Biology 541 
Spring 2011  1 credit

Professional Development


    E. E. Serrano

     Jan 24 – May 2
     Mondays 9:30-10:20 am
Foster Hall Rm 146



Contact Instructor


Class Policies and Procedures


Class Schedule




Textbooks and Computers


Hot Links for Students




Bio 541 will develop the skills that will enable students to a) identify and establish career objectives (professoriate, industry, research, etc) and b) develop an action plan that will leverage their graduate education in fulfillment of these goals.

The course will emphasize the improvement of communication skills needed for success in STEM disciplines. Students will assemble a professional portfolio that showcases their efforts in research, teaching, and service.

Although all students will benefit from completing this course, the course is designed for students in the early (first, second, third semester) stages of graduate study.




Dr. Elba Serrano
Ph. D. Stanford University
Regents Professor

Research Interests: Neuroscience, Biophysics, Nanoscience, Neuroethics, Informatics


Foster 459

Student hours

Daily: By appointment on office door calendar




Serrano AT nmsu DOT edu


Craft of Scientific Writing and The Art of Being a Scientist: Guide for Graduate Students

Textbook Vendors

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


May be needed for some classes.






Jan 24

Class Goals

Individual Student Goals

Jan 31

Career Planning:

Toolkit for completing your NMSU Graduate Degree

University Resources for Professional Enhancement

Feb 7

Career Planning: Time Management

Representing Yourself:

Preparing your Professional Portfolio

Communication Skills:

Personal Philosophy Statements: Professional (Research), Teaching, Service, Leadership

Feb 14

Representing Yourself:

Integrity and Privacy

Career History: Resumes, CVs, business cards

Internet: lab webpages, Social network sites

Communication Skills:

“elevator talks”, interviews, references

Feb 21

*   9 am start time

Communication Skills:

Student Presentation Slide Blitz ( 2minutes)

Feb 28

*   DUE Self Study 1


Career Planning:

Professional Development Plan

Mentor-Student dynamics

Committee Members


Mar 7

Effective Oral Presentations (guest speaker)

Mar 14


Career Planning: (guest speaker)


Business of Science

Mar 21


Apr 4



Communication Skills:

Publications: abstracts, lay summaries, manuscripts, technical documents

Career Planning:

Professional Societies

Apr 11

*   DUE Self Study 2

Responsible Conduct in Research

Apr 18

*   DUE Professional Portfolio

Career Planning: Leadership, Teaching, Service (guest speaker)

Apr 25

Communication Skills: Workplace dynamics

cultural diversity, representation gaps, legal compliance, EEO, human resource and development

May 2

Finals Week

8-10 am

Date/time in official schedule for courses that meet MWF at 9:30