Blogs

How I Survived My First Year as a New Faculty Member

by David Wren, Assistant Teaching Professor & Director of the Chemistry Center at Wake Forest University, Department of Chemistry

Congratulations, you have a “real” job in academia. Prepare for the crushing weight of expectations, doubt that you really belong in front of the class, and unmatched excitement that you have finally “made it”. My first year teaching at Wake Forest University was the most difficult year of my life. It was also one of the most exciting. What I expected to be hard was much easier than what expected to be easy. Here is my autoethnographic study of my first year of as a new faculty member in a Chemistry department.

What’s Behind Door Number Two? Other Chemistry Education Research Career Options – Part 2

By:  Stephanie Ryan, Ph.D., Science Test Development Specialist, American Institutes for Research

Welcome to Part 2 of the “What’s Behind Door Number Two? Other Chemistry Education Research Career Options” series. Check out Part 1 for introductory material and a discussion about teaching opportunities.

Research is your passion?
If you answered the question “What do I enjoy doing?” with: Research is my passion but teaching isn’t really my thing, this section is for you!

Considerations for Choosing Stat Packages in CER

by Jordan Harshman

*A list of stat program acronyms that I use throughout this blog is at the end.

Chances are, sometime in your CER-related career you’ll end up with the need (possibly even the desire) to analyze quantitative data. In the analysis and visualization of quantitative data, you have a growing list of statistical programs to choose from. The impetus for writing this blog post is something that I hope I can convince you of: which program(s) you choose to analyze your data directly influences the quality of your analysis, therefore your research.

Why I chose an instructor position after graduation

by Daniel Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano, Ph.D.

A little over a year ago I graduated from a doctoral program in chemistry education research. It was a long road filled with challenges and triumphs. Of course, it is easy to generically call them “challenges and triumphs” when one is looking back on an already completed goal; but when one is living it, going through the daily trials, the process might seem more arduous than what was anticipated. In order to keep my motivation up, I found it extremely helpful to keep my eye on the prize, to constantly remind myself why I had decided to embark on the journey through graduate school. In my case, I wanted to be a college professor.

So you want to be more involved in the ChemEd community…now what?

by Thomas Bussey, University of California, San Diego

ChemEd can sometime be an isolating and uphill battle. For those of us in a science department, many of our colleagues/other students, however supportive, may not really understand what it is that we do.  For those of us fortunate enough to have ChemEd colleagues/group members, we may find that the diversity of our field leads us to very different research agendas while the demands of teaching/coursework take up a significant portion of our time.

“So, what are you going to do after you graduate?”

by Mary Beth Anzovino

The dreaded question for so many graduate students (perhaps second only to “so when are you going to graduate?”). Even if you have a sense of where you ultimately want to end up, career-wise, there is still a lot of uncertainty until you actually secure that position. 

A long and winding road

by Stephanie Philipp, Miami University, Oxford, OH

A common thread I have seen in recent blog posts is that career trajectories are as varied as the people who live them and mine is no exception.  My story is a bit different from others that have been shared, in that my journey from chemistry major to chemistry education researcher has taken more time with quite a few stops along the way.  If you are just starting a career, know that it is entirely possible that what you envision for your vocation may be far different from what you eventually choose or feel called to do, and that a career is not like a projectile moving in a smooth parabolic path, but maybe more like a naturally winding stream!

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