills are very useful when citing the literature in proposals/manuscripts and can save you hours of time.

Communicating research to diverse audiences

Ever been to a party and someone asks what you do in grad school and your response is "Um..." ? Well don't worry. It happens to the best of us. If you're looking for ways to remedy this silence, come check out our first skills workshop of the Peer Networking & Professional Development Program this Thursday 10/1 @ 5pm in BEH G30. Some of your esteemed colleagues will be discussing the strategies they've developed over the years to Communicate Research to Diverse Audiences. Whether it's your grandmother, a future employer​, a potential suitor at the bar, other scientists/engineers, the POTUS or an elementary school class, being able to talk about what you do in a comprehensible manner is important! This week's discussion will be lead by wizened senior leaders: 5th year Sharlene Flesher and 4th years Sam LoPresti and Sanjeev Khanna. So come check it out and see what the PNPDP can do for you!