Enhance your skills as you prepare to enter the job market with our roster of Student Development Workshops. 

Sunday, September 16th

5:00-7:00 pm: Networking Opening Reception

Description: This session is an opportunity for students to make connections before the start of the conference. We will have some ice breakers and activities so that students are able to interact.


Monday, September 17th

9:00-10:00am Getting the Most out of the NOBCChE Conference (Undergrad, Grad, PostDoc)

Description: This session will cater towards understanding some key tips that you can use to maximize your success during this year’s conference. Whether it is networking, talking to companies about potential job opportunities, or just furthering your scientific knowledge, we want to provide you with tips and suggestions that can be utilized. Topics will include how to effectively use the NOBCChE app, Do’s and Do Not’s of the conference addressing attire, professionalism, etc.


10:00 – 11:15am “Pursuing your PhD with Purpose” (Undergrad, Grad)

Outline: The primary objective of this interactive workshop is to provide guidance and tools for current and prospective graduate students to establish intentional practices to operate with purpose as they pursue their PhDs. Upon completion of this workshop participants will:

a)  Gain a better understanding of the purpose of a PhD and expectations for graduate training.

b)  Have a clear strategy for maximizing scientific development towards graduate program milestones.

c) Develop a mindset and productivity plan for maintaining high levels of performance until program completion.

Facilitator: Dr. Rena Robinson


Renã Robinson, Ph.D. is the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor's Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University.  Her research focuses on using proteomics to study aging, Alzheimer's and other applications relevant to human health.


11:15-12n Interactive Resume/Cover Letter Review (Undergrads Only)

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with individuals from academia, government, or industry to have the resume/CV and/ or cover letter reviewed in advance before attending the Career Fair. 


12n-1:30pm Winifred Burks-Houck Luncheon   


2:00 - 6:00pm GEM Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees (GRAD) Lab (Undergrads attend full session, Grads last 2 hours)

Outline: GRAD Lab offers underrepresented students exposure to the benefits of research and technology careers in a highly interactive one-day event.

Speakers ranging from current graduate students to senior managers to faculty and senior administrators present on the following topics:

  • “Why Graduate School”
  • “How to Prepare for Graduate School”
  • “Understanding the GEM Fellowship”, and
  • “Voices From the Field: Real Life Research and Internship Experiences”

GRAD Lab encourages young people of color to consider graduate engineering or science education and applying for the GEM fellowship. Focusing on the global importance of research and innovation, life-long career benefits, and real world role models, the symposium will help each student envision his or her future as a technology leader, successfully apply for a GEM fellowship, and gain entry to a graduate program. GRAD Lab is GEM’s portable and scalable solution for developing diverse technical talent with advanced degrees.

Facilitator: Dr. Michael D. Smith


2:00 – 4:00pm Interactive Resume/Cover Letter Review (Grad, PostDoc Only)

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with individuals from academia, government, or industry to have the resume/CV and/ or cover letter reviewed in advance before attending the Career Fair.


6:00 – 9:00pm Elevator Speech or 2 Minute Drill



Tuesday, September 18th 

3:00 – 4:00pm “How to Be an Unhidden Figure in Science” 

Description: Why was Katherine Johnson, a scientist at NASA who developed complex calculations for NASA’s early space flights, a hidden figure? Dr. Talitha Washington will share how to develop your scientist edge by effectively utilizing networks, influence, and social media to create a robust career in science.

Facilitator: Dr. Talitha Washington 

Dr. Talitha Washington is a tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University. After completing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, she went on to become the first African American to earn a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Connecticut. She was a Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University. She also held assistant professorships at The College of New Rochelle and the University of Evansville, and most recently, an associate professorship at Howard University. She currently serves on the Council of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).  Dr. Washington joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in August of 2017 as a Program Officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education. She enjoys applying mathematics to understand and solve real-world problems, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems.  

Thursday, September 20th

1:00 – 2:00 pm  Student Patent Skit (Undergrad, Grad, PostDoc)