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The Office of Career and Professional Affairs is home to the ASCEND program, now in its fourth year. Understanding that the traditional one-track model of career planning no longer serves the success or potential of our students and trainees, ASCEND draws inspiration from the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program to provide strategic training, resources, and opportunities for experiential learning. 

We invite you to explore our site to learn more about the programs and services offered under the ASCEND program:

2019-2020 ASCEND Presentations

**Becaues of COVID-19 concerns, the remaining ASCEND workshops are canceled for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Please watch your email and check back to this page in the fall for programming updates.** 

March 5, 2020 - Informational Interviewing for Career Exploration presented by Nicole Reiz, PhD, Program Manager, Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Affairs

Learn about the benefits of informational interviewing for career exploration, networking and relationship development. 

February 20, 2020 - Assertiveness and Diplomacy Skills presented by Larry Long, PhD, Director of Counseling and Educational Support Services

Want to improve your assertiveness, filter better, and negotiate diplomatically in personal and professional relationships? ASCEND participants will observe assertiveness techniques using real-world situations, be coached how to say "no" respectfully, learn to verbally disarm someone who is upset, and enhance their social self-confidence.

February 13, 2020 - Fake News in Research presented by Gary Gronseth, MD, Professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine

February 6, 2020 - Giving Effective Presentations presented by Heather Nelson-Brantley, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CCRN-K, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

January 31, 2020 - 3MT Tips and Tricks

December 19, 2019 - BioKansas Career Panel presented by Sonia Hall, PhD, President & CEO, BioKansas

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Sonia Hall is the President & Chief Executive Officer at BioKansas, a non profit organization that aims to foster and support the regional bioscience ecosystem. She received her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence under the mentorship of Robert Ward. She continued her scientific training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School completing both research and academic administration postdocs. During her career, she has developed multiple educational outreach activities, including co-founding Kansas DNA Day. Sonia has advocated for policy change to modernize graduate education and designed communication projects to highlight the important contributions of scientists with diverse life histories. With her team at BioKansas, she continues her commitment to making careers in science and the paths towards them more equitable.

December 12, 2019 - Money & Relationships presented by Sebastiano Procopio, PhD., Staff Psychologist, Counseling & Educational Support Service

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December 2, 2019 - Author Profiles and Research Impact presented by RachelVukas and Jacob White, A. R. Dykes Library

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Topics of Discussion:
- Increase research visibility with Author Online Profiles
- Use ORCID for name & identity management
- Measure your research impact

November 21, 2019 - Negotiation Skills presented by Keira Solon, Assistant Professor of Management and Business Communication, Central Missouri State University

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November 19, 2019 - EndNote Advanced presented by Prasanna Vaduvathiriyan, KUMC Health Sciences Librarian, A. R. Dykes Library

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Topics of discussion:

  • Removing duplicates
  • Adding specific journal styles
  • Sharing EndNote Library
  • EndNote Online
  • Cite While You Write additional tips

November 14, 2019 - Building Resiliency presented by Moira Mulhern, PhD - Turning Point

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Presented by Moira Mulhern, PhD, Executive Director and Co-founder of Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing

Have you ever noticed how different people react in different ways to changes in their lives? Some can be flexible, swaying in the breeze and standing up straight after the storm passes. Others are rigid and may eventually snap or uprooted under pressure. Both types of people are usually changed in some way after the event, but will they be better or worse off? The answer depends on how resilient they are. Resilience is not a singular characteristic that we are born with, but rather a collection of facets or dimensions that determine our ability to manage life's challenges constructively. In this workshop, learn about resiliency and some strategies that you can use in your own life.

November 7, 2019 - Career Spotlight: Kickstarting a Career in Science Communications presented by Raeesa Gupte, PhD

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Raeesa Gupte is a neuroscientist turned freelance writer. After receiving a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center. At KUMC she discovered her love for communicating science to diverse audiences. Eventually, after a decade at the lab bench, she swapped her lab coat for a laptop. She is now a full-time medical writer with a diverse clientele of medical device companies, health startups, and magazine publishers. When she isn't clacking away at her laptop, she loves to travel and tinker with her camera.

October 22, 2019 - Searching and Applying for Jobs and Mastering the Interview presented by Keira Solon, Assistant Professor of Management and Business Communication, Central Missouri State University

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October 17, 2019 - Career Spotlight: Entrepreneurship and Animal Health presented by Karthik Ramachandran, PhD - co-founder of Likarda

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Dr. Karthik Ramachandran is Vice President & Co-Founder of Likarda, LLC, a biotech research laboratory focused on developing cell-therapies and technologies for companion animals suffering from diabetes and other diseases. Karthik Ramachandran, a Colorado native, moved to Kansas after completing his undergraduate in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado. In 2007, he pursued his passion for engineering, medicine and business at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. His graduate research focused on tissue engineering-more specifically-developing a technology for efficiently engineering 3D cell clusters for applications in drug discovery and regenerative medicine. In 2012, he graduated with a PhD in Bioengineering. He is an inventor of several patented technologies and has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Ramachandran pursued his entrepreneurial interests, and together with his graduate mentor, Dr. Lisa Stehno-Bittel, founded Likarda in Kansas City in 2012. He has been involved in business development and corporate partnerships-supporting Likarda achieving profitability within its first full year of operations and securing significant capital investments. As recognition for growing a successful small business, he has received several awards including being a "Top Young Entrepreneur to Watch" by Under30CEO, named to the prestigious "20 in their Twenties" list in Ingram's Magazine, among other awards that showcase Likarda's achievements. Dr. Ramachandran also sits on the BioKansas Board of Directors (Vice Chair), the KC Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board, and supports many of the local biotech and animal health-related programs.

October 10, 2019 - Landing the Grant presented by Dana Reinert, Communications and CME Director, Department of Otolaryngology

Press play button to watch video             PowerPoint Presentation

Topics covered:

  • Leveraging partners and letters of commitment
  • Developing a proposal budget
  • Ensuring proposal is fundable, allowable, reasonable
  • Polishing the proposal package
  • Anticipating reviewer concerns

October 3, 2019 - Grants 101 presented by Dana Reinert, Communications and CME Director, Department of Otolaryngology

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Topics covered:

  • Developing your idea into a fundable project
  • Identifying funders that are a good match
  • Leveraging institutional resources
  • Overview of proposal requirements

September 26, 2019 - Emotional Intelligence presented by Jerrihlyn McGee, DNP, RN, CNE

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Our current climate, whether it be personal, professional or political, we need tools to help us communicate, make wise decisions, manage our emotions/feelings, and adapt. One tool essential to our developmental process and success during our early, mid and late career trajectories is emotional intelligence. This workshop is designed to help us identify gaps and build skills to be able to show up as our best selves and foster and an environment for others to do the same.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define emotional intelligence
  • Describe the four core elements of emotional intelligence
  • Analyze importance of emotional intelligence in our personal and professional lives
  • Apply skills of successful: non-verbal communication, verbal communication
  • Identify methods to regulate or gain control of your emotions
  • Discuss how you can impact others emotional intelligence experiences

September 17, 2019 - Panel Discussion: Career Development (K) Awards presented by Subhrajit Saha, PhD, Bret Freudenthal, PhD, Shahid Umar, PhD, Hannes Devos, PhD

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In this workshop, participants learned about NIH Career Development ("K") awards, including the different types of K awards, eligibility, the application process, and review and other pertinent details. Through a panel discussion with four KUMC faculty that have received K awards, participants also learned about individual experiences with K awards, as well as information on specific feedback on the ins and outs of K awards. Featuring panelists Hannes Devos, PhD, Bret Freudenthal, PhD, Subhrajit Saha, PhD and Shahid Umar, PhD.

September 5, 2019 - Responsible Conduct of Research presented by Jason Glenn, PhD, Associate Professor, History and Philosophy of Medicine 

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This workshop discussed the history of human subject research originating in the United States to gain an understanding as to why research became regulated and to contextualize the current federal regulations and international treaties that govern the treatment of human research subjects. Topics covered include the U.S. radiation experiments, the U.S. Public Health Service Tuskegee Syphilis study, the Nuremberg Trial, and the reform of research practices in the late 1970s. Finally, Dr. Glenn discussed contemporary challenges to protecting human subjects.

Workshop goals --

  • Gain a historical understanding of why human subjects research became regulated, and the most common pitfalls that lead to unethical research practices.
  • Increase knowledge about government laws and regulations, institutional policies, and professional guidelines that govern the conduct of research.
  • Improve abilities for identifying and resolving ethical conflicts.
  • Enhance understanding of the range of accepted practices in research. Some acceptable practices vary according to the norms of specific scientific disciplines and sub-fields, while others are universal.
  • Heighten sensitivity and appreciation for ethical issues associated with contemporary biomedical research.

August 29, 2019 - Imposter Syndrome in Science presented by Jennifer Villwock, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology

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Ever feel like you're the only one who doesn't have it all figured out? Do you feel like you're just faking it? These feelings can be both common and detrimental. This can be due to a phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome, which is very common in high achieving individuals. In this seminar, you will learn more about Imposter Syndrome, its implications, and strategies you can try to change your inner dialogue.

Upcoming Events

Last modified: Sep 15, 2020