Biology 541 
Spring 2008  1 credit

Professional Development


    E. E. Serrano

     Jan 28 – Mar 31
     Mondays 2:30 – 3:55 pm
Foster Hall Rm 146



Contact Instructor


Class Policies and Procedures


Class Schedule




Textbooks and Computers


Hot Links for Students




GOALS: The course will focus on developing oral and written communication skills needed for success in STEM disciplines. The course will cover thesis and manuscript preparation as well as application procedures for predoctoral and postdoctoral grants.  Aspects of the profession such as "how to chair a session" and "how to engage colleagues in conversations at meetings (networking)" also will be discussed. The various formats for resume preparation (NIH, NSF) will be reviewed. The course will implement internet materials and two texts The Craft of Scientific Writing and The Elements of Style. Students will assemble a professional portfolio that showcases their efforts in research, teaching, and service.


Dr. Elba Serrano
Ph. D. Stanford University
Professor of Biology, Affiliate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Biophysics, Nanoscience


Jett Hall 151; Foster office pending

Office hours

MW 11:30- 1:00 pm and by appointment





make appointment for other times via email or phone


The Craft of Scientific Writing and The Elements of Style.

Textbook Vendors

Textbooks can be obtained at the bookstore or online from vendors such as Amazon and ecampus or Best Book Buys


Bring laptops to class. FH 146 has wireless access to websites for in class activities.





Assignment Link

Special Events/Resources

Jan 28

         Preparing your Professional Portfolio

         Time Management

         Skills Inventory Exercise


Overview and Organization

Cohort Formation

Skills and Needs Assessment

Feb 4


         Internship and fellowship applications 1


Dr. Mary O’Connell

Regents Professor

NMSU Director, NMSU & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Partnership

Feb 11

         Toolkit for completing your NMSU Graduate Degre


Ms. Darcey Comer

NMSU GraduateSchool

Feb 18

         Development Plan

         Preparing the Professional Portfolio

         Time Management



Feb 25

         Representing yourself:

         Resumes, CVs, webpages, business cards personal introductions

         Presentation Slide Blitz

         Writing Project Abstract



Mar 3

         Research dissemination

         Representing your research and skills: abstracts, lay summaries, the “elevator talk”, manuscripts, technical documents, oral presentations




Mar 10

         Social dimensions of science

         origins of the university, networking

         references, internships, mentors, committee members

         session chairs, peer review,

         diversity, globalization, outsourcing


External Panel Discussion

Mar 17

         Professional conduct

         Leadership and service

         Personal Philosophy Statements: Research, Profession, Teaching, Learning, Service


External Panel Discussion

Mar 24

Spring break



Mar 31

         Workplace dynamics:

         compliance, EEO, human resource and development, Research ethics, IACUC, IRB, Intellectual property,

         equity, justice, conflict resolution, responsibility


External Panel Discussion

Final exam

Date/time in official schedule for courses that meet Monday at 2:30


Showcase of required student poster or oral presentation





l>Showcase of required student poster or oral presentation