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Webinar Science and Life

From grassroots to 30,000 feet: A discussion on the fate of graduate education

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

From grassroots to 30,000 feet: A discussion on the fate of graduate education

Recorded 21 November 2019


Education, like many facets of today's society, is likely to fundamentally change in the lifetime of Generation Z (4–24 years old). The calcification of expensive universities providing an inflexible learning experience seems unavoidable unless they can transition toward a more flexible, effective, and cost-efficient educational environment. Additionally, the education system needs to better prepare students for a full range of career options, including those outside of the traditional academic track. This webinar draws together educational visionaries to conjecture the future of higher education and its impact on science learning and literacy. Is graduate education outdated and outmoded in the current context? Should tenure vanish? You cannot afford to miss this debate lest you get left behind.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Sherilynn J. Black, Ph.D.

Duke University
Durham, NC

Dr. Black is the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement at Duke University. She provides leadership in many areas of faculty advancement including support for pre-tenure and mid-career faculty, professional development for non-tenure system faculty, and mentoring. She also leads initiatives to increase diversity among the faculty ranks. Dr. Black is an assistant professor of the Practice of Medical Education and engages in social neuroscience research on the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote diversity in academia. She previously served as the founding director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity for the Duke University School of Medicine and as a principal investigator of the NIH-funded Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (IMSD-BioCoRE). She holds several national appointments related to graduate education and faculty development with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the Society for Neuroscience. She has received several distinctions for her research and leadership, including the Samuel Dubois Cook Society Award and the Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education, and was recently inducted as a member of the Duke AHEAD Fellows. Dr. Black earned her B.S. in psychology and biology with highest honors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. She earned her Ph.D. in neurobiology at Duke University and completed additional studies in the School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill.

William F. Tate IV, Ph.D.

Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

Dr. Tate is dean and vice provost for graduate education at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences and directs the Center for the Study of Regional Competitiveness in Science and Technology. His research program has focused on the social determinants of mathematics attainment. His coedited book project, Disrupting Tradition: Research and Practice Pathways in Mathematics Education, captures his interest in connecting researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to improve opportunity to learn in mathematics education. Ongoing research projects include understanding the distal and social factors that predict science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctoral degree attainment, defined broadly to include highly quantitative social science disciplines (e.g., economics). His coedited book, Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans’ Paths to STEM Fields, captures the direction of this research program. For over a decade, his research has focused on the development of epidemiological and geospatial models to explain the social determinants of educational attainment, health, and developmental outcomes. Dr. Tate is a past president of the American Educational Research Association. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Education. In 2017, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presented him with its Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award.

Maria Lund Dahlberg

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC

Maria Dahlberg is the study director for the Consensus Study on the Science of Effective Mentoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, and Mathematics (STEMM) for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and a program officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Her work with the National Academies spans topics ranging from equity, inclusion, and diversity in science, through science communications, to postdoctoral research experiences, health care, and innovation ecosystems. She came to the National Academies by way of a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship, which she received after completing all requirements short of finalizing the dissertation for her doctorate in physics at Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Dahlberg holds a B.A. with high honors in physics from Vassar College and an M.S. in physics from Pennsylvania State University.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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