In order to maintain a strong STEM workforce, graduate and postdoctoral training in biomedical research must consider the vast array of research-related careers, and as education has traditionally been directed toward academic research careers, training must be reevaluated and geared toward skill-development for all career options. Here, we propose a technology-driven approach to collaborating and providing access to professional development activities by sharing programming across Boston University departments/colleges as well as other area institutions. Skill-based and career exploration activities will be developed with workforce needs in mind. With data to support feasibility, this “app” can potentially be adapted for use by additional Boston area institutions and their trainees, by other regions, by alumni and those in areas without access to professional development opportunities, the latter by making these opportunities available online. In addition, the approach can be applied to professional development opportunities in other disciplines throughout the university.
Training Opportunities to Augment Learning (TOTAL)
Amanda Bolgioni-Smith; Postdoctoral Associate for Professional Development
Amanda Bolgioni-Smith received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont and her Ph.D. in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University. In her postdoctoral position, Dr. Bolgioni-Smith’s primary objectives are to assist biomedical trainees in exploring and attaining their careers objectives. This entails working with Ph.D. candidates and post-doctoral researchers to identify strengths and assist in filling skill gaps needed for their chosen career paths. She implements programming that allows the trainees to discover and enhance their training opportunities. She looks forward to collaborating with faculty members, institutional leaders, and scientists in the Greater Boston area to continue to develop programming and assist trainees in achieving their desired careers.
Barbara M. Schreiber; Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Barbara Schreiber serves as director of the GMS Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS), director of graduate studies for the Department of Biochemistry, and course manager of the biochemistry class taught to first-year BU dental students and Oral Health Sciences students. Dr. Schreiber is one of the co-PIs on the NIH-funded BU’s BEST award, dedicated to broadening experiences in biomedical science training for our PhD students and post-doctoral trainees. Most recently, she was appointed Assistant Dean, GMS Alumni Affairs.
Deborah Fournier; Assistant Provost, Institutional Research and Evaluation
Deborah M. Fournier, MS, PhD, is Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Evaluation. She is also Director of Evaluation for the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the NIH-funded career development award called Broadening Experiences in Biomedical Science Training. She has more than 25 years of field experience in applied social science research, educational program evaluation and research evaluation. Her applied scholarship at Boston University involves collaboration with administrators and faculty to implement good evaluation practices to assess the impact of programs and special projects in ways that can accurately guide operational and strategic decision-making. She serves on the TOTAL APP Project to produce development evaluation of the mobile app and assessment of the collective action framework adopted by its partnering institutions.
Prior to departing Boston University, Karim Kabbara was a Senior Solution Architect working with IS&T; as an expert in design solutions, he possessed many years of experience architecting applications from enterprise solutions to research studies. He also possessed experience commercializing his work as evidenced by a BU patent entitled “Method For Conducting Clinical Trials Over the Internet”.
Linda E. Hyman
Prior to departing Boston University, Linda Hyman, Ph.D., was Associate Provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) at Boston University School of Medicine in 2009, where she oversaw ~30 graduate programs with 900 students enrolled. Prior to that she was the inaugural Vice Provost for Health Science at Montana State University and Director of the WWAMI (an acronym representing the states it serves) Medical Education Program. An accomplished scientist with expertise in molecular genetics, Dr. Hyman holds the appointment of Professor of Microbiology at BUSM. Dr. Hyman earned her undergraduate degree at the SUNY at Albany, followed by a doctoral degree at Brandeis University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. She then began her professional career at Tulane University School of Medicine, where she became a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry in 2003.
In addition to serving on committees for NIH (most notably NIGMS’s, TWD) HHMI (Gilliam Graduate Fellowships) and as chair elect for the GREAT group, Dr. Hyman just completed a term at the National Science Foundation as the Director of the Division of Molecular Biosciences. She is interested and active in the national conversation focused on the biomedical workforce training and development. Hyman is the co-Principle Investigator on an NIH BEST grant and PI on an NSF INCLUDES award (BEST BET). Consistent with these efforts her priorities as Associate Provost include professional development for PhD trainees, supporting the research infrastructure, providing a nurturing environment for all trainees but especially those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, and finally in developing programs that focus on critical thinking and support the nation’s workforce needs.