Empathy and Understanding of Alternative Value Systems

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In this module students must answer: What is your personal value system? How has it been shaped by your experiences? By your parents’ belief systems? By the belief systems you have studied? How well do you understand alternative value systems and how much might your lack of knowledge or empathy affect your ability to speak to people quite different from you?

  • Appreciation of alternative value systems
  • Articulating your personal value system
  • Cultivating empathy

Discovering and Strengthening Your Leadership Skills

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In this module students must answer: What are your visions and goals for your career, and how do those compare with others with very similar backgrounds and research interests?  What are your strengths in interacting with others and what are your weaknesses? How can you leverage your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses? Being a self-aware leader means investing energy in discovering how best to work with, inspire, lead and follow others. Components of the leadership training will include:

  • Personality and leadership inventories
  • Writing a vision statement
  • Techniques for successful conflict resolution

Strategic Planning for Careers

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What is it you hope to accomplish in different phases/stages of your career? In the next five, ten, twenty years of your life? What are the challenges you will have to overcome to meet these goals? What partners will you need? What skills must you attain? What sort of career path will best allow you to accomplish your goals and vision? What are the tradeoffs of different career trajectories?  What types of careers exist in your field, and what are the impacts that are possible (and not possible) through those different careers?

  • Identifying goals toward the vision statement
  • Snowballing and network development
  • Exposure to career options
  • Techniques for time management and prioritization

Science Communication

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In this module students must answer: How can you most effectively connect to, inspire, educate and influence others with information? In what medium are you best able to express yourself and what mediums would you like to explore?  What are different mechanisms of communication for different goals, and how do you prepare for each (e.g., interviews, op-eds, deposition, testimony, memos).

  • Developing a TED talk, data visualization platform or story from your PhD research
  • Learning to tell stories and bringing your personal narrative into your science
  • What are the basics of a legal deposition?
  • Giving effective Congressional or courtroom testimony
  • Distilling complex ideas into coherent memos or op-eds


Engagement and Implementation

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Building and using the intellectual and personal connections necessary for having an impact on environmental sustainability

Who do you need to realize your strategic plan? How will you meet, connect with and communicate with these people? What does engagement look like outside of academia?  What do you have in common with and what can you learn from the people you hope to influence? What is an appropriate and effective “ask” in different engagement contexts?

  • Identify the change makers and building connections to them
  • Building your professional network with intention
  • Running a great meeting
  • The art of a great conversation – taking risks to build trust
  • What does change/impact actually look like in different organizations?