About the Program
The Career and Academic Innovation and Research Network of Scholars (CAIRNS) Program provides Duke undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds with vertically integrated opportunities to develop academic skills and career readiness, while offering the social support needed for students to have a meaningful, valuable and successful experience in environmental fields.
Scholars are trained through small seminar experiences attending to professional and academic development and enhanced alumni and graduate-student mentorship. In addition to the training they receive, scholars will develop a supportive community with which they can openly discuss and problem solve issues like diversity, inclusion, discrimination and conflict in school and the workplace.
SMALL SEMINAR EXPERIENCES
Scholars meet in small seminars monthly to discuss and practice a variety of academic and career skills, particularly in the context of managing and understanding human difference. During seminars, scholars will:
- Learn to use a set of tools to enhance their comfort in environmental academic and work contexts, no matter their identity and background
- Identify different and preferred mentoring styles
- Learn the importance of networking in the professional sphere
- Practice and develop networking skills, especially mingling and elevator pitches
- Identify practical strategies for recognizing and mitigating challenges to create more inclusive work/school communities
- Learn how to manage conflict in work/school experiences
- Learn about environmental career paths, particularly among BIPOC and/or low-income background professionals
- Learn strategies for improving communication in person and at a distance
- Refine and expand their definition of research
- Become familiar with the characteristics of researcher independence at various training stages
- Identify factors that are important when considering the next steps in professional development
- Develop a plan to guide career and professional development
- Develop metacognition of their own learning and career development paths
- Celebrate their own learning and achievement
Scholars will meet monthly with alumni and graduate-student mentors. These mentoring meetings will give scholars an opportunity to practice and develop networking skills; identify preferred mentoring styles; learn about environmental career paths and more
Sample timeline for the CAIRNS Program:
- Spring semester of first year: apply by April 20th.
- Sophomore fall: introduction to cohort and mentors
- Sophomore spring: continued monthly meetings with cohort and mentors