Professional skills in communication, mentorship, and leadership, as well as research integrity and professional ethics, are often overlooked or taught in ad hoc manner in graduate science education although they are indispensable for impactful career. The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) is striving to develop strong leaders and mentors by providing specific and recognizable training in professionalism that will distinguish our students and postdoctoral scholars from others with similar scientific training. Our goal is to make our students the most sought after for positions in academia, industry, and government because of their scientific training and these essential skills. Thus, PPEM is training its faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, students and visitors in the art and science of professionalism, mentorship, communication, and leadership through the programs/activities linked to below.
The key concept in the following plan is that the trainee will first learn the tools needed for their own success and then will learn to teach these skills to others through evaluating direct mentorship and workshop presentations. Thus, we are intentionally helping the trainees develop as scientists and mentors.