Hoping to learn more about careers post graduation? Interested in building your professional skills?

The Huck Graduate Student Advisory Committee (HGSAC) aims to provide students with professional development opportunities and to promote exposure to all science careers, inside and outside of academia. We are a new organization that also collaborates extensively with other student organizations. A few of our goals for this semester include implementing a peer editing website, a meeting with the CEO of a life sciences recruitment firm, and joint happy hours with other GSAs. We’d love to hear about your events and offer assistance in increasing attendance — contact PSU.HGSAC@gmail.com.

I’ve complied a few of the HGSAC’s events for this semester and those from other organizations as well. For up to date information and to check out even more career and professional development related events, go here!



Saturday, February 27, 10am-1pm or 2:30-5:30pm: “How to be your own best mentor” workshop

Dr. Carolee Bull, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Department Head

Develop your own mission statement, make self assessments, and learn how to improve on your most needed skills.



Friday, March 4, 1-2pm: HGSAC Seminar, Dr. Melissa Ho

Managing Director, Africa for Millennium Challenge Corporation

Learn about Melissa’s career history and the advice she has for graduate students, starting from her Ph.D. at Penn State in Plant Physiology to her previous post at USAID’s Bureau for Food Security as a Senior Policy Advisor.


Friday, March 4, 11am: BMMB Seminar, Dr. Kevin Lynch

Vice President, Scientific Assessment at AbbVie

Kevin leads the Business Development team at Abbvie, and as such, he is knowledgeable in topics such as venture investment, academic collaborations, licensing and acquisitions. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State in Molecular Virology… we are in similar boats as he once was!


Saturday, March 5, 9am-5pm: Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Career Day

Penn State Hershey College of Medicine

Featuring careers in Science Communication and Education, Research, Government and Regulation, Business Development and Consulting, and Science Policy. There will be food provided!

Transportation is also provided. Please RSVP here.


Friday, March 25: HGSAC Seminar, Dr. Josh Yoder

Medical Science Liaison at Sanofi Pasteur

A Medical Science Liaisons work in various capacities in the pharmaceutical, biotech, or other health care industries. They work to ensure products are used effectively, are scientific experts within the company, and can work with physicians. Learn about Josh’s journey before and after his postdoc at Penn State Hershey. His past employers include Thermalin Diabetes, I’m sure he has some advice for us!


Monday, March 28: Postdoc panel, hosted by the MCIBS GSA

Featuring postdocs, Dr. Robert McGinty (PSU), Dr. Lauren Chaby (Michigan), and Dr. Sarah Carnahan Craig (PSU)

Get advice from how to get a postdoc to how to leave a postdoc. This will be an informal event with food!



Tuesday, April 12, 1-8pm: Novel Ecosystems Research Symposium

“An afternoon with Penn State Ecologists”

A great way to learn more about ecology in a fun setting with food, drinks and a poster reception.


Friday, April 22: BMMB Seminar, Dr. Jim Hershey

Director of Pharmacology at Merck

Jim leads research activities by setting program strategy to maximize growth opportunities in drug discovery. He has a long history at Merck and I’m sure is knowledgeable about the process of moving up in a company. Come learn about the Pennsylvania industry scene!


Monday, April 25: HGSAC Seminar, Lauren Celano

Lauren is the Founder and CEO of Propel Careers, and works to build relationships with life science students and companies. She would have some great insight on the career process after getting your PhD, as I’m sure she has helped others through it.



Friday, May 13 to Monday, May 16: Plant Biology Symposium

“Plant Stress-Omics in a Changing Climate”

Learn about the new ways Big Data is improving the plant biology field. Submit an abstract for a poster if you’d like.


Friday, May 20 & Saturday, May 21: Life Science Symposium

100 Life Science Building (Berg auditorium)

This symposium will include research talks, poster presentations and group activities to enhance the collaboration and communication between life science labs at Penn State. It’s free! There will be food, science and good company. Featuring two keynotes, including Dr. Jim Pawelczyk, a former NASA astronaut and current Penn State professor and Dr. Jonathan Sleeman, Director of the National Wildlife Health Center at U.S. Geological Survey.


Tuesday, May 24 & Wednesday, May 25 “Living with our Viromes” Symposium

Viral microbes, emerging viruses and vaccines are just a few topics that will be covered at this annual symposium.



Science presentation and job seeking skills assessment (anytime)

Want to improve for that conference talk or job interview? This is the time!

Contact Jeffrey Lovelace (jbl942@psu.edu)


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