Category Archives: Undergraduates

What is your anxiety telling you?

Megan Duffy had a thoughtful post on not inducing anxiety in others. She mentioned the specific case of reducing anxiety in others by being really clear. Instead of saying something like meet me Thursday, say why. I agree that getting … Continue reading

Posted in Managing an academic career, Mentoring, Social interactions, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What if the undergrads ran their own class with no faculty present?

Earlier this fall we had an excellent presentation about how to make physics classes more interactive. The legendary speaker, Carl Wieman, see this, talked about how students should think first, then get feedback, discuss, then perhaps the lecturer could move … Continue reading

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Do you have a lab philosophy?

Recently our lab group spent a bit of time deciding on exactly how we want to interact with one another. What is this  whole lab group business all about? What are the rules? What are the guidelines? Do we have … Continue reading

Posted in Group leadership, Life in the DNA lab, Mentoring, Undergraduates, Your lab group | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Will an exit interview tell the truth about the biology major?

It’s graduation! We are launching the 2016 model of biology majors out into the world, or to medical and graduate schools. Whatever we as faculty tried to achieve in teaching and mentoring our students, it is over.  Did we do … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Undergraduates | 1 Comment

Training for creating safe spaces for students on gender issues

Richard Dawkins talks about the moral zeitgeist of the times in The God Delusion. It is something that is generally accepted at a given time, but can change. When we look back, we can be horrified at past standards on … Continue reading

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How to write a letter of recommendation: 5 essentials

“Kind to pets” is what a colleague calls positive letters of recommendation that don’t really say anything. Even worse is “word salad,” a series of highly predictable sentences that could be said about anyone.  I write tons of letters every … Continue reading

Posted in Jobs, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Here’s why you should waive access to your letters of recommendation

Applying to graduate school or medical school is a complicated business. One important part of it is getting great letters of recommendation. It is too late this year to establish the relationships that form the basis of solid letters based … Continue reading

Posted in Graduate school, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments