Professionalism Series

The OACD provides an annual series of professional development workshops for doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees. This series covers a range of career development topics critical to your professional success and the foundational content applies across all disciplines.

Jan. 18, 2022           Financial Wellness (only for postdocs and faculty)

Time: 3-4pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Cynthia Grindel
Description: Worried about finances? You are not alone. In this workshop, presented by Cynthia Grindel of LifeSolutions, we’ll explore the habits and attitudes that drive our financial decisions, discuss how to develop a budget, share tips for saving and review additional resources available through the Employee Assistance Program.

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Presenter Bio: Cindy Grindel is a licensed social worker with a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  She currently serves as a Program Manager with LifeSolutions Faculty & Staff Assistance Program where she provides educational trainings, consultation, and other programming for businesses throughout the region.

Jan. 26, 2022           Introduction to the Faculty Role

Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: April Dukes, PhD
Description: Being a faculty member is about more than just doing your own, independent research. Attend this informational session to learn foundational knowledge about what being a faculty member is all about, the different types of faculty positions, the different responsibilities that feed into the role, and the importance of institution type when considering a career in academia.  April Dukes, PhD, coordinator for Pitt’s Center for Integrating Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), whose expertise is in training the next generation of faculty, will answer all your questions.

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Presenter Bio: Dr. April Dukes ( is the Faculty and Future Faculty Program Director for the Engineering Educational Research Center (EERC) and the Institutional Co-leader for Pitt-CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) at the University of Pittsburgh. April leads local professional development courses and facilitates workshops on instructional and mentoring best practices for both current and future STEM faculty. April currently collaborates on the national educational research initiative, the Aspire Alliance’s National Change, and was a collaborator of the NSF INCLUDES Alliance, to support systemic changes towards excellence and inclusivity in higher education.

Feb. 8, 2022            Universe of Careers & How to Showcase Your Value to an Employer

Time: 3:30-5pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Josh Henkin, PhD
Description: The universe of career options available to PhDs in the health sciences is widespread and exciting, but daunting to many who might not know which path to take. Join us as we guide you through an exploration of the vast array of career options available and help you to understand and develop the skills needed to achieve career success. During this workshop, presented by Josh Henkin, PhD, attendees will learn about several resources to search and explore careers outside of academia. You will also be introduced to tools you can use to identify how your professional values, interests, and skills align with potential careers of interest. We'll help you discover what macro and micro skills you possess, and discuss how to increase your confidence in articulating and demonstrating the value you bring to an organization. 

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Presenter Bio: After years of successfully mentoring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) job seekers, in 2014 Josh founded STEM Career Services, a career coaching company aimed at helping STEM graduates start and sustain careers outside of academia. Josh speaks and conducts workshops at conferences, universities, and institutes across the country and provides career coaching to STEM graduates at all career levels. These efforts earned Josh two elected terms on the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Board of Directors, where he sat on the executive committee and served as the nonprofit’s treasurer. In addition, Josh is an American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship and AAAS Career Development Center Subject Matter Expert/Career Coach. He has created several online courses for the CDC and is invited to deliver workshops and panel discussions at AAAS events. Concurrent with his work at STEM Career Services, Josh is a Senior Program and Portfolio Manager with Tunnell Consulting, a science and technology consulting company. Josh provides technical and programmatic support to the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) and Department of Defense (DoD) vaccine and therapeutic development programs. Currently, Josh is working on developing numerous COVID-19 vaccines under Operation Warp Speed. Prior to these roles, Josh worked at Medtronic as a Principle Field Scientist in its cardiac rhythm disease management division, where he managed a portfolio of investigatorinitiated clinical trials to promote innovative research with implantable cardiac devices. And before this as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Josh worked with the DoD as a scientific advisor for the Undersecretary of Defense for Laboratories and Basic Sciences, creating policies and managing basic science research programs. A lifelong athlete, Josh played rugby for 20 years at the collegiate, national, and international levels. He has authored research articles on muscle, exercise physiology, and fitness, is a certified strength and conditioning coach, and has started several companies in the exercise and fitness space. He holds a BS in business administration, a MS in nutritional sciences, and a PhD in cell and molecular biology - all from the University of Vermont.

Feb. 23, 2022          LinkedIn: Optimize Your Profile & Tap Into the Platform’s Hidden Power

Time: 3:30-5pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter:D. B. Wienke
Learn from a Subject Matter LinkedIn Expert, Ms. D. B. Wienke, who will start by demonstrating the process of optimizing your LinkedIn profile in real-time using her proprietary worksheet. She will provide you with action steps for successfully inviting professionals post-conference into your LinkedIn network. She will also show you how to tap into the hidden job market, conduct advanced people searches in verticals of particular interest, and earn informational interviews using this powerful platform.

Please make sure you have created a LinkedIn account prior to the session.
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Presenter Bio: D. B. Wienke – her prestigious career spans 20 years of award-winning work as a Fortune 50 executive for News Corp in Chicago, New York, Palm Beach as a corporate strategist working with global clients in Consumer Package Goods including Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson. As well, Ms. Wienke consulted with Regional Presidents for National City Bank as a marketing strategist on all seven business units for 2,500 offices.

Since 2009 as a Subject Matter LinkedIn Expert, Ms. Wienke is the CEO of ResumeLinkup. She is a keynote LinkedIn speaker and LinkedIn workshop presenter at academic graduate level instruction and notably at enterprise level companies like IBM, Toyota, Coca-Cola among others. Working worldwide, her LinkedIn instruction has helped over 6,000 professionals for increased visibility on the business-to-business platform with 775MM+ users.

Ms. Wienke holds an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management with a dual concentration in Management Strategy and Marketing.   Her Bachelor of Arts in Economics was obtained at Denison University.

Mar. 16, 2022          Entering Mentoring: Maximizing Mentoring Skills 

Time: 3-4:30pm
Location: Zoom 
Presenter: Joseph Ayoob, PhD, Joel C. Brady, PhD,  April Dukes, PhD
Description: Taking on the responsibility of being a mentor requires new skills and knowledge that are not typically addressed in academic training programs, though evidence-based approaches have emerged to help new mentors build and maintain successful mentoring relationships. We invite you to attend this workshop, presented by Joseph Ayoob, PhD, Joel Brady, PhD, and April Dukes, PhD, to learn about these current best practices in mentoring that will equip you with the tools necessary to be a successful mentor. You will develop vital strategies to cultivate and manage productive mentoring relationships that will contribute to the professional success of your mentees and that will provide you with personal satisfaction throughout your career.

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Presenter Bio: Dr. April Dukes is the director of the Faculty and Future Faculty Program for the Engineering Educational Research Center and the Institutional Co-administrator for Pitt’s Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Joel Brady is the Program Supervisor for the Graduate Student Teaching Initiative and staff liaison for the Center for Mentoring at the University Center for Teaching & Learning.

Dr. Joseph Ayoob is a Faculty Fellow for the Center for Mentoring at the University Center for Teaching & Learning; and is an Associate Professor of Computational and Systems Biology in the School of Medicine.

Mar. 23, 2022         Constructing A Resume for Employers Outside of Academia

Time: 12-1pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Joan Anson, MS Ed, PC
Description: How do you effectively prepare a written document, such as a resume, that communicates your experience to employers outside of the Academy? Your resume is the first step in landing your next interview, so it's essential that it makes the impact that you intend it to!This session, presented by Joan Anson, MS, Ed, PC, will teach you how to effectively prepare and market yourself to those in industry, government, and non-profit organizations.

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Presenter Bio: Joan Anson, MS, Ed, is an ICF certified professional coach assisting millennials with career management issues and baby boomers seeking a purposeful retirement. Her extensive career in higher education administration included serving in an advisory capacity as staff to executive directors, deans and presidents at two health related education associations. Her positions included leadership roles in enrollment management, student affairs and career promotion. Later, she served as a director of admissions at the University of Baltimore and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Joan completed programs in management leadership from both the Johns Hopkins Leadership Institute and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. When she returned to the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, Joan became the founding director of career services for Pitt Public Health. In that role, Joan created programs and services to assist masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students plan and prepare for a variety of career destinations. Currently, Joan serves as a mentor-coach for individuals contemplating “next steps” in their personal or professional lives. 

Apr. 7, 2022            Ask Me Anything: Q&A Session for Postdocs

Time: 12-1pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Darlene Zellers, PhD, Laura Miller, PhD, Tammy Dennis
Description: Spend your lunch break with representatives from Pitt’s Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences for an informal question and answer session.  Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance or be able to ask their questions live during this remote session. Even if you don’t have any questions at this time, join us to learn what’s on the minds of your fellow postdocs. Questions may span a wide variety of topics such as career development, programming, benefits, classifications, compensation, postdoc guidelines, funding opportunities, among others. The questions posed during this session are purposely crowdsourced so we can learn what’s important to you.

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Presenter Bios: 

Darlene F. Zellers, PhD, is the associate vice chancellor for academic career development, health sciences; director, Office of Academic Career Development (OACD), Health Sciences; director, Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences; and associate dean for postdoctoral affairs in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In her leadership role with the OACD, she is responsible for developing professional career development programs and services for biomedical scientists and clinical investigators within the University’s six schools of the health sciences (dental medicine, health & rehabilitation sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health). The OACD serves the University’s academic health science community, including graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, residents, clinical fellows, and faculty at every level of experience, by providing full-spectrum academic career development training and support. Regarding postdoctoral affairs, she is additionally responsible for overseeing postdoctoral training, personnel management, and professional career development across the schools of the health sciences.

Laura Miller, PhD, is the associate director of the Office of Academic Career Development (OACD), Health Sciences. She is responsible for the strategic planning, development, marketing, execution, and assessment of career development programs, workshops, and special events for trainees across all six schools of the health sciences to develop leaders and drive career excellence. Dr. Miller graduated with a PhD in Medical Neurobiology from Indiana University School of Medicine. In this role, she combines her passion, educational background, and experience to create transformative programming in support of the University of Pittsburgh’s role as a national leader in biomedical research.

Tammy L. Dennis is the associate director for the Office of Career Development, Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She oversees the postdoctoral appointment process, tracks postdoctoral career outcomes, prepares postdoctoral data reports, generates various institutional data reports, and oversees the career development and progress assessment process.

Apr. 19, 2022          Virtual Interviewing: Champion Yourself Through Storytelling

Time: 3:30-5pm
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Alaina Levine
Description: Interviewing, like all forms of communication, is about telling stories that resonate with your audience. Your story can be the most important one they hear! Interviewing is about demonstrating how your background, experience, skills and enthusiasm are aligned with the employer’s needs, and that you have a unique set of talents that can add value and move their agenda forward. To ensure that decision makers understand what exactly you can do for and with the employer, you want to build verbal bridges between you and them. This takes place in the form of stories. In this webinar, presented by Alaina Levine, we will discuss leveraging virtual platforms to execute an interviewing plan that will help you land that dream job. We’ll look at how to craft and deliver stories before, during, and after the interview, how to adjust different elements of a virtual experience (such as light and sound), and how to look professional on camera. We will also go over how to deliver an oral presentation—such as a job talk or a colloquium—using virtual methods to indicate your knowledge, expertise, enthusiasm, and collaborative nature.

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Presenter Bio: Alaina G. Levine is an award-winning entrepreneur, STEM career consultant, professional speaker, TEDx speaker, science journalist & corporate comedian. Her book, Networking for Nerds (Wiley, 2015), beat out Einstein (really!) for the honor of being named a Top 5 Book of 2015 by Physics Today. As President of Quantum Success Solutions, LLC, she is a prolific speaker & writer on career development & professional advancement for engineers & scientists. She has delivered over 750 webinars & speeches for clients in the US, EU, Mexico, Canada, Africa, Asia, & South America (including over 100 gigs in 2020), & has written over 425 articles in publications like Science, Nature, Scientific American, National Geographic News Watch, & Smithsonian. She also writes “Your Unicorn Career”, a careers column for ScienceCareers about finding your professional bliss. Levine authored two online courses for Oxford University Press on career development & entrepreneurship, is a consultant, speaker, & writer for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, & served as the event manager for an international conference on phononics. As a career coach and consultant, she has helped 1000s of clients in diverse fields, professions, industries, and regions create and land their own Unicorn Career. She holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics & anthropology & a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona, & studied at the American University in Cairo as a US Department of Defense Boren Fellow.

Fall 2021 Program



 Aug. 25, 2021

 An Overview of Career Development Resources for Postdocs -archived video

 Sept. 15, 2021

 Maximizing the Mentee Experience -archived video

 Oct. 27, 2021

 Presenting Your Best Self When Connecting with Others -archived video

 Nov. 4, 2021

 Making Difficult Conversations Less Difficult -archived video

 Dec. 14, 2021

 How to Negotiate for Your Next Opportunity -archived video


Have Questions?

Email or call (412) 648-8486.