Biology 541 
Spring 2012  1 credit

Professional Development


    Professor E. E. Serrano

     Jan 23 – May 7
     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 (pending)




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 23

Class Goals

Individual Student Goals

Jan 30

Career Planning:

Toolkit for completing your NMSU Graduate Degree

University Resources for Professional Enhancement

Feb 6

Career Planning: Time Management

Representing Yourself:

Preparing your Professional Portfolio

Communication Skills:

Personal Philosophy Statements:

Professional (Research), Teaching, Service, Leadership

Feb 13

Representing Yourself:

Integrity and Privacy

Career History: Resumes, CVs, business cards

Internet: lab webpages, Social network sites

Communication Skills:

“elevator talks”, interviews, references, professional societies

Feb 20

Career Planning:

Professional Development Plan

Mentor-Student dynamics

Committee Members

Communication Skills:

Publications: abstracts, lay summaries, manuscripts, technical documents

Feb 27

*   DUE: Self Study 1


Communication Skills:

Effective Oral Presentations (guest speaker: Dr. Amanda Ashley)

Mar 5

Communication Skills:

Student Presentation Slide Blitz ( 2minutes)


Mar 12

·         9 am start time

Communication Skills:


Mar 19


Apr 2



Career Planning: (guest speakers)

Business and Science

Career Planning:

Professional Societies

Apr 9

*   DUE Self Study 2


Responsible Conduct in Research

Apr 16

Career Planning:

Non-research career options (Panel)

Apr 23

·         DUE Professional Portfolio

Communication Skills: Workplace dynamics

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

Apr 30


May 7

Finals Week

MONDAY 8-10 am

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






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