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Education and Professional Development


Wednesday, June 24, 2015


GSA Trainee Bootcamp: 10:30 am - 4:00 pm

South Bay Room, Sunset Village

Fee: $40

GSA will offer a pre-conference "bootcamp" with a series of professional development workshops. Please see the full agenda for more information. Open to graduate students and Postdocs only. Space is limited to 40 participants.


Workshop: Preparing your Educational Resources for Online Publication: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

West Coast Room, Sunset Village

New for 2015! Educators who have been wondering how to prepare their teaching resources for publication in an online repository should apply for this workshop, which will guide attendees through the submission process for both CourseSource and GSA PREP, and give them a dedicated time to work on their submissions. Robin Wright (Univ of Minnesota), Editor-in-Chief for CourseSource and GSA Education Committee member, and Beth Ruedi (GSA) will be on hand to describe the two resource portals, answer questions, and provide guidance to attendees.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


GSA Career Luncheon: 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

De Neve Private Dining Room

Seating is limited - registration is now closed.

The GSA Career Luncheon is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to have informal conversations with senior career scientists regarding the unique challenges and rewards of a scientific career. The tables are organized by topic. Topics may include things like: transition to independence, work-family balance, teaching at undergraduate institutions, non-academic careers for scientists, the when, how, and why of networking, dealing with difficult colleagues, etc.


Undergraduate Mixer: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

West Coast Room, Sunset Village

Undergraduate researchers attending the conference will network on their own, forming a peer-group that will help provide lasting support for the remainder of the conference.   Soda and light snacks will be served.


Teaching Workshop 1: 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Northwest Auditorium

What is a PUI and how do I get a job at one?

Organizer: Jon Karpel, Southern Utah University

Question and answer session with faculty panelists from varied perspectives. Discussion will center around how a PUI (primarily undergraduate institution) differs from other schools, what's it like looking for a job at a PUI now, and how search committees and departments look at candidates. Panel Participants: Paula Checchi (Marist College); Jim Lissemore (John Carroll University); Te-Wen Lo (Ithaca College); Jay Pieczynski (Rollins College); and Tim Walston (Truman State University).


Friday, June 26, 2015


The Genetics Conference Experience: 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Donor's Lounge in Royce Hall

Invitation Only

The GSA Genetics Conference Experience provides students from genetics classes at local undergraduate institutions with the unique opportunity to observe distinguished career scientists present their current research in a conference setting.  The students, accompanied by their professor, will receive a background lecture and participate in an interactive discussion before attending part of a plenary session.  This informative and engaging program is meant to give students a glimpse into the real world of genetic research, and is NOT intended for students who are already involved in scientific research, but rather will provide students with the opportunity to learn about current scientific research outside of a textbook, witness the communication of scientific research first-hand, and ideally will foster an interest in furthering their science education. It is free of cost, and invitation-only.


GSA Education Special Interest Group Mixer: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Northwest Auditorium

Faculty with a passion for genetics education are encouraged to attend this event, where they can mix and mingle with other educators before participating in a teaching workshop.  Current members of the Education SIG can catch up on actions taken by GSA with regards to the education initiative, and those who are not yet SIG members can learn about the Education SIG.  Information about GSA PREP, the Primers in GENETICS, GSA's editorial partnership with ASCB on CBE-Life Sciences Education, and other education-related opportunities will also be discussed.


Teaching Workshop 2: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Northwest Auditorium

Navigating the PUI: Teaching vs. Research, Politics and Earning Tenure

Organizer: Jon Karpel, Southern Utah University


Question and answer session with tenured faculty panelists. Panelists will share their experiences concerning the balancing act of teaching, research, and service. Discussion will include topics such as tenure requirements, collaboration, and getting along with others in your department. Panel Participants: Greg Hermann (Lewis & Clark College); Philip Meneely (Haverford College); Mary Montgomery (Macalester College); and Jennifer Powell (Gettysburg College).


Saturday, June 27, 2015


Plenary Session and Workshop for Undergraduate Researchers: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Sunset Village West Coast

Undergraduate conference attendees will attend a plenary session with two talks presented at a level appropriate for an undergraduate audience. Participants will then have a chance to talk to a panel of graduate students about applications, interviewing, admission, choosing a lab and quality of life in graduate school.


1:30 pm

Why do we sleep? C. elegans provides a clue

Cheryl Van Buskirk (CSU Northridge)

1:50 pm

Title TBA

Mark Alkema (UMass Medical School)

2:15 pm

Graduate Student Panel Discussion


Melanie McReynolds (Penn State)

Callista Yee (McGill Univ)

Lian Zhu (Princeton Univ)



Teaching Workshop 3: 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Northwest Auditorium

Teaching Resources Available to Incorporate C. elegans into the Classroom

Organizer: Jon Karpel, Southern Utah University


Workshop attendees will be introduced to several different resources available to teachers on how to use this model organism in the classroom. Louisa Stark, recipient of the 2015 Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education, will present the Learn.Genetics and Teach.Genetics resources. Panel Participants: Louisa Stark (University of Utah); Beth Ruedi (Education Director, GSA); and Beth De Stasio (Senior Editor of GENETICS; Lawrence University).