Spring 2020

Thurs Jan 23, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Handling Difficult Conversations
WHERE: Carpenter Conference Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 249)
WHO: To facilitate small group discussion, class size is limited to 25 participants. Attendance is limited to Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Students – researchers in other job categories may join the wait list. Because space is limited, please do not register unless you are sure you can attend.
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ddqCi4kvDJy1MP3

Difficult conversations are a part of our professional careers, so to be successful in them we must learn, practice and hone the skills necessary for this type of work.  As with many aspects of life, the more you practice the more confident you will be in handling difficult conversations.  In this workshop participants will learn how to actively bring their concerns to the table with the goal of working toward the best win-win scenario for everyone.  Time will be spent practicing how to communicate with others in a respectful and professional manner.  We will review how to handle issues such as:

  • Requesting meeting times with your advisor/PI
  • Requesting professional development for yourself
  • Negotiating with a peer or colleague regarding work to be completed on a collaborative project

Participants will leave the workshop with an actionable plan to address a current difficult conversation.

Facilitator: Dr. Shelly Hoover-Plonk, Coordinator of Student Enhancement Programs, NC State University


Weds Jan 29, 9:30-11 am Postponed

WHAT: Identifying Your Mentoring Style
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
WHO: To facilitate small group discussion, class size is limited to 25 participants. Attendance is limited to Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Students – researchers in other job categories may join the wait list. Because space is limited, please do not register unless you are sure you can attend.
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Style

A mentor is someone who recognizes the potential in another person and helps them to develop that potential. Most of us can recognize potential when we see it. But the second part of the equation – helping someone to develop their potential – is where we struggle. If you are a mentor or expect to mentor others in the future, come learn about a powerful mentoring tool: the CliftonStrengths assessment. The CliftonStrengths assessment helps you discover what you naturally do best, and helps you to understand and work more productively with others.

To participate, you will need to register and take the online assessment prior to the workshop. You will also need to bring a printed or electronic copy of your personal Strengths report to the workshop with you. We will discuss what the assessment means for you, how you can use it to mentor others, and how it can benefit you as a current or future team leader.

FacilitatorHeather Nickel is the Senior Career Specialist for Duke’s Office of Biomedical Graduate Education (OBGE). She offers individual career counseling from a Strengths-based perspective to Duke’s approximately 600 biomedical graduate students. Heather previously worked as a Career Counselor at the Meredith College Office of Career Planning and as an admissions counselor at Duke Fuqua School of Business. Heather has master’s degrees in Career Counseling and Journalism.


Tues Feb 4, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: Mentoring Diverse Groups: How to Bring Out the Best in All
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
WHO: To facilitate small group discussion, class size is limited to 25 participants. Attendance is limited to Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Students – researchers in other job categories may join the wait list. Because space is limited, please do not register unless you are sure you can attend.
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Diverse

This workshop is for anyone in a mentoring role! It will focus on skills and topics such as active listening, providing constructive feedback, and maximizing equity and inclusion.

Facilitator: Leonor Corsino, MD, MHS, Office for Faculty Mentoring, Duke School of Medicine.


Weds Feb 12, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Expressing Yourself: Improving Communication by Understanding Preferences
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
WHO: To facilitate small group discussion, class size is limited to 25 participants. Attendance is limited to Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Students – researchers in other job categories may join the wait list. Because space is limited, please do not register unless you are sure you can attend.
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cuqF4t2lZQi1C3H

Have you ever wondered why a colleague always wants an agenda to prepare for a meeting or needs to know the big picture in order to work on the small details of a project? Using a free online assessment to explore your Myers-Briggs personality preferences, we’ll focus on how you can leverage a better understanding of others’ preferences to improve your communication with your research colleagues.

To prepare for this workshop,
1. Complete the free 16Personalities assessment (https://www.16personalities.com/)
2. Report your results at https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8nXto6pZoWExEep by Fri Feb 7 at 11:59 pm.

Facilitators: Melissa Bostrom, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, and Hugh Crumley, PhD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs


Tues Feb 25, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020RCRIDP

For better or for worse, your experiences and the training you receive as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers can greatly impact and shape the rest of your career. However, there are strategies and resources that can enhance your chances of getting what you came for. During this program participants will learn how to develop clear and specific goals and objectives, along with a plan for executing them. Topics covered include:

  • The importance of setting goals and developing an IDP
  • Introduction to the SMART goals model
  • Resources for crafting and executing your IDP
  • Strategies for establishing expectations and effectively communicating research and career goals with your mentor/PI

Speaker: Dara Wilson-Grant is the Associate Director at the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and a National Certified Career Counselor. With over fifteen years experience providing career management education and counseling, Dara’s mission is to help individuals develop a framework for choosing a meaningful and rewarding career path, plus develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of career success.

NOTE: This seminar provides Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) credit. Duke postdoctoral appointees are required to have yearly RCR training, as outlined at http://ors.duke.edu/orsmanual/rcr-postdoctoral-researchers.


Weds Mar 11, 9:30-11 am Postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

WHAT: Mentoring Up Workshop: Planning for Networking Opportunities and Engaging in Purposeful Interactions
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020MentoringUp

As a follow-up to the “Identifying and Developing the Mentorship You Need” workshop last semester, this workshop will cover practical networking strategies. Thoughtful preparation can go a long way to increasing the benefit from networking opportunities. During this workshop we will discuss how to effectively network and learn about the positive career impact of building local, regional, and national networks.

SPEAKER:  Johnna Frierson, PhD, is Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity and Inclusion for the Duke School of Medicine, where she expands and enhances the School of Medicine’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for graduate students and postdoctoral appointees working in biomedical research. Dr. Frierson was the founding director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Pratt School of Engineering. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology at Furman University in Greenville, SC and received her PhD in Virology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University. She completed her postdoctoral training at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.


Weds Mar 25, 9:30-11 am Postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

WHAT: Becoming an Ally
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Ally

Learn how to “step in” to create a culture of respect and civility. We’ll explore how we can intervene when we see behavior that feels disrespectful or harmful.

SPEAKER: Melissa Segal, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who has provided individual, couples, and family counseling; facilitated a variety of support and educational groups; and implemented professional development and training. She is currently the Senior Business Manager of Duke Neurobiology and serves on the Neurobiology Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the SOM Diversity and Inclusion Council, and the SOM Harassment Taskforce.


Weds Apr 1, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Coping with COVID-19 Online Conversation
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Qq5BWaO7RFDrRH  In light of recent ‘Zoombombing’ incidents, registration is now required to join this meeting. Please disregard the previous Zoom link.

Many postdocs and graduate students have attended mentoring and communication workshops led by Melissa Segal, who is a licensed social worker and a Duke business manager. Please join her for an hour-long Zoom session to discuss whatever’s on your mind – how to cope with stress during the coronavirus pandemic; how to navigate communication and relationships; and how to (try to)maintain a normal-ish schedule under abnormal circumstances. Even if you don’t have specific questions, this session is a great opportunity to hang out with others and to know you’re not alone.

This session is meant to be a virtual “safe space” for postdocs and graduate students. Therefore, we ask that only postdocs and graduate students join the call.

Facilitator: Melissa Segal, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who has provided individual,couples, and family counseling; facilitated a variety of support and educational groups; and implemented professional development and training. She is currently the Senior Business Manager of Duke Neurobiology and its Diversity& Inclusion Leader.


Weds Apr 22, 9:30-11 am Postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

WHAT: Is It Okay?
WHERE: MSRB Classroom 01 (ground floor)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Okay

Is it okay to ask a colleague a question about their identity? Have you given a compliment that generated an unexpected negative reaction? Have you received an identity-based comment that felt hurtful? Join us to discuss these questions and how we can work towards matching our intention and its impact.

SPEAKER: Melissa Segal, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who has provided individual, couples, and family counseling; facilitated a variety of support and educational groups; and implemented professional development and training. She is currently the Senior Business Manager of Duke Neurobiology and serves on the Neurobiology Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the SOM Diversity and Inclusion Council, and the SOM Harassment Taskforce.